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I am changed (long) I am changed (long)

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  #1  
Unread 10-11-2008, 06:37 AM
I am changed (long)

I had cervical cancer in March 2006 followed by radiation. I also had a benign tumor in front of my heart removed during thoracic surgery (May 08.) I am changed on so many levels and need some support. Beyond the obvious physical changes, my emotions are changed too. My sex drive is broken. It relates to physical changes, I know. I am willing to work on this with the medications being prescribed by my menopause specialist. But the effect it has on my relationship with my husband of 14 years is worrying. His drive is unchanged. I don't even want to do it. I feel guilty and I feel broken. I had a hyster not by choice but by necessity. I don't know how to assure him that my body is not always my friend. I think people believe that time will heal all wounds. That sometimes you need to move on. I think I have. I also know that I am changed. That I will never be inhabiting a "whole" vessel of a body. I am 40 years old. I want to get my groove back. I want to be that change. So, here I am again. Back with my sisters. Hoping for just some words.
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  #2  
Unread 10-11-2008, 09:01 AM
I am changed (long)

I can identify with what you are saying about your body not being your friend. When I received my cancer diagnosis, I felt as if my body had betrayed me. I am 57 and expected I would keep all of my female parts the rest of my life, as I had no trouble with them before now. Even though I had a great diagnosis, it is difficult for me to trust my body again. I chalk my lack of trust up to "cancerhead" trying to get an upper hand in my emotions and thoughts.

But, I feel that part of what I am experiencing is grieving the loss of part of my body and the good health I relied upon for so many years. I have to work through it and I think the grieving process has its own rhythm and timetable.

Have you talked to your menopause specialist about your feelings? Perhaps it might help if you and your husband could talk to a counselor together.
  #3  
Unread 10-11-2008, 02:55 PM
I am changed (long)

jj:
I can certainly understand what you are describing... I know that change can be frightening... I think that this is part of that "for better or worse part" we claim in our vows... Unfortunately, sometimes the well person doesn't realize how the person that has had health problems feels... Hopefully he will give you time and you will be able to get your "groove" back. He is also probably feeling the "loss" that Gerry talked about...
Best of luck to you ..
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  #4  
Unread 10-11-2008, 05:15 PM
I am changed (long)

Hi Jenn - My rad/onc has made an appt for my hubby and me to see a counselor at the Woman's Clinic at the same time I go for my four-year checkup, and I hope this appt begins to fix an ongoing problem we have had with intercourse since the hysterectomy. I totally understand your thoughts and feelings even though my situation is a little different than yours. Although intimacy is not the most important thing in a marriage, when it's gone, it's sad and troubling.

Would your hubby go to counseling with you? Have you checked out the Sexual Dysfunction forum? I've read many posts there about a lack of desire and suggestions for fixing that!

s to you!!!
  #5  
Unread 10-11-2008, 06:10 PM
I am changed (long)

I can TOTALLY relate to what you are going through. you have desciribed me to a "T". Although I didn't have the hyster I did have the rads and my ovaries are fried as a result. Sex is the LAST thing on my mind and of course the first on his. I would almost go as far as saying that sex REPULSES me at this point in my life. I can truly relate to you---TRULY!!! I as well want my "groove" back but I seriously don't see it returning any time soon.........My desire is GONE GONE GONE!!! You're not alone in the way that you are feeling. We still love our husbands but intimacy just doesn't appeal to us. Frustrating to say the least!!! GRRRRR!!!
  #6  
Unread 10-11-2008, 09:06 PM
I am changed (long)

Hey Jenn, I can kinda relate. I'm not in a rs, and haven't been since before I was dx. The very thought of being intimate with someone weirds me out. I've actually thought I could go the rest of my life and be ok not being with anyone.

Only those who have gone through this first hand can truely understand the impact cancer has. The "Forever changed" feeling we carry. The feeling of our bodies suddenly betraying us, to become this thing that just hates us. I can't count how many times I've said "my body hates me today" over the last couple years.

If your husband is up to it, counseling would be a good starting point to rebuilding things. Hang in there hon.
  #7  
Unread 10-13-2008, 05:11 PM
I am changed (long)

Thanks to everyone. I struggle with this just being an ongoing issue with no end. I feel like a burden and that people probably are getting sick of me being sick. I just feel sad and disconnected from everyone. It's lonely. I'll check into one of the counselors at our cancer center and see where that takes me/us. Love to you all.
Jenn
  #8  
Unread 10-13-2008, 05:57 PM
I am changed (long)

Jenn:

I can relate to so much of what the other ladies have said. Even as you grieve for what you lost, which I'm sure will be a lifelong process -- do you think you can learn to love the new you -- maybe in a different way from the old you?

After my TAH, I was terrified to be intimate -- both about the changes on the inside and on the outside. I felt like I'd failed as a woman. My body didn't look the same either -- I had a panniculectomy and lost about 100 pounds, so my abdomen looks lopsided and funny, and I've got loose skin everywhere -- and I've still got weight to lose (I'm a size 20 currently). Me naked isn't a pretty sight!

I met a wonderful man last February who helped me learn that I can love the new me. I'm battlescarred, and missing pieces, but I'm still going, I'm strong and I've survived. He helped me feel worthy of love and safe to explore my sexual needs, which did return slowly after I finally relaxed and trusted my body and my partner. It took a while though. I'll never be the same, but I think in some ways I'm better.

Nobody's journey is the same -- I bet a counselor can help you get to the root of your feelings of brokenness and help your husband understand where you're coming from. I hope you can find some peace of mind, Jenn. You deserve joy, after all you've been through! We all do.
  #9  
Unread 10-14-2008, 10:18 AM
I am changed (long)

Hi,
I understand what you all are going through. After my surgery I didn't let my husband touch me, actually I realise now he never tried. Unfortunately he left me while I was still getting chemo. I decided right then & there that I didn't need anyone in my life. That all changed about 4 months ago. One of my very best friends & I moved to a different level in our relationship. He has been my friend for years. Now the (excuse my openess) sex is better than ever. The drive is stronger than ever. I think it just takes time and a patient partner. Good luck. Hugs
Bertha
  #10  
Unread 10-22-2008, 08:36 PM
I am changed (long)

Yep-
thats me in a nut shell. I have found a few things helpful to me (just turned 40 married for 13+yrs-2kids)
1-by sexy clothes (just got some 3+ inch heeled sexy boots off ebay) and haircut (if you feel sexy you start to want it)
2-I use the vagifem (no hrt for me ovarian/breast in my family tree)
3-spoil yourself
4-get some good old fashion naughty movies to watch with your hubby.
5-and astroglide always helps in a pinch
6-but above all take your sexuality back don't let your hormones take it away. I decided to say I am not some Grandma-but a sexy Momma!
7-and tell him FOREPLAY is a must. My hubby will do what it takes. He knows things have changed and he has to take a bit of time to get the engines roaring.

Don't give up! You will be happy you didn't and your marraige will be better. Because intimacy is important to a long happy marraige. No matter what form the intimacy takes.
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