Guest Post – Krista Peterson


Sex A.C.

At first, it was one of the most difficult things for me to talk about when I had to talk about cancer- sex. Which, now that I think of it, is pretty ridiculous given all of the terrible things about cancer, it’s just that it can be that big of a taboo.  The truth is cancer has a huge effect on your sex life and there’s no way around it but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t sex after cancer.

During cancer treatment not only do you feel weak, lethargic, commonly in pain, and extremely stressed out there’s also the chance that chemotherapy and radiation treatment could have made you infertile.  Infertility, in both men and women, can be extremely damaging to your sexual libido which can make sexual encounters extremely uncomfortable and lower your sexual confidence.  But with the exception of rare cancers such as seminoma and testicular mesothelioma it’s uncommon for this infertility to last longer than a year or two. So even though it can seem like a lifetime- it won’t last.

The most important thing is to find a relationship where you don’t feel pressured to perform, because stress and angst can increase the problems associated with sex after cancer, particularly confidence, erectile dysfunction, and infertility.  If you don’t feel comfortable enough to move to that step with someone, it’s important to remember that all it takes is patience- nearly everyone diagnosed with cancer will get back to being able to perform regularly in bed. There are plenty of women out there who understand what you have been through, and that it takes for you to recover completely. These two key ingredients- trust and patience- are the most important things in rebuilding your confidence and libido after cancer. Also keep in mind that it’s just like anything else- if it doesn’t work the first time you can’t just give up.  And above all else remember, like Drew says, don’t worry . . . there is sex after cancer.

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It Has Been Quite Some Time…


So there have been a lot of changes in my life since the last time I posted on here. I am going to be posting on here much more because I really want to get back to the things that I care about. This being one of them!!

 

With that said I am recently engaged! More to come!!

 

So Long for now!!

 

Drew

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Your Partner Changes Everything


So I really got thinking about relationships today and their relationship to sex and cancer… I guess how I want to start this is to say that depending on how supportive or open to different things your partner is, could really change your experience when it comes to sex… I know that in many cases some girls never really are open to some different things… Now you may be thinking I am talking about crazy sexual acts or something way out of the norm that should probably be illegal around the world, but I am not. I am talking about the simple things that… well… get people in the mood! Even if it is just a romantic dinner, a certain type of music, or whatever might help you in the situation you could find yourself in… there is almost always a way to be able to get in the mood. With that in mind people that have been through treatment, whether it be radiation, chemo, or whatever… they may be in pain in some way or discomfort… Now I myself did not really go through too much pain or discomfort when I went through surgery, which could be because I have a high tolerance for pain, so I did not really run into that issue… I went through a different sort of side effect when I had surgery… and well… when I went through chemo… My issue was more on a performance side, and well to this day I may still have some of those issues. I dont know if it is still effects from the chemo or the surgery, a combination of the two, or even a mental block but I still do have an issue… well… “keeping it up”.

for my family, friends, ex-girlfriends, or well anyone that is reading this I don’t want this to be awkward, and well I really was not looking forward to sharing this, but bear with me here…

So anyway, with that said I will press on! I know that some men that I have talked to that have had a similar diagnosis as mine, well have a problem with ED that is temporary. Like all of us have said though we each have found our way of fixing that problem. Like you have seen in my earlier posts, I have not been as successful as some but with time things got better. For example it was a good 6 or 7 months before I was “able” to do what I thought was normal in the bedroom. Of course then when chemo came around, things changed drastically again! When I got done with chemo things were very different, because I could just not preform. Back to before though, things like romantic dates, “dirty talk”, touching and feeling… and other things like that sure helped my “game”. I could still not successfully have sex though… most the time I could start to, but then not long after the start I would lose my “drive” and well have to stop and be embarrassed. This was the case many many many times. Here is what I have to say though, the partners that I had to stop with and that I would be embarrassed with did not give me a positive feeling, make me feel like it was ok, or well make me feel comfortable at all.

I have to say though when you find the right person that is accepting and loves you no matter what, or at least accepts you for who you are and the issues you might have it changes everything… My current girlfriend I know is like that, and that my friends is one of the many reasons that I love her… no matter what my issue is I know she will be there to love me and be understanding about what I have been through and the complications that come with what cancer and chemotherapy did to me. I know that I do NOT have to worry about it… and that is why I say that your partner changes everything…

If you have someone that cares about you… if you have someone that really can understand that life isn’t always easy, then they can make these things a lot more comfortable for you, and for your relationship…

I am not sure if this blog was really a complete thought… or if really it makes any sense at all… maybe I was just putting things out there, but started writing this on the 14th… and well it is now 6:12am on the 17th… I am laying in my bed in a hotel room for my Apple training in Victor, NY… and I have not slept now since yesterday morning at about 8am…

I hope that someone gets something out of this one…

Until next time keep your head up and… Don’t Worry…There Is Sex After Cancer,

-Drew

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Sex! … By Lindsay Gena


I am Lindsay; I am a certified medical assistant, student, and well…cancer fighter!  I sometimes say survivor, but the fact is I survive AND fight cancer at the same time.  I live with cancer, I am not in remission, I am stable. It’s a long story…but maybe if Andrew lets me write again..I’ll go there later!

Sex.  Awesome, thumbs up right?  Well yeah…but what happens when all the sudden you have a nine inch scar down the span of your abdomen where some decent abs used to be!  That’s me.  I used to be really weirded out about wearing bikini’s or anything that showed my stomach..Who wants to have sex when they hate the way their body looks from cancer?  Not only that, but the CHRONIC PAIN that comes from cancer, it’s treatments, surgeries, etc.  Talk about a mood killer.

Whether you have scars all over, have lost your hair, have lost tons of weight, have gained weight from steroids, or just hurt all over…sex can drop pretty low on the priority list.  I think the key is to find someone who makes you feel beautiful because you are strong. Scars aren’t ugly.  Scars show strength, a life lived, and have stories behind them someone is going to want to hear some day.

I didn’t feel that great about myself until I gained back some weight, and some of the stiffness and intense pain faded.  The fact is, scars fade.  There are good people out there who are going to want to have sex with you, not just because you are hot, but because you are tough as hell.  I promise, from my own personal experience.  SEX WITH CANCER CAN BE GREAT.  My advice, Google articles on sex and relationships and cancer treatment.  I read once about certain positions for people with discomfort.  Certain lubricants, more natural ones, that are ok for women going through radiation to the pelvic region.  AKA they won’t burn like hell!! Do your research. Love your poor tortured body no matter what it looks like. Cancer takes a whole lot away from you and leaves you reeling.  But don’t let it take away your sex life, and you vibrancy and awesomeness.  Keep living.

Lots of love from an alveolar soft part sarcoma fighter, and well…sex lover! Haha!

Lindsay

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The War Path


So I have to touch on the second time I attempted to have sex after I had surgery to remove my left testicle… Sometimes I still can’t believe I am writing about this stuff so publicly and openly with everyone able to know exactly who I am. Once again it was one of those nights that my friends and I were going out to the bar… but this time we all had dates that were going with us. It wasn’t a night that we were all just going out to meet girls or something like that. My friends were trying to help me out with a more comfortable situation with someone who I knew… you know instead of that awkward situation that had happened before… This time I was out with this beautiful girl who was about my age and well lets just say she and I had a passionate thing going on… nothing that really meant anything to either of us unfortunately, which brings me to one thing that I want to talk about… This thing that I want to talk about is something that I now like to call…

THE WAR PATH: the war path is what I am referring to as the time period between march 28th 2008 and October 16th 2009. This was the time period between cancer diagnosis’.

Ok so now to explain “The War Path” and what I mean by it. This was literally a time period when I was on what seemed like a war path to get my sex life back to normal. For me this was a battle because of all of the mental issues  that I had going on. In this time period there were many girls that never really meant much to me other than being my friend… I am pretty sure that some of them… well most of them wanted to be more than that, and that caused a bit of drama. I am not using it as an excuse for me to just sleep with them and then not talk to them because I would have talked to them all again. With that said I was on a “war path” to get my life back to normal… which included being sexually “functional”. Like I had said before… I had trouble… keeping it up during chemo, but that was not the case here. I had not yet experienced chemo, and I had not yet really gotten over the mental crap that was going on. I tried to do everything in my power to get my sex life back without doing anything that wasn’t “normal”. When I started this “War Path”, it was after that first encounter really… I mean I ended up embarrassed, hurt, and just disgusted with myself really… When I look back at it now, I feel like I was way to hard on myself considering the things I had just gone through, but I guess this is how I came to become who I am today… so things really turned out for the best. I am sure that you…. yea you the person reading this blog can relate to being embarrassed, hurt, and disgusted with your self, I think everyone can… and if you can’t… well start taking some chances and making crazy decisions because I feel like that could be a vital part of life.

Anywayyyyyyyyyyyy, back to the story now that you know what the “War Path” is in a nut shell… haha… it’s funny because I have one nut… ok so not that funny! So We went out to the bar and there was a lot of flirting and dirty talk and all of that. In my mind I felt like this was going to help. I mean it was increasing what I felt was my sex drive, so I thought this could maybe be the answer, lots and lots… of dirty talk. So after hours of hanging out with her and my friends at the bar and all this dirty talk, and me feeling like that night would be the night… that I… would get my Libido back!

Of course the without fail… this was not the case, but I had to work through this one way or another… When I went home that night I did what I did best, which was make an ass of myself and in one way or another which could include using a lame pickup line in hopes that it would work!!!

This particular night I remember being drunk enough to use the line jokingly when I got home which was, “Nice shoes wanna…” I will leave the vulgarity out of it because I never know what age group is reading this blog… To my surprise this actually worked!! So of course this raised my confidence level to a point where I was confident enough to move things upstairs…

side note I also have to say that another reason I call this time period the “War Path” is because I won…and well lost some battles of my own in the case of my Libido…

Like the night before the lights were off and we started to the normal routine… well my normal routine in this situation which was losing close, kissing… all that stuff… EVERYTHING was going perfect I was getting back into things… I was getting back to being able to please a woman, and then… I realized that I… well to put it lightly be pleased myself…

I had never experienced this before… I had never had a problem keeping an erection, never had a problem being pleased, and never really had any sort of problem with sex at all. At this point I found that I was having no issue keeping an erection, but it must have been hours that we tried, and eventually I mean things got old… she got tired… and well we just stopped…

This of course like the time before was extremely frustrating… but I felt I was making progress so really… in the long run things were actually kind of looking up! I didn’t know what to think still though and with reason…

If I had only known the things that would happen next I would have probably taken some different steps in my life, or well made some different choices in a really major way… but that is a story for another time…

Until next time keep your head up and… Don’t Worry…There Is Sex After Cancer,

-Drew

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Drew’s Saga… Chemo And My Libido


Ok so I am jumping a bit ahead today, well wayyyyyy ahead of where I was yesterday with my post, but it is a suggestion that I got on Facebook for my blog today and I think it is a brilliant idea. I don’t think it could come with better timing either!

Chemo And My Libido:

Lets start this off by saying…CHEMOTHERAPY IS A BITCH! Not just on the sexual level but on every level. It kills your energy, your hair growth, your white cells, and well the list could go on and on and on. I remember when I was getting ready to start chemo, I had a girlfriend at the time. She and I hadn’t been dating long really, and I mean we are in our 20’s so there was a partial sexual basis in our relationship. I know that in the beginning I had not problem keeping an erection, before chemo that is, but once the time got closer that was a definite mental effect on my body that made things well…hard… Really I guess that is not the word to use because the problem was… it wouldn’t stay hard haha. I have to say right now this is not something I ever saw myself talking about before! Anyways, I got these crazy thoughts in my head, which were things like:

What happens if I can’t keep it up anymore?

What happens if who ever I am with can’t deal with this?

WHAT THE HELL DO I DOOOOOOO?

Well all those answers would come in good time… but for the time being I was FREAKING out! I had said something to the girl that I was with at the time about it, and she simply said that we would “figure things out” and “it will be ok”.

I really got sick of hearing shit like that during my months of chemo, but right then  I believed it. So I mean before I started chemo I had some issues because of the mental stuff that was going on in my head. I kept thinking to myself before I started chemo that no one would be interested in someone who looked like… well a chemo patient. I was counting on losing weight, color, and all my hair for that matter. I had so much I was worrying about, and so much that was on my mind that I couldn’t even really think about having sex. With that said it didn’t mean that I didn’t want to try to get the most of it while I could with the girl I was seeing.

The problem was though that I would try to do it, and in the middle of it just run out of gas… This of course is something that would frustrate me to no end… I know I use that word a lot… frustrate… it is the best way to describe my feelings for how I felt without using words like hate, despise, or whatever… After this experience I really got upset, I mean I even had trouble doing things myself. I even went to the Fertility Clinic, which let me tell you is one of the most awkward places to go in my opinion. I mean who the heck would be comfortable going into a little room with an over abundance of adult materials and a leather couch and doing your business into a cup anyway? It was hard enough that I had to think about the fact that I was doing what I was doing into a cup let alone in a little room…in a building… where everyone knows why you are there! Granted I was going there with the purpose to hopefully make sure that someday I may be able to have children of my own, which is a whole different topic that of course ties into this that I will touch on later, but come on!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I went to the fertility clinic and even there when I was trying to “handle things myself” I had an issue and I hadn’t even started chemo. So about a week later I started my treatments, and I wasn’t really expecting a huge effect on my libido and I didn’t really thing I would care about it anyway with all the stuff that I had going on. Turns out I worried about it much more than I ever thought I would! I went through my first week of chemo with no real bumps in the road and the girl that I was seeing would come in and see me, and it made me realize how much I really did miss being close to her… Now with that said I was by no means in love with her or anything like that, but we had a pretty intimate relationship though it didn’t mean much. She had a lot going on, I had a lot going on, and things just sucked.

Well after that first week of chemo I went home, and I was actually feeling semi-decent! So the first night I was home things got a little hot and heavy and we decided to try… why the hell not right? Well it would be this night where I would discover something that I coined the term for last night, which pardon my language here, I am going to call “ChemoDick”. For those of you that may be wondering what that is, I will explain it to you. Last night while having a conversation the term, “Whiskey Dick” came up. Well if you know what that it then you would know that when a man is that drunk most the time they have a really tough time keeping an erection.

I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced that has been going through chemo or radiation for that matter, but it is something that is frustrating to no end. At least when you are drunk it may seem kind of funny, or seem kind of just ridiculous… but when you are going through chemo I know this. When you want to have fun and you feel up to having fun, if something else is going to stop you it better not be another effect of chemo because you will go absolutely ballistic. Once again this is going to go back to something that I brought up in my last post. I was embarrassed… actually I am not entirely sure that I brought that up last time, but if I can’t perform I will be extremely embarrassed…

This was one of my biggest problems in my mind at the time… who knew how long it would be before I had sex again, and for some people sex is an important thing. To not be able to do it though felt like anything fun that I could do would come to an end. Though the thing in my mind at the time wasn’t what else can I do with my partner that would be fun, it would eventually come to me when it was too late…

Once it was too late that was just it, but in the mean time I guess there were other intimate things that could be done to try to substitute for what I couldn’t do. I really think that it was my physical weakness and tiredness that was keeping me from being intimate. I mean I could get an erection but when I went to try to use it was the problem. I would get my body moving, and at that point immediately get tired, frustrated and lose my drive and want to do it. I mean if I had thought about different things to do at the time we could have tried other things like her on top, oral, just playing, and things like that. In my frustration and anger though I did not think of these things…

I am hoping that this blog can give some insight not only on the mental side of cancer and sex, but also the physical side of cancer and sex. I only really touched on chemo, and I really hope someone can touch on radiation therapy and sex for me and give me a guest blog, male or female, or as many as I get I will post on here!

Just remember, because there is a mental block doesn’t mean you cannot overcome it. It might just take time and working at it… There are a lot of messed up things in life that could make things difficult like cancer and the treatment that goes along with it. Don’t give up though, not on any part of it… not even your sex life… I am going to write more blogs about chemo and my libido, and this is just towards the beginning of chemo… Things got much more difficult later on, and it was quite upsetting… but that my friends is for another time!!

Until next time keep your head up and… Don’t Worry…There Is Sex After Cancer,

-Drew

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Drew’s Saga Continues


So in this blog I want to go back to one of the questions that I had running through my head before.

What if no one ever wants to have sex with me?

This was a legitimate concern for me. When I would look at myself after I had surgery I was pretty damn sure that no one would ever want to look at, not to mention have anything to do with that looked like “Frankencrotch”! I had a lot of mental issues with myself. Not just issues with the way things looked, but the fear that it wouldn’t function the way it did before.

It is almost embarrassing to say, but I was even afraid to touch it myself for fear that I was going to hurt myself somehow or bust the scar open. I guess really in my mind though I was completely afraid that if women knew about me having a testicle removed that they would not even give me a chance. I thought it was going to take me a long time to find someone who may be comfortable being with me, not that I was really looking but lets face it things happen from time to time. Also I was almost 22 years old and was in my sexual prime at least that is how I felt. I was a very passionate person when it came to the bedroom with every relationship I had been in… ever. Most the time if we were in a bed, that is what was going on.

With that said this was still something I was interested in doing, and I had been talking to some girls that I had known in the past. I know I say some girls which means I was talking to more than one at a time, but like I said before I was 22, and I had a desire. So naturally I went out to the bar with my friends that I was living with off of Westcott St in Syracuse, really it was our favorite bar to go to because they had cheap beer, great music, and it was full of college girls! ……Who could ask for more? I mean the 4 of us were not the “coolest” guys in the world, but they insisted that we were gonna have a great time and “find me someone to take home”.

I really appreciated this, but with all that I had been through and only being 2 weeks out from surgery I was very nervous about anything that could maybe happen. Like I said before my whole genital region, Frankencrotch, was a touchy area… haha touchy area, sometimes I crack myself up when I don’t even mean to. Anyway, my friends were all telling me that I need to get back out there and not waste any time. So I was talking to a couple of girls, playing pool, and of course what my friends and I did best… using horribly lame pickup lines because they always seemed to work… somehow.

There was one girl who sticks out in my mind because… well… she was the first one I took home with me after my surgery and it had only been two weeks. My friends had already left the bar and went home some with someone to take home and some not, but none the less… I ended up taking one home with me that night.

The whole way home, though I was slightly inebriated, I was still thinking about what would happen when she found out that I had this “issue”. I was debating with myself in my head whether to just tell her, or whether to wait and see if she noticed… haha see if she noticed, too me that is really funny now! I mean there is no way no one could not notice now. So of course we got to the house, had another drink and headed up to my bedroom. Being as nervous as I was I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie?

I don’t know WHAT I was thinking… this was not like me, especially when drinking, I really had one thing I wanted to do but I felt like I would not be able to do it. To my surprise she did not want anything to do with a movie, but instead she wanted to get right down to business. Unfortunately my body was not thinking the same way as my mind was or hers was. We turned the lights off and proceeded with our actions, and I have to say I loved what she was doing, and if my mind hadn’t been clouding what I was doing then I would have been just fine because she was a very attractive girl and well… knew what she was doing.

This is where the problems really started though, it was at that point that I would realize just what this mental bullshit that was going on in my mind was going to put me through in this part of life. To put it lightly I could not keep it up… which in turn made me frustrated, and in turn then made her frustrated, and then of course caused her to turn the damn lights on. At this point I had said nothing about having cancer, a nasty scar, or well that I had the whole bruised Frankencrotch thing going on! I should have just told her from the get go, but I was so nervous that I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

This is where it all took off from though… The girl I was with just kind of stared at me with this look on her face like she didn’t know what to say or do other than to just kind of move away from me. I tried to say to her that it was tough to me to explain what was going on other than I had cancer… I never realized how almost embarrassed I would be at that point saying that to a almost complete stranger other than the fact that I had made out with her in the bar, and well all the other things that had just started to happen.

She didn’t seem to know what to say to me… we were both drunk… I actually started to cry… and I am pretty sure I made her completely uncomfortable. I apologized to her and she didn’t say a word, she just proceeded to get all her clothes, go to the bathroom, get dressed, and get the hell out of there as fast as she could. I proceeded to sit in my bed, crying, trying to tell myself that things would work itself out but I was so damn frustrated that I really started to hate life… though I never really showed that side of myself to anyone else. This all changed my outlook on the whole thing and my original question seemed to be coming a reality…

what if no one ever wants to have sex with me?

Really though that wasn’t quite the case, I just went about things completely wrong… but when we are in those situations as a cancer survivor… it is really tough to know what to do. It happens in a lot of situations in life and not just having to do with our sex lives. I could tell then I had a long road ahead of me, and there would be many many many hurdles that I had to overcome before things would be back to “normal”. Back to normal is a very funny statement also because for a cancer survivor nothing is ever normal in the sense of what normal used to be. It is something we have to feel out and find our own sense of normal again… there are so many things that changed… and my sex life took a huge hit and still does from time to time.

You will see that as my blog goes on though… this is merely the start of this “saga” of mine. My journey had just begun and it was going to be a rocky F-ing road!

Until next time keep your head up and… Don’t Worry…There Is Sex After Cancer,

-Drew

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