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Member
Posts: 1,989
Registered: ‎03-09-2014

Re: anyone out there?

Hi Hannah and Jenji,

Why would you think this isn't a "safe place"??

I have simply been putting considerations forward to Hannah's complaint with ref. to treatment and, I quote, her feeling "pushed" into cold cap by the nursing staff because she was young. Followed by Hannah making a statement that she wasn't bothered about loosing her hair "unlike I guess most heterosexual women would". A somewhat political statement.

 

I am/was simply wishing to make the point that the nurses, if they are doing their job PROPERLY, don't give a stuff what your age, sexuality is. They are there to provide any/every patient with the same information and make sure they are EQUALLY informed in order for them to make their own informed choice.

 

I apologise in that trying to debate that point, I got somewhat carried away, expanding on it into other areas, that weren't so pertinent to the initial point I was wishing to make .

But..... I am, after all, a fellow lesbian, albeit somewhat older, who has lost both my breasts, but am not political about it. AND a single person at the time of, without a long term loving, caring suppotive partner by my side, it has been extra tough. Has prevented me from "dating" in the last 8 years. Such have been the effects of it all.  However, I'm not so politically aggressive about my sexuality. And I'm not the only one there.

 

Hannah, I sincerely hope you are doing and recovering well.

Good Wishes to you

Delly xx

Member
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎22-07-2013

Re: anyone out there?

[ Edited ]

Hi Hannah

 

I really hope you find what you need by way of support  as it can be tricky for some people to understand it can be difficult.  Fortunately I eventually found a great gay woman support worker on the phone and it made all the difference

 

I am two years from my mastectomy now and I wish you all the best.

Jenjix

Member
Posts: 1,989
Registered: ‎03-09-2014

Re: anyone out there?


 

Hi again

Hoping you're all doing well.

 

Moorcow, Yeh, I'd be really interested to read the results of your interview. Have they been recorded on this forum - if so what's the link??

 

You'll have to forgive me, I'm still trying to work out the operations of this forum, meaning that I can't schroll back to the series of previous messages in this post subject so am having to rely on memory as I reply.

 

Hannah, With regards to your feelings towards the nurses concerning pushing "cold cap" treatment and your age and your OWN, personal choice not to have because you weren't so concerned about losing your hair. You don't consider it such an important part of (if I remember correctly) "your identity", and then went on to say  "unlike most straight women would be and do" !!!

Ooooo-err, don't you think THAT's a rather presumptuous statement??? Something of a contradiction to the point you are making?

 

I have personally known and read about straight women, of ALL ages NOT opting for such treatment, who ALSO were NOT concerned about losing their hair but still had the nurses informing/offering such treatment.

Just as I've also known lesbian women who HAVE been terribly concerned and upset about losing their hair!!!  and DID opt for it with the hope they wouldn't lose it.

(It doesn't necessarily guarantee that you wont lose it anyway -  it may slow it down or it CAN sometimes prevent loss, but not always. So even if you had opted for it.........who's blinking well knows) 

 

We're talking about personal choice here whatever a persons sexuality is, and the desire for these medical staff to simply ensure that we are adequately informed of what the options/choices are, so that we can make our own informed decision whatever our sexual preferences are.

 

Exactly the same with ref to women wanting reconstruction following mastectomy. Some straight women aren't bothered and some gay women ARE. Everybody is still informed with the same information..

 

Do you really think that a nurse, if presented with a rather butch looking woman, who's personal details CLEARLY state  she is MARRIED to or civil partner is another woman i.e. wife, is going to immediately presume that she wont want  to know anything about breast reconstruction??! !  So not offer any information   or encouragement on such??

 

And you were also presuming that gay women wouldn't be interested in talks,classes on how to "look good, feel better" during or following cancer. One of the most glamorous, feminine women I know is a lesbian !! but I also have a  rather masculine looking female friend who is straight and has been happily married long term !! And one of the most "butch" hunky looking males I know has been married to a guy for 20 years!!  

 

So the message is - We all still tend to presume as you proved yourself. Think how hard it must be for medical staff with the diversity of relationships these days.. Single sex relationships - some married some not, and heterosexual relationships - some married some not. AND all of them with the possibility of wanting or having children also. (Physical sexual anatomical restrictions being taken into consideration with that statement obviously.:-) )

 

An interesting debate tho'

Delly xx 

Member
Posts: 663
Registered: ‎01-05-2012

Re: anyone out there?

HI everybody, hope all doing OK today. Helpful to see things from other perspective delly, but also totally get Hannah's feelings about her experience. So I just did an interview for the people researching the meaning of this forum in people's lives and how people use it - really interesting.

All the best,

Nicola

Member
Posts: 1,989
Registered: ‎03-09-2014

Re: anyone out there?

Hey Hannah,

I'm a newbie to this forum.

I can appreciate your frustrations ref somewhat daft questions that may not seem fitting or relative , but . . . being from a medical background myself, I can understand the docs/nurses angle also Some of it IS necessary. The forms are a type of safety measure, to ensure all possible areas/questions have provided CORRECT info to avoid any possible medicall "mishaps, misunderstandings" as possible from YOUR point of view as well as their own. Rather than beingi taken aback and your own thinking that the certain questions may seem absurd to you, treat it that these medical staff are wanting to ensure that BOTH parties are adequately informed and advised. It's conscienciousness - had to think about that spelling. This being very much an age of litigation but also of such incredibly advanced procedures.

 

And hey, you and your partner may have possibly  been trying to get pregnant or had thoughts of (obviously with other methods and means involved - hee!).Try and cut them a bit of slack - try to giggle at it rather than get UMPTY, defensive, aggressive. We are, after all, a very minority group and these days, a very diverse one with regards to bearing children, the advent of legal same sex marriage etc.

 

Have a think on.

Well wishes to you and your partner, girlfriend, wife??

Delly xxx.

Member
Posts: 663
Registered: ‎01-05-2012

Re: anyone out there?

HI Hannah, sorry not to have repolied sooner - when another forum member and I persuaded the BCC to set up this section of the site 5 years ago there were a few of us about, but some of us are now not so well and some like me are so far clear of disease.

I did a talk about being a lesbian with BC at the BCC launch of a report about the same topic, it should be on their website somewhere if you want to see it - it just records people's experiences. Mainly my experience was good, but sometimes it wasn't ......for example the so called speciazlist BC nurses asking me after my third visit with them " who is (partner'sname)...I mean really , if that was abloke it would have been taken for granted. Also my partner got called my friend a few times in parts of the system...even tho she is a doctor in the same hospital as I got my treatment !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyways, we educate as we go, whether we like it or not...sometimes I just didn't feel well enough to bother.

very best wishes to you

Moorcow

Member
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎15-03-2015

Re: anyone out there?

Hiya songbird thanks for your reply.
I chose not to use the cold cap because I felt that I'm not bothered about my hair falling out & using wigs / hats & scarfs.... I don't find my hair a major part of my identity I guess as straight women would. But nurses didn't seem to understand what I was saying, they just saw a young woman I guess and presumed I would be attached to a feminine image. No one has said anything offensive to me, the thing with the oncologist was funny. The part I find hard is that so much of the support seems focused around maintaining femininity, but not all women are bothered by that!!!!
How are you getting on with your treatment? Xx
Member
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎29-11-2013

Re: anyone out there?

Hi Hannah, I hope you are ok and that chemo is going well. I have heard that the cold cap works well for some people but it is painfully cold for about ten minutes if you can stand it.
You are so young, too young to be having all this cr** and my heart goes out to you.
Re: barriers because of your sexuality....how about you have a little usb recording device on you at appointments? Anyone says anything offensive and you got it coveredx I've been doing this at my appts because I find it hard to remember all that is said, with all the new terms and tx that are discussed.
I think you are supposed to ask if it's ok to record first. They will always say yesSmiley Happy

Sending all my love and support and best wishes
big hugs
x x
Member
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎15-03-2015

anyone out there?

Hello
Any other gay women going through this?
I am 24, the doctors etc have been very accommodating to me and my partner. I have felt some barriers though because of my sexuality. Such as the femininity and pushing the need to stay feminine like cold cap, look good feel better. Now I am quite feminine to look at but I don't think I see the same *absolute* identity in my femininity. And also they were really into the fertility side and were surprised when I said I was already prepared that I might not have children or my own children.
It was funny though my oncologist was cringing when she had to tell me not to get pregnant whilst having chemo with my girlfriend in the room, she said I'm sorry I just have to say it because the form tells me to :-) xx