Friday, October 30, 2009

Sex after a masectomy: incredibly important reading

I realize that millions of people will see this on AOL Health, so that my recommendation will be statistically meaningless.

But I think Tracey Carpenter's piece is so important--for men and women both--that if even one or two people read it and profit from it via this link then it will have been worth it.

In the piece you will not only meet Tracey, a 26-year-old breast cancer/masectomy survivor, but also her boyfriend Adam who appears as one of the more remarkable human beings about whom I have ever read:

The months after my diagnosis were a painful blur. My boyfriend, Adam, doggedly called me beautiful and made sure that I was able to believe it. He was so caring and supportive when my oncologist said I would likely not have children because of the chemo. Instead of complaining or bolting for the door when my doctor said no sex because of the infection risk, Adam said, "I will wait for years. I don't care about sex; I just want you." I know that if our roles were reversed I would have done the same thing for him, but sometimes it's still surprising to know that a person can love enough to put up with everything that you have to go through. I know he puts on a brave face for me every day -- and I have seen him break down when he didn't know I was looking. My bald head is covered in kisses, pats, rubs and fuzzy hats whenever he comes home or if I look sad or feel ugly. That is commitment. I wish everyone had a relationship like ours. ...

After the surgery I had a village of visitors: Co-workers and family, and Adam was there day and night. He slept in the same hospital bed as me, crammed up against the bars of my bed and my morphine drip. He teased me that if I got lost in the desert I would walk around in clockwise circles because I was lopsided (morphine makes everything funny). When I was home, he emptied the tubes that drained fluid from my body and dressed my wounds. The first time he saw my chest he cried a little. I cried a lot. He kissed my incision and said he "was a butt guy anyway."

Nothing else I will say this month is as important as this column.


Waldo Lydecker's Journal said...

Good call.

a most peculiar nature said...

A wonderful love story.

After my Mom's masectomy, both she and my Dad were amazing without even trying to be.

And yes, humour comes into it. We also giggled at the new kind of bra she had to wear with brand names like "Almost You" and "Nearly You". My Mom also joked that Dad like her prosthetic breast better because it didn't sag, LOL.

I also remember the first time I saw her scar. It took my breath away and made me so very sad. But as was par for the course, she handled it all like a trooper, as did my Dad.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear Steve, after we "girlfriends" were the ones to wait in the waiting room, for our childhood friend post-mastectomy---along w/ her adult son. Where was husband? At work. He saw no need to be there for a routine mastectomy, turn reconstruction prep, with drains and rib expanders inserted. Oh, the surgeon laid him out at that post-op visit. Only then, did he grow scared, and the jewelry kept coming. All is well now, even with the marriage.

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