Sexual Side Effects of Cancer
The phone number wasn’t familiar. I almost didn’t answer the call. At the last minute, I decided to see who was on the other end. It was an assistant from my urologist’s office. “Your test results are in and the doctor would like to see you.”
Silently my whole body screamed “what? You got to be kidding me!” After a moment, I gathered myself. “Before we find a date, may I ask what the results say?”
Her response was not what I was hoping to hear. “We like to leave that conversation to the doctor.”
“But it’s a Friday, I don’t want to spend the next few days wondering whether or not I have prostate cancer.” “Let me put you on hold sir, I’ll be right back.”
Coming to Terms with Cancer
Worst case scenarios ran to the front of the line of possible fates. When each had their say I countered with “I’ll deal with that.” As I felt myself reaching a breaking point, I took a deep breath and looked at how much time had passed.
Meanwhile, the pop music favorites of phone holding time were mercifully interrupted by the doctor’s voice. “Yes, your results are in and some of the biopsy samples show evidence of cancer. I will get you in on Monday to further share what we know and to consider appropriate responses.”
Cancer!? Say the word, listen to it, and let the possibilities sink in. What I heard and felt was a loss of control, an end to normal function, fear, surgery, chemo, radiation.
But deep down, my biggest fear was “Get ready to bid any love life I might have left adieu, adios, sayonara.”
Reclaiming Control and Power
Desperate to regain some control, I searched for information and options. My starting place was conversation with friends who had been through the ordeal. Here’s what I learned:
- “If it’s an urologist, they will want to remove your prostate. You know the old saying–If the only tool a doctor holds is a scalpel, every prostate cancer looks like an incision.”
- Or, “If it’s an oncologist, be ready for radiation. Remember what it feels like to get really hard because, thanks to the drugs you’ll be taking, you may never experience that sensation again.”
- And, “as long as the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate, invasive approaches like surgery and radiation can cause more problems than they cure. Pursue
- Finally, I heard an option I could live with. It’s called ‘active surveillance’ and get ready to make some real basic lifestyle changes.”
Relief Through Erotica
Fortunately, my cancer was relatively small and not very aggressive. I opted for door number three and began doing whatever I could to contain, beat the disease and heal.
That’s when I started reading about self-care* and writing erotic romance.