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[cancer] More about sex - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-12-21 15:21
Subject: [cancer] More about sex
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal, sex
The oncology nurse called me back this afternoon. I asked her first about the changing sensations in my port implant. She believes that the tissue swelling has gone down enough for me to be aware of the device, and that the awareness will diminish as I become more accustomed to it. At the moment it feels as if someone left a Bic pen inside my right chest.

I also asked her my sex questions, since I'd gotten mixed or unclear answers before. Specifically:
  • How long do I need to use condoms after each infusion? Or should I use them continuously throughout the entire chemo cycle, and if so, for how long afterward? This is specifically to prevent transmission to my sex partners of my drugs or their decay products in my ejaculate.

  • Given that bacterial safety is a huge issue with the immunocompromisation side effects of chemo, is it safe for me to perform oral sex on a partner? She likewise raised the issue of me receiving oral sex, as bacterial transmission can also occur via that path.

The nurse was bemused but forthright. She apparently had not been asked these questions before. Most patients with my cancer profile are 20+ years older than me, and that generation apparently doesn't ask, doesn't tell. I told her I was a writer and had no shame.

We also discussed the possibility that chemo would depress my libido sufficiently that the issues might be moot. My libido, however, is infamously substantial and elastic, so I'd sure like to know the answers.

Unfortunately, no answers were forthcoming. She's going to discuss drug half-lives with the oncological pharmacist, who apparently has charts and everything covering exactly these issues, and come back with guidance on fluid exchange. She's going to talk to the staff doctors about the bacterial issues of the various forms of sexual intercourse. So, I look forward to an interesting call in a day or two.

Ah, the things we need to deal with. This was so much more interesting than my talk with my dentist.

Post A Comment | 17 Comments | | Link






manmela
User: manmela
Date: 2009-12-21 23:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"I told her I was a writer and had no shame." - that made me laugh out loud.
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Misty Marshall: Absurdity
User: mistymarshall
Date: 2009-12-21 23:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Absurdity
Aah the things I learn via your cancer experience (shakes head)
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-12-21 23:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
When my Mom started her first round of cancer therapy, she was a hospitalized, bedridden invalid who could not sit up without assistance. She was also well past the age of menopause. However, the drug manufacturer had incredibly strict rules about patient education regarding sex and pregnancy, so I had to go through it for her. There was a video about birth control, and various questions to answer about the sexual activity of my bedridden, hospitalized, postmenopausal mother...fun times! My guess is that the oral is probably not a significant risk with a committed partner. If I were you, I would lay off the activities with strangers in roadside rest stops until done with chemo. :-)
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Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation
User: johno
Date: 2009-12-21 23:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually it is an issue at nursing homes, elder care and Alzheimer care places. Folks just because their old or post menopausal or ill or..., can and will be active.

Staff will make sure it's consensual or protect those who can't give consent, but otherwise they let nature take it's course.
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-12-22 00:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The issue was preventing pregnancy. In that light, it was just stupid, but rules is rules!
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biomekanic
User: biomekanic
Date: 2009-12-22 00:20 (UTC)
Subject: Just my $0.02
Did you ask the dentist about the oral issue? I would think that someone who deals with the human mouth would have some sort of information on infectivity. I base this on having been prescriped antibiotics by dentists before, I'm guessing if they're passing out bacterial poisons, they should know something of the target.
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Andrew Trembley
User: bovil
Date: 2009-12-22 00:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They're really worried that you're going to start creating wraethu...
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fledgist
User: fledgist
Date: 2009-12-22 00:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I get the feeling that some of the details are going to end up in a novel sometime. What with writers lacking shame an' all.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-12-22 00:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You know me too well, sir.
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e_bourne
User: e_bourne
Date: 2009-12-22 00:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And from your loins shall spring a race of super beings, berserkers, impervious to human wrack and ills, exuding a faint corpuscular light. Lo, the Lake-Luster, inheritors of Earth!
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barbarienne
User: barbarienne
Date: 2009-12-22 06:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Between the port, the (blood) red hair, and the shameless sex talk, I am sooooo calling you "Baron Harkonnen" in my head right now.
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jenntheamazon
User: jenntheamazon
Date: 2009-12-22 06:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I for one am glad you ask these questions. Most people are too scared, or outright too damned embarrased to ask questions as such. My doctors, nurses and phlebotomists get down right flushed when I start asking questions. Most out of downright shock, others because they don't know how to answer the questions. I'm glad you got a nurse who was willing to go the extra mile, as it were, to find out all the info for you.

Wouldn't have you any other way. :-)
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Little and foxy and sexy... what more do you want?
User: little_foxy
Date: 2009-12-22 07:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You know i would never had thought of this as being a problem, but i can see how it would be! thanks for sharing!
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scarlettina: WW: Learning is delightful
User: scarlettina
Date: 2009-12-22 07:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:WW: Learning is delightful
You are, as you ever have been, an education, sir. :-)

Edited at 2009-12-22 07:19 am (UTC)
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2009-12-22 11:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
All this is vital research.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-12-22 12:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Which is (quite seriously) one of the several reasons I write about this stuff in such detail.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2009-12-22 14:33 (UTC)
Subject: Sex and Chemo
I think we had sex every single day Matt was there during treatment. Odd how eager it made me. Not so odd, actually. It is life-affirming.
Screw away!
Alexis
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