Let wife know desire is still there?

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Question from pello: My wife and I have always been in sync sexually, but since treatment (for stage IIIa, now on tamoxifen) she barely lets me touch her. I just want to let her know how much I love her and still desire her without being accused of being selfish.
Answers - Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. Right after treatment, patients are still extremely vulnerable and frightened. Diagnosis of a stage III breast cancer is particularly scary. Treatment may have produced side effects that continue. The role of a partner here is to continually be there, be consistent in your care and attention, and hopefully with time—and it could even be a long time, it could take up to a year or 18 months—you can return to a mutually satisfying sexual life.
Marc Silver I interviewed couples who spoke of similar issues after treatment. And it is very difficult for the man, because his sexual needs are not affected by treatment, obviously. I interviewed a truck driver whose wife found intercourse very painful for some months after treatment. The husband told me "Sometimes you have to be an owner/operator."

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Partners, Loved Ones, Caregivers: Taking Care of You featured Author Marc Silver and moderator Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. answering your questions about how you can take care of your loved one and yourself during and after breast cancer treatment.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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