Being a man: masculinity & PCa
[Webmaster note: I had started hormone therapy in early December, 1999, and the effects were devastating. This was a response from a friend also with PCa. It was originally from "Alan" but changed because Alan Hawke (real name) has a story here.]
So, you are taking Zoladex. What a trade off. Some palliative care and the loss of that spontaneous glow of love and affection that we who are on HT remember while we now struggle with our inner man to concede that we have lost our sex drive in the quest for living with PCa.
It IS a major problem. The rows and frustrations I have been through during 18 months of Zoladex implants were terrible and after 18 months with undetectable PSA I binned [threw away] the whole thing for a break and stopped taking the 84 day implant to try to recover some of the passionate me. Many of the Zoladex side effects have gone but the sensual side is still nowhere near back to pre-PCa days and that is after 16 months off Hormone Therapy.
A recent study shows that while we men stoically accept that we have PCa it is our lovers and partners who suffer most from the unintentional withdrawal of our normal sexual closeness as we go through treatment regimes.
After one standard student night out, my partner's older student(!) son at age 24 called me a f...ing impotent bastard in a selfish, alcohol induced fist swinging moment of hash befuddled posturing and when I gave him 33% as a test result for one right out of three, I got a black eye for my sanguine attempts at defusing the situation with a moment of black humor! BUT which of us was the man?
You are no less a man because you have prostate cancer and the treatment has affected your sex drive and the one you love physically. You said it, that there are other ways to show our Partners we love them in the most intimate private ways but I find that it is almost always her initiating the foreplay that kick starts me into action. If she doesn't do that I am happy to sit and be a couch potato or work at the computer (it is 10.30 pm Saturday night...gulp!) and I am "O.K."
while sadly, I forget too easily that she is NOT.
Love, discussion and setting out to make things happen is the only way through this Robert and that is easier said than done. Do it and it is so wonderful. Sit back and there is a real danger of everything slipping away from our reach.
You are not alone but part of the community of tens of thousands of men and their partners trying to stay afloat in a sad and stormy PCa sea.
The good thing in all this is that your pain is under control, you are mobile and pain free again and I hope that that leads you both to happier more sensual moments together again. I woke one morning recently to feel my partner moving gently against me. I thought I should respond (brain and heart response) and from gentle nuzzling and stroking, the early morning passed into the early afternoon in an ever growing roller coaster of passionate touching, kissing and loving (sensual response!). If I could just repeat that several times a week it would be great for us both but sadly, that is not the way it works just yet.
(written January 2000)
[Images are for illustration only and do not represent those involved.]
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