Monday, September 16, 2013

Don't Use the C Word in CancerLand

Every now and then I start to think that maybe we just had a uniquely bad experience in Cancer Land. I'll see an article about "Remaining Intimate Through Cancer Treatment" and I think, "See you just didn't ask the right questions." Then I read the article and there it is: The C Word...experts in Cancer Land are still thinking that cuddling equals sex.

Now, don't get me wrong--I like cuddling. I like it any old time and I particularly like it after sex..but it's not sex, not all by itself. Cuddling might be sensual and it might express sexuality and it might be a prelude to sex and yes, it might be all you can do when sometimes you can't have any sex, but why not just say that?

This weekend I was at a conference with professionals in the Addictions Treatment industry. I gave a presentation on what happens in longterm recovery and of course one of the many things that happens is aging and along with aging comes the illnesses and disabilities that are unrelated to addiction--and that leads to the topic of caregiving. We were talking about the issues that affect caregivers an I mentioned the challenge for caregivers in talking about sex with cancer care professionals. And the hands shot in the air.

More stories of doctors who won't talk about sex and nurses who refused to talk specifics about sex--and even therapists who avoid talking about sex while trying to help couples communicate about their cancer.

So a ban on The C word in CancerLand. And more info and maybe soon a post about the very specific questions you can pass to your doctor in a note.

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