Category Archives: Sex Education and Information

Breast Cancer: A Personal Perspective

Breast Cancer from a Personal Perspective

Breast Cancer Survivor, Family, My Mom
My Mother is a breast cancer survivor. I try not to dwell on that time. It was scary for her, and scary for the rest of the family as well. My Mother is a very modest woman and we don’t talk about a lot of personal things. She was very blessed in the size department and being busty really does define a certain physical appearance and perception you have of yourself. I don’t think I realized it until after her surgery when she opted for a breast reduction as part of the reconstruction. There are things that I learned as the daughter of a breast cancer survivor that I wanted to share. Hopefully this helps someone else weather this time in their lives.

Medical Terminology & Other Doctor Stuff

I am a firm believer in second opinions. I remember asking my mom to get a second opinion before surgery. She opted to go with the opinion of her doctor. As more and more information comes out about breast cancer, genetic markers, and indicators versus actual masses I would recommend this even more. I would go even further to say make sure they are doctors from different hospital organizations.

Breast cancer charities, awareness, october, pink ribbon
There are many opportunities when it comes to breast cancer charities.

In a world where insurance company limitations cause people to think their options are limited because that dictates so much of what care is offered to them by their doctors; this is a great time to invest the extra money in yourself and pay for a doctor visit even if it isn’t covered by your insurance.
We tried to make sure someone was always with my mom when she went to the doctor. Two sets of ears hear better than one. Four sets of ears don’t miss much. It is easy to miss things when new terminology like interductal and insitu are being thrown your way. One of the best things to do is allow yourself a support system. When people offer to help let them. We are so afraid sometimes of judgment that we take these offers lightly. The person diagnosed with cancer feels helpless but so do those around them. So when people offer to help whether it is a ride to the doctor, a moment of prayer or making you dinner let them. Helping each other makes us all feel like less of a victim and can aid in the healing process.
My father was very assertive about taking care of my mom after she came home from the hospital. I think the thought that she might not make it was very scary for him. We stepped back and thought it was great that he cared so much. It was not until later that my mom let me know she felt like we all abandoned her. Her hospital recovery was horrible. She was in a room with someone that had so many visitors that she couldn’t get any rest and no matter how many times we said something the overworked nurses couldn’t seem to do anything about it. We were worried not just about the noise but the exposure to germs. My mother was relieved when they sent her home, but the idea of a visiting nurse and drainage was a little scary for her and my dad.

What the heck does In Situ mean anyway?

In situ means the cancer is not spreading but is in the place where it originated. There was a large concern with my mom with spreading to the lymph nodes. DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) is the most common breast cancer diagnosis. While not life threatening there is always the concern about the spread. We are learning new things about cancer all of the time and recent reports are saying that a wait and see approach may be better for some women than the rigorous treatment.

Post Surgery Options

Of course different people face different choices in regards to radiation and chemotherapy. Prior to surgery there are a lot of decisions that women must make about reconstruction of the breast as well as treatment post surgery.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction does not equal restoration. The wonders of plastic surgery can restore some shape to the breast depending on the extent of the cancer. There are implants available with their own set of health risks and the scarring can be extensive. Every woman must decide for herself how she wants to face this part of the disease and treatment. The woman’s nipple is lost as part of the process which I am not sure I still understand at this point if the cancer is being removed from the ducts in the breast. I have asked my mom a couple of times if she would like to see someone again about implants but she said she doesn’t want that. I can’t say I blame her based on the information I have seen about them. I don’t bring it up anymore because I don’t want her to feel self conscious but I do sometimes wonder if perhaps it is a badge of honor for what she went through. I know from things that I have read that many women embrace their scars as a tribute to themselves for surviving the disease. A daily reminder of what they have overcome, I wonder if that is my mom’s reason.

Tattooing

One of the coolest things I learned about during this time was tattooing to restore color to the nipple area for women. Amy Druding in Mays Landing, NJ does this and runs specials for breast cancer survivors during the month of October. Her compassion for women is amazing and hearing her passion to help others was something I will never forget. I first heard about it from my friend Ashley whose mom had a family history of breast cancer and had proactively had her breasts removed. If I remember correctly her mother had hearts tattooed where her nipples had been. There are lots of options but my mother was not interested in this option.

Final Thoughts

In the midst of writing this I came upon a series of videos about the Cancer Industry. Yes, I said industry. If they cured cancer tomorrow what would the economic impact to loss of jobs and revenue be to many companies and individuals. I didn’t watch the series yet because I want to have time to really watch it and I am not good at sitting for that long, but I am planning on watching it soon. If you would like to check it out go here.

Breast cancer charities, survivors, victims, women
Women of all ages and ethnicities are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

If you have a comment, resource or story to share that you think may help someone else please comment below.

Until next time,
xoxo

The Passion Professor

 

The Passion Profesor

Bondage for Beginners – The ABC’s of BDSM

 Bondage for beginners is an important lesson these days. With the advent of Fifty

bondage for beginners gear in black  and red flogger and paddle
Bondage for Beginners

Shades of Grey the steamy Mommy porn trilogy by E.L. James, this super acronym has become a little more common place. (For more about Fifty Shades of Grey see my article on page 13  in the Feb issue  of South Jersey Mom Magazine)  The movie version  of the first book in the series will be released this week. While the hint of BDSM is peppered throughout the books. The realities of this super acronym are barely scratched.  So for those that are more than a little curious about why these practices are so, so sexy for some and scary for others here is a little introduction to the concepts.
Before delving into the breakdown of the acronym to its individual parts, we should know what those parts are:

Bondage for Beginners – BDSM

  • Bondage-Discipline
  • Dominance-Submission
  • Sadism- Masochism

Let’s face it BDDSSM would be much harder to say and not anywhere nearly as catchy ;). Now let’s start the bondage for beginners lesson at the beginning of BDSM and work our way through.

Bondage and Discipline

bondage bdsm three women and one man in bondage role play. Leather costumes masks
It is all fun and games until somebody gets spanked

The first pair in this super acronym are about the give and take of control in a very physical sense. Bondage or using restraints to regulate or restrict behavior and discipline or trying to achieve a desired behavior. Very important to note that discipline is very often only thought of as punishment. While punishment certainly can be used in the pursuit of discipline, think also of the military or professional athletes who achieve outcomes through maintaining self control. The concept of discipline is about achieving a desired behavior. This can be a very powerful concept when introduced into sex play.
In a sexual situation bondage requires trust. It is also about surrendering control which absolutely requires trust.  You can see how this could be an exciting addition to a physical relationship when you look at it from that angle. Since discipline is about achieving desired behavior the key to using it in the bedroom is to create a safe place by setting boundaries and creating things like safe words so that play does not have to stop even when partners get close to each others limits.  Communication is key and generally should take place in advance of the actual sexual activity so that all participants are clear. It is also important to know what the desired behavior is and what are acceptable corrections and or incentives so everyone knows what is pleasurable or acceptable.

Dominance and Submission

The concept of a Dom and a Sub are outlined pretty clearly in The Fifty Shades of Grey series. The give and take of power or control in a relationship whether it is on an emotional level or a physical level can be an deeply impactful part of achieving satisfaction.  Dominance is about being in control. With Great power comes great responsibility! So being dominant is not just about controlling behavior; in a positive healthy pairing it is also about being responsible for pleasure and well being.
Submission is about giving up control. A scary thing for some but for many who are in positions of power and control in their public lives; in their sex lives it can be a powerful and welcome escape.  This type of interaction allows them to be vulnerable and gives them permission to have their needs met without being responsible for the other person. Giving someone else control actually allows them freedom.
It is easy to see how this type of relationship would pair well with the Bondage and Discipline roles.

Sadism and Masochism

The last duo in the BDSM pairings may be the scariest of all for bondage for beginners. We are only going to touch on this topic as there is a world of psychological reasons why inflicting or receiving pain may impact sexual response. Some of this topic also trails into the concepts of fetishes and experiences which develop our definitions of pleasure. It connects especially to how we experience sexual pleasure. Feeling pleasure from giving or receiving pain respectively is exactly what these mean.

Bondage for Beginners:  Now What ???

Now you have some basic information about bondage for beginners. So the next time you are in the popcorn line and the fella next to you with the mask and the crop asks if you are into BDSM you will know whether to answer or go hide in the restroom.

So if you are reading this you are probably not an experienced BDSM practitioner. You may be wondering:  where can one start?  

Three safe ways to start exploring Bondage for Beginners:

Perhaps a simple blindfold, crop or bullet to get you on your way. Click Here to shop for many of these light bondage for beginners accesories.

Beginner Relationship Enhancements
Your Inner Goddess accessories.

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Until next time

xoxo

The Passion Professor

Sexual Dysfunction, libido, depression

Hysterectomy |No Need for Silent Suffering

“Oh female problems.”

The statement shuts down questions (especially around men). It is like bringing up PMS or infertility. Female sexuality is mysterious and talking about when things aren’t what they should be is scary.

So knowledge is power and understanding why women must face this surgery and what it means to their ongoing health and wellness can take some of the fear and stigma out of the surgery.

Why?

There are various reasons why a woman may need to consider hysterectomy:

  • Cancer of the:
    • Cervix
    • Fallopian tubes
    • Ovaries

      Female Reproductive System, Hysterectomy
      There are multiple option in regard to what needs to be removed in a hysterectomy it is not an all or nothing in some cases.
    • Endometrium
  • Endometriosis
  • Heavy Menses to the point of anemia
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Prolapse of the Uterus
  • Adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterus

There are other possible treatments for some of these and hysterectomy should be considered after other options have been considered or attempted. Also, no one except the doctor you are currently seeing is going to be offended by you seeking a second opinion. Your uterus is more important than someone’s ego.

Facts
In the USA 600,000 hysterectomies are performed each year, at a cost of $5 billion per year. It is the second most common major surgery among women of child-bearing age.

Types of Surgery

Just as there are different causes that lead to a hysterectomy there are different types of hysterectomy. This is both in terms of how the operation is performed as well as in what is removed from the patient.

Taken from Medical News Today ( MediLexicon International Limited, 2015), the three types of hysterectomy are:

A subtotal hysterectomy – only the body of the uterus is surgically removed. The cervix stays.
A total hysterectomy – the body of the uterus and the cervix are both surgically removed.
A total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy – the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries are all surgically removed. This is also known as radical hysterectomy.

Of course technology has made advances and there are different options as far as how the surgery is conducted. Whether it is laparoscopic, robotic or an incision through the vagina, those are less intrusive than traditional abdominal surgery. However, the traditional method may be necessary if other exploration is necessary due to tumors or due to the physical condition of the woman. Though sometimes the method selected is due to the comfort of the surgeon so be sure to ask.

Post Surgery Implications

Any time you are facing removal of such a critical part of the body there are chemical and hormonal implications. These can be scary.  The emotional impact and the connection to one’s sexuality can be scary as well.The surgery can be especially devastating to women of child bearing age who wanted children or even more children. It can be confusing for men to understand how this can impact a couples intimacy post operation recovery.

One of the things many women may have a hard time with post hysterectomy is discussing issues in regards to their sex life. Things such as the need for lubrication, vaginal dryness or even continued pain post operation. Once again, unfortunately, too many women suffer in silence.

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Until Next Time

xoxoxo

The Passion Professor