Topic: CC and Intimacy

I realize this is a pretty personal subject, but I am concerned about what this whole thing is doing to my relationship with significant other in that the tender abdomen and the intense itching make it really hard for me to snuggle.  I can't stand having another body in the bed right now with the extra heat and start itching out of control very easily from touch.  I don't see it getting any better as surgery is next and will have a recovery period where intimacy will be impossible. How do we cope with this and what is reasonable to expect from partners?

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done.  Matt 26:39

Re: CC and Intimacy

Good question!  How do I say this.  This is where for better or for worse/in sickness and in health come in.  I know when I don't feel good its...leave me alone. So I can only imagine what you all go through. I am lucky because Teddy is very romantic and cuddly which makes up for the more intimate times that have escaped us.  You, being younger, will have those times again. I must tell you this cute Teddy story (I have a million). He brought home the movie Road to Rodanthe with Richard Gere? You wait and wait for the pair to connect and when they finally do you just feel the love.  I am laying on the couch and he is sitting in his big old chair across the room. As soon as the couple kisses he gets up and walks over to me and kisses me and says, "is that how you felt with me?". I just melt when he does things like that.  He is 76 and I am 68 but we will be celebrating our 15th in July. I guess what I mean to say is when sex cannot be involved you find other ways to show your affection and love. Its not the arrival to your destination its the path you take.

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: CC and Intimacy

Dear Rose,

I think this is where openess and honesty will be the best bet.  You seem so articulate and caring for your partner in expressing your concerns and my gut feeling is that you will somehow find a way.  Talk with your partner and get their feelings and concerns out "on the table".  Sometimes it's best to just "shoot the elephant" in the room.  This may not end up being as big a problem as it seems.

I think this would be a great question to get input on from Dr. Giles.

You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs to you and yours,

Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.

Re: CC and Intimacy

I have often wanted to bring this up as I feel it is an important topic and I have less of the embarrassment gene or thats inappropriate feeling than most. So if you get squeemish from TOO MUCH INFORMATION, sorry.

Less embarrassing help first....My husband is like an oven and produces more body heat than our heating system. I was very uncomfortable with him next to me so we figured out ways to cuddle that kept me cooler. He stayed under the covers, me on top. Sometimes we used a fan and it was winter! He had to wear pajamas as it kept his body heat contained. He also became my anti itch cream and lotion applicator. It was a way to keep us intimate AND it helped relieve all those symptons.

After surgery, I was able to sleep on my left side, but not my right. So we changed sides of the bed so we could spoon on the "good" side.

Here I might embarrass people so hold on or stop reading.....
Intimacy is more than sex, though sex is important. I had a hard time showering when I first got back from surgery, so Hans and I showered together so he could help me. It was all very intimate and caring and did not feel clinical or nurse like at all. It was very sweet.

There are other sexual activities than intercourse. Go back into your mind when you were first experimenting with intimacy. You most likely didnt jump into full sex immediately. Remember all those other things and put them into play. And anyway, foreplay for women is usually more rewarding than the actual sex.

And as for intercourse, there is more than one way to skin a cat. There are so many positions in which you dont get weight on your stomach or sensitive areas. Use them, they are your friends. Missionary position is your enemy. Avoid for several months after surgery. Thing about positions in which you as the woman dont use your stomach muscles, such as the so embarrassing named "doggy style".

Since my diagnosis, I can say that my husband and I have always been intimate, though we dont often have intercourse. We talk openly about sex and our needs. We dont get embarrassed about it, we dont judge. And I think we have a quite healthy relationship because of it.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: CC and Intimacy

This post made me feel rather sad.I found the situation of being someones lover and virtually overnight their carer very difficult and so sad.Having very gentle hugs and more kisses is all I can offer   
                        Janet

Re: CC and Intimacy

magic wrote:

This post made me feel rather sad.I found the situation of being someones lover and virtually overnight their carer very difficult and so sad.Having very gentle hugs and more kisses is all I can offer   
                        Janet

This is what my partner is experiencing.  He wanted someone to build a life with and suddenly the dynamic of our relationship has changed overnight and it is beginning to take a toll on him, made so much worse by the fact that our nights are so awkward. 

He's been so devoted to helping me through all these hospital trips and always being available in case something goes wrong.......I have had to insist that he take a break and go off and do something else.  But now these last couple of days he's gotten into a funk and has taken a much longer break to sort himself out. 

I do try to be extra affectionate but I'm afraid it isn't going to be enough.  The cc has changed my whole life and it affects everyone who loves me.  There's so many more challenges to this beast than just the physical discomfort and coming to terms with our mortality.

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done.  Matt 26:39

7 (edited by duke0929 Fri, 06 Mar 2009 15:40:12)

Re: CC and Intimacy

i dont know how to express this but here goes..today we will have been married 40 years and i love her today more than ever ...even after 40 years of marriage we were still very intimate, when this monster came into our lives things changed somewhat...everything seemed to evolve around doctors, hospitals and treatments ,as it should be....when treatments began she was very debilitated not being able to get out of bed 4 days out of seven...i have not left her side since that day one a year ago...so needless to say our intimacy has taken a back seat...but just to still have her with me and to be able to hold her hand, have a conversation,give her a hug and a kiss, well im thankful for that..iknow the intimacy will come...when people say to me what do you want ron, i answer my wife back, because she is here but she is not really here if you kmow what i mean...i wanted to say more but being from the old school i will just let it be for now......ron

Re: CC and Intimacy

Hi Ron.  You said it beautifully and I know just how you feel, as Teddy's Care giver & wife. This really does re define your whole life!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: CC and Intimacy

Thank you Kris and Rose for bringing this up.  Unfortunately for us, the actual sex doesn't exist anymore because of all the medicines, weakness, progression of the disease.  We so miss that.  Nothing better than that and all the things leading up to the actual act and after when we laugh and giggle and fall asleep in each other's arms.  I know Ron, I want my Charlie back too.  It's miserable going without all the little kisses and hugs and pats through the day...married 26 years, always affectionate and loving.  It feels like some kind of withdrawal.  Thanks for letting me share - never thought I could say that.  Love to all.

Carol

Re: CC and Intimacy

I have to agree with Janet.  It is difficult & so sad. Gentle touching, hugs & kisses and holding hands is about all I can offer. Share what you can, while you can.  All of that is what I miss the most now.  As Lainy said, it really does redefine your life & what is truely important. It affects not only the patient & caregivers, but everyone around you.

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: CC and Intimacy

I was starting to date the man I'd been in love with for years when I was diagnosed.  Well, that killed the "intimacy" part of that relationship, for sure.

We're still friends, but the cc sure made any progression of the relationship impossible. 

On one hand, I miss the intimacy, but on the other I am glad that someone I love and who loves me is spared the kind of pain that others have gone through.  It's bad enough to have my children and parents see me go through this experience.

Re: CC and Intimacy

Rose may even though I was sad and terribly distraught I would have done absolutely anything for my husband.He continued to be his usual kind ,considerate and loving self and that helped us so much.I felt though
that we were on 2 sep arate journeys running parallel to each other at times but supporting each other as we could.
                             Janet

Re: CC and Intimacy

My partner had a pretty rough day today.  His granddaughter fell into a firepit with live coals and burned herself badly and is in the hospital at least overnight tonight.  He is driving down to see her.........and then on top of that, he discovered that his oldest daughter has ovarian cancer and will be going into surgery just two days after mine........he's pretty overwhelmed, my cc is plenty to deal with on it's own, now all this too.  Ai yi yi!

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done.  Matt 26:39

Re: CC and Intimacy

Rose May... I'm so sorry to hear of matters getting worse.  I sincerely hope your partner's granddaughter is okay and that his oldest daughters surgery for Ovarian cancer goes well.  Going back to cc and intimacy.  Well, you have to do what you have to do. You cannot subject your self to pain and discomfort.  Your partner needs to understand the difference between itimacy and love and make a choice.  There comes a time when this disease progresses ,like Carol mentioned and any attempt becomes useless.  Even the frequent hugs and kisses start to slide eventually.  It's called lost of libido ,drop in seratonin and CANCER!  My prayers that all works out for you and your partner.
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)

Re: CC and Intimacy

Rose May,
My heart felt hugs and best wishes to both you and your partner. It doesnt seem fair that life is putting more on your plate.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope