Embracing the New Me
The stage is an amazing place to be. You can see everything. Usually however my eyes are closed. The music is my only focus. December of 2005 was different. We were having fun. It was after all, the weekend of my 42 birthday. The music was good, the crowd was good, the birthday drinks were good, and on that night, my eyes were open. It was a perfect night. I didn’t believe it could get any better but then she walked in and my entire world turned upside down.
She was beautiful (she still is ). Her eyes lit up the room and then she smiled and I was toast. As soon as we took a break I had to introduce myself. I am so glad my eyes were open that night.
I can be a little slow I guess. Some might say dense even. Not Amanda. She seemed to know right away we would spend the rest of our lives together. After several weeks I caught up with her heart and from that moment on, we were inseparable, much of that time tangled up in each other’s arms. It was a wonderful amazing passionate six months. Then my doctor called and everything began to change.
Getting the news, and thinking about changes
Prostate Cancer is hard enough on physical intimacy when it is caught early and is still curable. After prostatectomy men are challenged with E.D. incontinence, and other side effects from having the prostate removed.
Advanced disease is the last nail in the coffin for physical intimacy. I knew what the future held for us. Breaking up seemed logical. I was only going to live a year and It would not be fair to Amanda. She would hear nothing of it. She loved me. I loved her too.
I began having hot flashes less than a week after my first Lupron shot. Other side effects followed. My libido waned. E.D. was not far behind. Determined to maintain physical intimacy we tried everything. Nothing worked. I simply never thought about sex anymore. When I tried my body would not cooperate. It got to the point where I didn’t want to try. I was afraid of failure. Each attempt most often left us both frustrated. My body had betrayed me.
Despite our lack of physical intimacy Mandy became my wife a year after my diagnosis. On our wedding day, I promised her 30 years together. It was a steep promise to make but failure was not an option.
Our life together
We are a love story. She is my best friend. We have been together over 12 years now. There is no other whom I would rather spend time with. I have a wonderful fun loving passionate wife.
Several years ago, I discovered tri-mix. Tri-mix is an injectable E.D. medication. It works. No Libido required. The idea of giving myself an injection was intimidating at first but in truth it isn’t all that bad. It has worked miracles. I may not have much desire but I am guaranteed to have function on demand.
Four years ago, Mandy and I took our first real vacation. On December 1st we boarded the Norwegian Jewel for a 7-night Caribbean cruise. In our haste to leave for the airport, I forgot the Trimix. Doh! I could not believe that our first romantic getaway would be passionless. We were both disappointed but we decided to make the best of it.
Midway through the cruise as we stood on the deck watching the sun set into the Caribbean, I was suddenly filled with overwhelming desire. I couldn’t wait to get back to our stateroom. It was a wonderful night as was every other night for the rest of the cruise. Since that night, I still keep a bottle of rocket fuel in the refrigerator but we seldom use it. I don’t have a real answer as to why I am able to retain a semblance of normal physical love but I have pondered it over the last 4 years and have a theory.
I have been on one form of hormone therapy or another for the last 12 years. Nothing is supposed to work but it does. It is well documented that men have a fragile ego. One failure in bed can lead to another and another. It is also well documented that to a woman physical attraction is a matter of the heart whereas to men physical attraction begins with appearance.
For me, the breakthrough came, when I got out of my head and stopped worrying about whether or not my body would function and simply focused on the emotional love I felt for my wife. I quite literally embraced my feminine side. What the heck, I may as well, I have more female hormones than male ones anyway.
I am not saying this will work for everyone. I’m not saying it won’t. It was not an easy road. I still have very little sexual desire. We still make love less then we would like to. My wife and I were talking about this just the other night and there’s one thing we both agree on. We may not have as much physical intimacy as normal couples do but every time we do it is amazing.
You will notice each time I post, hope will be the central theme. There is a reason for this. Hope is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal. I believe Hope makes the difference in every situation we face. What I have talked about in this article did not come easy. It took Faith, perseverance, and a lot of work. I believe it was worth it. That’s all for now guys. Todd
Have you experienced side effects from androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)?