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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 59 and my wife is 63, we have been very happily married for 32 years. About 5 years ago my wife started suffering from Vaginal Atrophy and was put on creams, pills and the Estring. She was already post-menopause. We still had intercourse but it was quite painful to her.
Two years ago, she noticed a lump in her abdomen and had the good sense to go to her doctor right away. A Sonogram showed a 12 cm tumor. She decided to have a complete hysterectomy and it was discovered she had stage 1C Ovarian Cancer, which meant we found it just in time. She still went through 18 weeks of chemotherapy. I am most happy to report that her tests have shown absolutely no presence of cancer and we are SO grateful!

Now, the downside to this is her body no longer produces any Estrogen at all and doctors have prohibited her from using or taking any Estrogen for fear of bringing the cancer back. As a result, she has no libido and her Vaginal Atrophy is truly severe. When I try to put some Replens into her using a glove it is very painful and I can only put one finger in and move it only a little bit. It does not look promising at all and we have come to the conclusion that even if she went through a great deal of pain to stretch her big enough for intercourse, it will still be a very painful experience to her.

We have talked this over and have adapted our lives to having a life without intercourse. It takes LOT of communication! The most important hurdles are mental (expectations), not physical. If you would like, I will talk more about what we have done. At this point I just wanted to tell everyone that Vaginal Atrophy is for real and in extreme cases this is what can happen. There is nothing we could to have prevented it and again, we are both joyful she has survived her cancer and that is the most important thing.
 

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Wow cruise,

That sounds terrible. I'm sorry that you two are having to go through that. I don't think I've ever heard of vaginal atrophy or really understood what it meant... is her vagina shrinking in some way. I've had muscle atropy when I was in cast, that was really painful. I can only imagine what it feels like vaginally.
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Cruise,

wow. This is probably the first time I read a thread here....

and then had to step away to think for a while...

I'm posting this after showing and my night time shutdown routine... and I was considering you situation and what I would do if i were in it the entire time.

My heart goes out to you.. and her, and I'm so glad you and her are making the best of it, as well as beating it.

Please forgive my threadjacking by my talking about my own situation.

At the beginning of my current relationship, we had some long talks about needs, and getting them met. Among mine sex was a priority and loss of interest in it would be a future deal-breaker. (We've both been divorced before, both are done with having kids, both professionals who can survive on our own, and so on) In any event, I've gone from divorced cynic to believe we have a substantial chance to leave this world while holding tightly to each other hands.

In multiple discussions (we often cover the same ground every so often just to double check things) I've told her that if she lost interest (in a big picture sort of way) in wanting to have sex with me, I would wish her well and tell her to go and try to find what she needed elsewhere with no drama. Nearly every year of my 20s and 30s I could count the number of time I had sex with my (as I would eventually learn, cheating) ex- on my fingers and not impact my touch typing. Never. Again. No. Apologies. This is never covered as a threat, but a restating that if both our needs aren't being met well enough, then we gotta ask 'why are doing this?' as life is too short to waste.

But what if I faced something like what you're going through?

It didn't take long to see the answer. Most of the time was spent evaluating how clear I was and trying poke loopholes in it.

I've seen someone close that I'd admired since a boy diagnosed with cancer. And despite aggressive and experimental treatments, and driving hundreds of miles just to give platelets so they'd get better quality platelets in their treatment, I saw the fight lost and over just a few months after initial diagnosis.

I think I know my fiance's heart. The years together have made me pretty sure of what she wants to give to me, who she wants to be for me. I work every day to be the man she wants to be that for... and more, and I pray that will be enough to return what she gives me.

If something like this were to happen (I've also considered dementia and Alzheimers in this train of thought), and sex, either partially or in all forms was going to damage her... or otherwise be bad/not practical/whatever... I'd be ok letting it go for the remainder of time. She'd feel bad enough, and I would need to tend to her soul and psyche, but anything I could do to give her one more day here on this world, especially if its without great pain and she's capable of enjoying being alive and with me. Well... that's worth it. I want to still feel this way about her, if not stronger, when the day finally comes (hopefully a long time from now). That's who I want to be.

I appreciate your sharing this. It's given me specific words and form to use as my own. Thank you.
 

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Have you considered tantric sex aka karezza? Proponants claim it is a much higher form of sex that does not have orgasm as its goal...could be practised without penetration...
 

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I wish you both a joyous relationship. You love each other and with that love you will find your path.

Anubis' post was very though provoking, I have seen some some of his thoughts in my own family. What was my grandmother to do when her institutionalized husband with Alzheimer's when he became amorous with her on a visit ? In those few foments of clarity for him, how should his wife respond ?

In these moments we must really consider our vows. What do they really mean to us ? Do we really mean through sickness and health ? Does a depression that causes one to loose emotional attachment constitute sickness ?

Some see grey, some see black and white.

When I was 15 attending a Jesuit high school, there was a news story about a man who was involved in a motorcycle accident and became a paraplegic. He and his nurse fell I love and decided to marry. The parish priest would not perform the ceremony because they could not consummate marriage. A higher up official did not dispute the priests position, but stated he would not have asked about the ability to consummate the marriage. Essentially "don't ask, don't tell".

I wondered what if that had been me. Would I forever be denied love because a circumstance beyond my control ?

I knew at that point that I could no longer look to others for guidance in my faith or relationship with God. All trust in the agents of God had been lost forever. I had to seek my own path, use my own reasoning and conscience.

I trust you have found your own path, use it well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am sorry you are dealing with this. There is always oral sex.
Yes indeed! She has readily accepted this role and goes "all the way" giving me oral. I like this very much!

On my hand, I have learned how to give massage through DVD's and online courses. I bought a good massage table and give her a 45 minute massage 3 or 4 time a week and even take the table with us on vacations. She likes this a LOT! I have gotten very good. I also take her out dancing and to dinner a lot and take her on two cruises each year. We enjoy each day together!
 

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AWW - this is so sweet! (not what you went through, but how you are both handleing it). She is not leaving you high and dry and is still meeting your needs - and you are finding ways to meet her physical intimacy needs.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is TRUE LOVE!!!
 

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Cruise get a second opinion. Estrogen can be cancerous if given alone, but if given with progesterone estrogen may be ok for her. Estrogen is a natural hormone for a woman to have and there are other health related reasons for why she would consider hormone supplementation.
 

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Yes indeed! She has readily accepted this role and goes "all the way" giving me oral. I like this very much!

On my hand, I have learned how to give massage through DVD's and online courses. I bought a good massage table and give her a 45 minute massage 3 or 4 time a week and even take the table with us on vacations. She likes this a LOT! I have gotten very good. I also take her out dancing and to dinner a lot and take her on two cruises each year. We enjoy each day together!
By God, this proves that sex within marriage is, after all, really about intimacy... technical problems can be overcome if the heart and the love is there.. Saluuud!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wife went back to her Surgeon and he allowed her to start using an Estring again. He opened her up and with KYJelly I can put in finger inside again. I put in the Estring, so she is now getting some Estrogen again. Will keep you all informed! Thanks much for the support!!!! :)
 

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Wife went back to her Surgeon and he allowed her to start using an Estring again. He opened her up and with KYJelly I can put in finger inside again. I put in the Estring, so she is now getting some Estrogen again. Will keep you all informed! Thanks much for the support!!!! :)
Wow, Mr. Cruise, that sounds like a good progress, I am happy for you!:smthumbup:
 
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