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Very embarrasing question

Sandi1's picture
Sandi1
Posts: 278
Joined: Aug 2008

Ok, so my husband and I were talking the other day and I asked him, do you think when you are on Chemo that we can still have sex? He said, well I thought that you couldn't exchange any bodily fluids with me at all when I was on Chemo. Now I'm not saying that we are planning on having sex during his chemo, he probably won't feel like it - but you just never know. Does any one know the answer to this or will we need to ask the oncologist. My husband is a bit embarrassed to ask this type of question.

any help would be nice.

thank you

neon356
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Sandi,
Go for it! My Doc told me that my partner would not receive any appreciable amount of meds thru bodily fluids. He did say that there weren't any studies to determine whether it was safe to get pregnant, but with all the radiation I got down there that wasn't really an issue.
Carl

Sandi1's picture
Sandi1
Posts: 278
Joined: Aug 2008

Thanks Carl, We don't have to worry about pregnancy, my husband decided 8 years ago that he had had enough children - we have 5 together - so that is not a worry for us. I am mostly interested in making my husband happy - because our sex life has been steadily decreasing over the last year - I chalked it up to us getting older and both having more responsibilities at work that my husband seems to work 16 hour days. But now I have come to realize that it was that stupid tumor that was making him not feel like it.

We will deal with it - I just want him to feel loved and happy.

Thank you

kristasplace's picture
kristasplace
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

You probably need more of the guys who've gone through this treatment to answer this question for you. I know for me and my boyfriend, we very rarely have sex because it hurts me. But being the female in the relationship with the cancer, i don't know if the men are the same. It's uncomfortable, and he doesn't want to hurt me, and he doesn't want me to just suffer through it to make him happy. We have other alternatives to straight out sex, but like i said, i don't know how the treatments are going to affect him. If he gets an ostomy, he may not feel very sexy, but who knows with men? I say if he's comfortable enough, or feels like doing it, then do it. My boyfriend isn't half as disgusted with the ostomy as i am, and i'm sure it may be the same with everyone. You'll probably get used to it on him, and maybe it won't bother you. If he has issues with this, i would reassure him by helping him change it. That is if it really doesn't bother you!

I've never heard anything about fluid transfer being a risk for the partner as far as receiving meds. My poor boyfriend was more worried about getting the cancer! Funny how that can't be transmitted if other things can! He did have serious bouts with IBS which his doctor said was probably sympathy pains. My boyfriend is just wonderful!

Good luck with it, and i wouldn't worry. Just imagine the wonderful catch-up you guys can have after his initial treatments!

Many hugs,
Krista

AUNTY
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2008

I WAS JUST DIAGNOSED WITH COLON CANCER A MASS ON THE RIGHT ASCENDING WALL BEEN THERE ABOUT 3 OR 4 YEARS I DON'T KNOW THE STAGE YET SHOULD I. I FEEL SO STUPID I DON'T KNOW WHERE OR WHAT MY QUESTIONS SHOULD BE I GO NEXT WEEK FOR A PET SCAN I ALSO HAVE AN ACTIVE DVT IF ANYONE CAN WALK ME THRU THIS I WOULD APPRECIATE IT THANK YOU TO MY NEW FRIENDS.

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Aunty, welcome to our board, so sorry you had to find us! Usually staging is done during surgery, that's when they can find out the true extent of the cancer. You are just in shock right now, so it's hard to absorb everything that's being said. Be sure to bring a loved one along that can be another set of ears and even consider taking notes. Write down questions you have to bring to your next appointment also so you won't forget. It's going to take a while to get that mantra "I HAVE CANCER" out of your head long enough to focus, but once you have a better idea of what you're dealing with you will be able to formulate a battle plan and that always helps. God be with you and come back often! Mary

kimby's picture
kimby
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Yes, we all felt stupid when we were first diagnosed. This is alot to get your head around and there is so much to learn. You will get there. You will form questions (usually *after* your doctors appts - lol) and can always come here to get them answered. You will get your staging later and the doc should walk you through that very clearly. If he doesn't, ASK! Ask about a treatment plan (surgery/radiation/chemo). I also recommend a second opinion. If you get the same answer you will be confident in the treatment plan. If you get a different opinion you will be able to ask more questions, feel like you have a choice and possibly get a third opinion.

One thing that works for *me* -- I don't want a prognosis. Those numbers don't mean anything to *me*. My oncologists (I've had many) all believe and have stated that I can be cured. They haven't said I *would* be, but that I *can* be. That works for me!

Kimby

jenhopesprays's picture
jenhopesprays
Posts: 129
Joined: Sep 2007

Sandi,

My Onc made a point to say sex is fine, fine, fine so live big if you are both into it.

I can tell you that my favorite thing while in the throws of chemo was a shoulder massage.

Best of luck!

nudgie's picture
nudgie
Posts: 1482
Joined: Sep 2006

Unfortunately, I had not desire to have sex with my husband. Don't know if it was the chemo drugs, ostomoy or just the whole journey of cancer. He never pressured me, asked me or brought up the subject during treatments or surgeries. It was always me that wanted to make sure he was okay. There are other alternatives then intercourse.

During my journey I appreciated cuddling, snuggling, little kisses, holding hands, or just laying down and watching TV with him.

Sandi1's picture
Sandi1
Posts: 278
Joined: Aug 2008

Thank you all for your answers to this very embarrassing question.

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

...just about any question! On a board where we talk about our colons, rectums, bathroom habits, etc...this question is okay too :)

Hi Sandi,

After thinking about your question, I thought there are probably two things to consider...your husband's physical condition AND his mental/emotional condition.

I suggest you should probably ask your husband's doctor(s) about physical intimacy during treatment - post-surgical and during chemo - to make sure it is okay and won't complicate his condition or care, or affect you in any way (probably won't, but it doesn't hurt to ask the folks who are truly in the know about your husband's specific case). Asking your husband's doctor may give him some sound assurance that it is indeed okay.

As for emotionally, from a survivor's perspective, there is so much a person newly diagnosed with cancer goes through and thinks about. A cancer diagnosis hits all of us differently and there are many things that go through our minds that we may not necessarily share with our partners...things like body image after surgery, concerns about physical function, ostomy issues (if that is your husband's case), and thoughts about mortality, family stability, provider/financial issues, depression, and more. All of those things can certainly affect a person's libido and desire.

Ask your hubby's doctor if it's okay if you should and then follow the cues you get from your husband to know if he could or would. Being there for your husband in a loving and supportive way is what he needs...cancer and all the issues he is dealing with is still new for your hubby...give him time to work it out...

NanD
Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 2006

I am a woman, so can't answer for how a man might feel. But after my surgery was healed and I had begun chemotherapy, I learned that things were just fine on the "good" week between treatments. I wasn't working so had less of the normal day to day stress and strains and found that continuing our sex life normally really helped us both. Well that's my two cents worth.

fez1
Posts: 47
Joined: Jul 2006

Hi Sandi-
I'm a care giver to my 51 year old husband. I'll give you our story. He, too, had a diminishing sex drive for about 1 year prior to being diagnosed. Now I know why. He had a very large, almost completely obstructing tumor in his sigmoid colon. after surgery and all during chemo he had no desire, never talked about it etc. I let things go a long time- about 18 months before I broached the subject. Then he told me that he was afraid to try because he didn't think that he could have an erection, ejaculate etc. He did have ED issues and had retrograde ejaculation ( I think that's the term). Anyway, after much discussion and support and tenderness we got him on Viagra (something that he never thought he's have to use) and have gradually resumed our sex life. It is so wonderful to have this again. He is like a new guy and he's so grateful that I gave him his space but then convinced him that we'd find a way. Hope this helps
Carol

Sandi1's picture
Sandi1
Posts: 278
Joined: Aug 2008

thank you Carol - I will keep your post in mind. If you don't mind me asking - what stage was your husband? My husband is Stage 4 with spread to liver and lungs - and I think I saw somewhere on the reports that they think he might have a lesion on his L4 verterbre. I know he has been complaining about a sore back lately - but I don't want to say anything as I don't want to upset him anymore.

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