Monday, April 18, 2011

The "C" Word

Oh no, oh yes…the “C” word again.

Last week I was at an oncology-hematology center that is near where I work. This time I was there for me. It just happened to be the most convenient place to have some blood work done that my doctor requested as part of my annual checkup. But what was I thinking? It’s a chemo place! And it had all the same sights and sounds and smells as the place that I went to with John for 16 months. I had so underestimated the impact and so did not understand how much creeping trauma I was still carrying around just based on that environment.

But I did my time in the lab and had to wait for the nurse so I did what I always do—I raided their magazine stash. Same stuff: CURE Magazine, Breast Cancer Magazine, Your Chemo Today—why would anyone want to read that stuff? But read I do and so I pick up “Your Guide to Chemotherapy” because on the cover it said: “Sex, Intimacy & Cancer” and I thought, “Hey, here it is the article I have been waiting for.”

But sadly no. The article about Sex, Intimacy and Cancer was about—yes—the “C” word: Cuddle. More bad guidance from Cancer Land where everyone cuddles and no one gets laid.

I really hate these chemo-cuddle stories. They are infantilizing and demoralizing. I know they mean to be helpful but I just gotta believe it would be so much more helpful to say, “No stiffy? Here’s what ya do” or “Your partner may need to F*** like a bunny just to feel alive so go with the flow.”

Here is a maybe 600 word article on SEX and not once do they use the words penis or vagina. That is just sad. What it says to readers is, “Not only do you have cancer but we think you are stupid too.”

And—I’m steamed up here—“Taking a long walk together” is NOT “part of sex”. Unless, that is, you are walking to the porn shop or to the bed room in a really big house.”

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