Saturday, 26 January 2013

Cancer, Sex and Partners

The topic of cancer, sex and partners is a sensitive subject. There are no winners just plenty torment, frustration and tears involved. My parent’s marriage was destroyed after thirty-eight years because of my father’s behaviour changing. Unbeknownst to the family he had an aggressive brain tumour growing in his head. My mother at the time repeatedly requested help because his behaviour had gradually become erratic, but her pleas were met with silence. She had started to refuse his advances within the bedroom because he had become not the man she married. In the end because of her own health worries she started divorce proceedings in hope someone would finally listen. Two years later he was diagnosed with the brain tumour and the divorce had been finalized. My mum said I tried and I told them something was wrong and no-one would listen what could I do? When she found out what had finalised their marriage she could only grieve in silence. They still loved each other right up to my father succumbing to the tumour within seven months of the diagnosis, but neither side had the support to reach an understanding on what truly was the problem. My father passed away without my mother by his side.

My marriage too has had its moments of unanswered questions. I discovered that my husband had been seeking attentions elsewhere January 2010. I can’t prove it was sexual because I was never in the same room as the two love birds, but every now and then in a fit of rage even now I show my discontent at finding a love note in his bag. Of course well before the cancer diagnosis there had been other tensions for my husband to seek attentions elsewhere, but all the same he was in the wrong.

When I discovered that love note my husband insisted it was done in jest, but it did not read like a jest to me. 

‘Stefek (means Stephen in polish) That’s for you small but still yours…’ written on letter headed company paper with a tiny heart.

I felt like my world had crumbled and my marriage had become a farce. When I look back I remember him jokingly threatening me with going in search of sex elsewhere which he now denies. When I discovered the note I reached out to friends asking why? And their reply was simple he was an idiot.
The pressures he had placed on the marriage meant it was only a matter of time before cracks appeared. Even my husband’s father had said clearly there were pressures placed on the marriage that should not have occurred, but it was down to both of us to ride the wave. My cancer diagnosis had become the wake-up call for me to remove those building tensions, but I was not prepared for the threat of another woman as well.

Like must who become a victim of betrayal I take responsibility for some of the issues within my marriage, but I refuse to blame cancer. I have warned my husband I too despite my cancer can find attentions elsewhere. Not only that I freely discuss those men in the side lines. His polish cleaner is not the only one that can be added to this marriage. Oh yes I had narrowed down who it might be too.  

I clearly discuss my husbands’ Mr Meaners as a way of showing him I am not the one who will sit on the side lines. Whether he did or did not I was going to freely talk about it. If he was innocent then he had nothing to worry about and it would be me under question and my behaviour.  

Cancer is not the reason for a couple breaking up. It is one of the many ingredients’ used as a pathetic excuse for communication breakdown.  Sex whilst an essential within a marriage can be an unwanted pressure whilst going through the mill of treatment.
I personally know that I am not in the mood for sex, but there is sex and there is making love. Sex is a quickie and you roll over with zero emotion. Making love involves foreplay and romance that is not one sided.
Cancer treatment and making love has a delicate balance which involves patience and foreplay. You need to be reassured and to be stress free. If you want to rekindle the flames of passion try taking your time and court your partner. And if you truly respect your partner you will put the effort in.
I personally don’t know where my marriage will end, but I have noticed since my recent recurrence my husband’s behaviour is now more supportive.  He has a guilty conscience because he strongly believes stress is the reason the recurrence developed. Yes every now and then when he is late I do have my doubts and I clearly voice them, but for now my priority is to completing my radiotherapy. This is from my husband’s mouth not mine and we are communicating more.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Keeping Busy and Beating Cancer

Dear Dr S,
Re: SARAH MENDOZA, D.o.B 29/07/1970
Hosp. No. ******** NHS No. **********
18 **** **** Road, ********, Middx *** ***

I saw Sarah today for her 6th and final Cycle of Adjuvant FEC 75 Chemotherapy. She has some right cording and superficial thrombophlebitis which for the latter I have given her Doxycycline, since there is some question as to whether she is allergic to an antibiotic she was given at the time of her portacap insertion. I today considered her for Adjuvant radiotherapy to the left reconstructive breast and I have also commenced her on Tamoxifen which will start with the first week of radiotherapy. She is going to have an echo-cardiogram prior to commencing her septin loading in March.

With many kind regards

Yours sincerely
Mr L

Note there is no mention of therapy for my arm. And I don’t think my GP sees the damage as being superficial especially when he was pushing me on my last meeting to complain to PAL. Oh and my GP has had a clash of words with Handsome Mr L before now over another issue.

In the mean time I’ve been keeping myself busy. First I and Sophia met Samuel L Jackson which was brilliant. Second I have been designing/making Sophia an Egyptian costume for school. 

not quite completed

1 day later completed

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Children and Cancer Awareness Adverts

The unpredictable Mr Grumble is back with vengeance and with good reason. Yes whilst I’m halfway through my treatment and I should be celebrating finishing the chemotherapy. Part of me just wants to find a desert island to protect Sophia.

Out of the blue my young daughter said, Mummy it doesn’t matter if you die of cancer I’ll be alright… because we all die. I instantly start reassuring her that I’m not going anywhere.

But how can a child come to this conclusion about cancer?

Well for the record it was not through me or my husband because why would we discuss anything so negative with an eight year old child. No it boils down to the several adverts that run repeatedly with statistics’ on cancer types and survival rates. Sophia has put two and two together and her conclusion was the above.

So what was our solution?

Well I and my husband have been discussing for some time about getting Sophia to learn an instrument. Thankfully with me being an extra on the music video 'Baby Love' I was able to turn to a friend who was more than happy in helping me out.
I want Sophia to learn the Piano this meant less television and less cancer adverts. Don’t get me wrong this was not going to be cheap or change the outcome, but we are prepared for this. I can’t dissolve the damage done, but we can keep moving forward in hope the damage is not too deep. 
Yes whilst these adverts are informative and are raising both awareness and funds they should ask how it affects families with children who are innocent to the realities of cancer.
My last lot of chemotherapy has come and gone, but now I have to prep myself for the twenty-five sessions of radiotherapy over five weeks, so by bringing a musical instrument in the house gives our family something else to focus on other than my treatment.