?

Log in

No account? Create an account
[cancer] More sex, and other mysteries - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-12-23 18:32
Subject: [cancer] More sex, and other mysteries
Security: Public
Tags:calendula, cancer, health, personal, religion, sex
Just spoke to the chemo nurse. I have been advised that due to me being on 5-FU (Fluorouracil), condoms are absolutely required for any relevant sexual act during chemo and for three months afterward. The drugs involved are too disruptive to risk passing on to my sex partners via my ejaculate. Also due to my immunocompromised status, I cannot perform oral sex without a dental dam, as the consequences of me contracting a bacterial infection are severe. This is not surprising, but it does not please me.

In other news, thanks to a prompting from a friend of calendula_witch, I queried about EMLA, an anaesthetic cream that's applied to the skin above the chest port an hour or so prior to the needle being set. The nurse said, "Well, that's a good idea. It will cut down quite a bit on your incidental pain." Which made me wonder why they didn't prescribe it proactively. She also indicated that I can continue physical therapy while under chemo, with no particular cautions. So my shoulder will progress further.

In other news, I'm mulling a post on cancer, stress and my atheism. It seems to need to be discussed — even my clinic is advising me to support my spiritual side through my faith, which seems to considerably privilege religious belief. I'm not planning to make an issue of it there, not at all, just wanting to answer the implied question, which was explicitly voiced by an acquaintance who recently commented, "I just don't understand how you can do this without faith in God."

That definitely deserves a thoughtful response.

Post A Comment | 33 Comments | | Link






Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
Elf M. Sternberg
User: elfs
Date: 2009-12-24 02:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Advice: instead of a dental dam, use Saran Wrap. It tastes better, is food-grade and fluid impermeable, and gives better tactile information. A little lube on the, er, non-tongue side works wonders.
Reply | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-12-24 02:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yah. I'll miss the taste, though, a lot. Ah well, we do what we must.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



fjm
User: fjm
Date: 2009-12-24 02:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As someone who does believe in god, I still have a hard time understanding how this is supposed to help at times like these. The god I believe in isn't that personal.

Faith in people, in friends, and in community, is too often under estimated I think. I saw a post somewhere, not sure where, of someone quite taken aback when she helped out a stranger to have the stranger thank god, but never think to thank her.
Reply | Thread | Link



mevennen
User: mevennen
Date: 2009-12-24 09:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes. Speaking as a deist (I'm a pagan). Especially if you go through relentless amounts of shit and then have to try and rationalise why extremely powerful entities have basically dumped one on you and then won't help.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



brent_kellmer
User: brent_kellmer
Date: 2009-12-24 03:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think that they probably advise people to turn toward their faith because for many people, their religion is a form of comfort, a way of accepting what is happening to them. (It's not true of everyone of course). But it seems to me that you've got quite a bit of faith, even if it's not based in religion. You've got faith in your family, your friends, who you are. Sure, at a time like this some shaking of that faith is inevitable -- you've spoken before of your concern about being able to continue writing, continuing to be who you are. But you still have faith in your friends and your family, faith in your relationships, and I think that is every bit as strong as faith in some generic deity out there. And frankly, rather healthier, as your faith is based in something you can see and hear and touch.
Reply | Thread | Link



User: mmegaera
Date: 2009-12-24 03:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Wright Park orchids
From an almost complete stranger, so take it FWIW, but on the spiritual side, it seems to me that your faith in and reliance on other people is just what the doctor ordered, so to speak.

Sending good thoughts, because I think they help. You don't have to think so, and even if you don't think they do, they don't hurt, do they?
Reply | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-12-24 03:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I welcome good thoughts, and even prayer, because to my view, that represents the wish and will of the sender. Or so it seems to me...
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link | Expand



angiereedgarner
User: angiereedgarner
Date: 2009-12-24 04:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Have not had cancer yet but done heavy lifting as support for various close family members. The religious stuff seemed to be most pushed by caregivers and friends who couldn't tolerate the emotions or process the issues related to fragility and mortality. And was it ever pushed! "I can't deal with what you are going through, so take this angel pin with a pink bow on it and if you are in pain go tell God about it and He will make it better."
Reply | Thread | Link



martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2009-12-24 04:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
my atheism. It seems to need to be discussed

First Church of Jay vs. Cancer. All worshippers welcome!

Reply | Thread | Link



The NewroticGirl
User: newroticgirl
Date: 2009-12-24 04:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I kind of like that your chemo medication is FU, as in "EFF YOU CANCER".
Reply | Thread | Link



scarlettina: Wonder
User: scarlettina
Date: 2009-12-24 06:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Wonder
I think it's interesting that the clinic is advising you to support your spiritual side through faith, mainly because my encounter with my mother's cancer pushed me firmly away from the belief in God for decades. I still had a spiritual side, but it was nebulous and undirected and, in that way, fairly useless. What restored any kind of directed faith at all for me was the people around me years and years later.

I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on the subject.
Reply | Thread | Link



farmgirl1146
User: farmgirl1146
Date: 2009-12-24 07:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am religious, but this push for the spiritual side is both odd and counterproductive. As with subliminal messages, if one is in conflict with the message (such as feeling "not worthy"), the message will backfire and give the opposite effect. Since you have no feeling for the message, it will have no effect.

I have been, and expect to continue to be roundly criticized for my belief that God is essentially all of us combined and one of us is, in and of ourselves, unimportant. I deeply believe that this is the message of Christ, as well as other messengers of the truth.

Therefore, it is not what God does for you, it is how you react and respond to your situation that truly counts. You cannot allow yourself to be second guessed by others.

BTW, I have found the those who push God (an amorphous concept or fire and brimstone) on to others, are often have the greatest lack, therefore in the greatest need, for inner strength. Ignore them. Be yourself, be generous, and be kind. It really is not all that hard, and probably helps with healing.
Reply | Thread | Link



Twilight: I know (Marguerite)
User: twilight2000
Date: 2009-12-24 07:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:I know (Marguerite)
hmm - sounds like it might be time to look into "equipment" - rather than trying to imitate something you (and presumably your partners) enjoy in a less than satisfying manner, perhaps this is an opportunity to try "something new"?

Viva le Différence!
Reply | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-12-24 12:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am in fct quite flexible in regard to such things. I just like the basics, too. A lot...
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link | Expand



manmela
User: manmela
Date: 2009-12-24 08:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It seems to me, sitting here on the other side of the interwebs, that your brand of spirituality is about faith in your friends and family rather than an all-powerful being. It's those that you turn to when your mind is in turmoil and who have served you well. So I think you have been supporting your spiritual side.
Reply | Thread | Link



Passionately decaying organic matter
User: miintikwa
Date: 2009-12-24 09:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As a spiritual person who respects all paths, my only question is: how did/do you resolve the "mortality" question, when it comes to your atheism? IE, when confronted with the "I may die soon," did it make you question your chosen spiritual path at all? How did you resolve that part of your life without a spiritual component?

Thanks, as ever, for your honesty and sharing this with us.
Reply | Thread | Link



Autopope
User: autopope
Date: 2009-12-24 09:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If I remember correctly -- it's a long time since I did this stuff for a living -- 5FU interferes with DNA transcription. It's therefore highly teratogenic -- this paper notes "dose-dependent growth retardation and numerous malformations in near-term fetuses, including hindlimb defects and cleft palate" in pregnant rats. It's almost certainly going to result in deformed sperm while you're receiving it.

From a medical liability perspective the last thing your oncologists want is for a chemo patient to sue them on behalf of a malformed child, hence the condom advice: I suspect "it'll poison your partner" is a little white lie by implication to get around the objections of those folks who reject birth control per se.

(If a condom ruptures you do not need to worry about your partner going into convulsions and dying on you. But you really don't want to risk them getting pregnant.)

Edited at 2009-12-24 09:29 am (UTC)
Reply | Thread | Link



Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-12-24 12:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have had a vasectomy, and none of my regular sex partners are fertile anyway, so the odds of a problem pregnancy occurring approach the level of divine interventions...
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link | Expand



Jay Faulkner
User: jayphoenix
Date: 2009-12-24 10:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My 31 month old had to give blood a couple of days back and they used EMLA for him (both arms, just in case - 30 minute 'rest' period for it to take affect); I asked if I could have it next time I needed jabbed (mostly joking) to be told that it was only for children as it was too expensive.
Reply | Thread | Link



Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
browse
my journal
links
January 2014
2012 appearances