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Hello - is anyone out there? :-)

Posts: 28
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi All,

Have any of you experienced an extreme drop in desire for physical intimacy?

This is my second cancer in two years. The first was endometrial cancer in 2010. I am nearly 2 years from the hysterectomy and all that is good, but with the instant onset menopause and bladder issues that ensued from the hysterectomy, my desire was near zero.

Then, just as I felt I was getting all that physical stuff under control, I get the breast cancer. As very little of this experience seems normal, and pretty much all the people I know who have gone through anything like this are of the heterosexual persuasion, I am wondering how other women, lesbians, have or are dealing with this aspect of the fun with cancer.

Both of my breasts will be coming off soon. I have discussed this with my wife and we have decided that I won't be doing any re-construction. Anyway, I appreciate your time.
Thank you,

TraciInLA's picture
Posts: 2002
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi, Tyler -

I check this board once in awhile -- but, as you can see, it doesn't get much action!

I've been participating on the Breast Cancer Board here since just after my surgery in 2009 -- they've seen me through chemo, radiation, recovery, Tamoxifen, every mammogram, and lots of life's frustrations. I talk openly about my partner there, and have never got back any negativity whatsoever. In fact, Trace has come with me to all the SoCal gatherings we've had over the past few years -- we've met probably 10-15 ladies from the board, and they all love her. Pictures of our SoCal gatherings on my Expressions page, if you're interested.

I see that you've started posting on the Breast Cancer Board, and I just wanted to encourage you to be as open there as you want to be -- for me, they've been the best community anyone could ask for.

BTW, whereabouts in Southern California are you?


Posts: 28
Joined: Jul 2012

Thank you for your response and the encouragement.
It sure has been a few wierd years.

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

I am sorry you have had to face so much. I was with my partner for 5 years and had just moved to the same province about 7 months prior with my teenage son. I was already ill and knew in my soul something was wrong and what the hell were we waiting for to get together. I knew I needed help with my angry teen and finding a lump sped things up for me.
Well bed death is a problem in even none cancer infected relationships as I have found out. I was really ill and after having raging blood infection became a germ afobe and actually I believe my partners fears also got in the way. 15 years later we still live our lives the same because now my partner has self esteme issues and I have since found sex isn't everything. There is always one it seems who is more sexual than the other and I am just sad my relationship has turned out much like my parents something I had never wanted really. Love is the most important thing and I we still live love and laugh together and that means everything.
There is honesty for you

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2012

You asked about the drop of physical intimacy?

I feel there has been a drop but I also feel that it has been from both of us I was diagnosed in March with Breast cancer only by luck because I hurt my hip and xrays found the bone cancer in my hip, skull and every of disk in my spine MRI found the Breast Cancer in my breast stage 4.
having to come home and tell my wife that I had cancer killed me as we were just married in Nov and by March the fight was on. for me I was afraid to tell her because her last partner for 10 years died in a terrible accident and now down the road she will lose me.
it was hard telling my kids and parents also.
back to your question yes i feel the drop in desire but I also think it is because of fear on both of our parts that has put up a little wall with us.anytime you want to talk about any of this or anything else feel free to contact me.I would love to chat. Cindy

Jo Joy's picture
Jo Joy
Posts: 40
Joined: Oct 2012

Our only daughter moved away to college in August, and I was diagnosed with anal cancer in September. Just when we were recreating our lives together this bombshell happens. It is a rare cancer but is curable if caught early. I was fortunate, it was caught early because I didn't take my GP's word that the rectal bleeding was probably from a hemmroid. It is curable - that is what both oncologists have said, but having radiation on your abdomen kills your ovaries and thus most of the estrogen, it burns and can close your vagina, and it messes with and can cause burning of your genitalia. How fun for me. I guess I should take solice that I will be able to dance at my daughter's wedding...

My wife and I finally had the big wedding last December, and we had to eat the top before I started chemo, because I don't know how I will be feeling in December.

I have had only had 2 sexual partners in 26 years (both women)and the doc says I probably got the cancer from HPV. I want an HPV test done on the biopsy the gastro took. I have never tested positive for HPV when I have had yearly pap smears. However, you can have it one place and not the other.

Anyway, sex has always been awesome between my wife and I but not very frequently does it happen after we had been together for a year. Life always seems to get in the way and now life as we know it is going to change...possibly forever in that area of our lives. I'm not reaaly positive about that part of my future. And it does matter to me. I am too young to be over with all of that.

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi Tyler and Everyone!

I'm pretty new to the CSN boards and was glad to find this board (even if, as some of you have pointed out, it's only sporadically active). The comments on some of the cancer-specific boards just seem to be lacking our voice.

Anyway, I've definitely felt the dramatic loss of libido, too, thanks to the instant menopause (ovarian cancer 3c; October 2012 hysterectomy and debulking -- a word only a scientist or physician would come up with). I'm single and, mostly, I've been able to be patient with it (though, sometimes I think it contributes to my lack of interest in even trying to date), but it sure sucks that it's one more thing to add to everything else we deal with. As for your mention of this aspect not seeming as normal in the straight community, judging by the literature that's out there stating that it's fairly normal, I wonder how much of that silence comes from (most of) society's reluctance to talk about sex or how much is because some straight women just go with and stay quiet for the sake of their male partners. I mean how many guys still seem shocked when their partners confess to faking orgasms. Anyway, I digress...I've been reading too much. Short answer, though, you're not alone.

And, all of my rambling aside, I'm sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis and I'll be thinking of you (of all of us). It really is your turn to catch a break. It sounds like you have a very supportive wife, which is fantastic...and I'll keep her in my thoughts, too, since it can't be easy for her either.

Wishing all of us the best of health, peace and strength ... and that we all keep talking. We are a needed voice in the cancer dialogue.  : )



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