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Wife worries about intimacy issues with husband

Staff report

Dear Annie: I am a healthy 60-year-old woman, married for 20 years. My husband has some health problems. He's a little overweight and has diabetes and high blood pressure. He also suffers from erectile dysfunction.

I don't know how to talk to him about this and sometimes wonder whether he cares that we do not have sex anymore. He used to have such a strong sex drive.

Recently, I have been dreaming about other men, fantasizing about having sex and running off with them. I relish the times when other men have made advances. I would never leave my husband, but something has to change in our lives, and I do not know where to start. I worry that I will hurt his feelings if I bring up the subject, so I say nothing. How should I approach him? - Unsatisfied Wife

Dear Unsatisfied: Your husband may miss sex a great deal, but he may not realize how much you miss it, too. Please be willing to discuss it. The good news is, once you bring the subject into the open, it won't be as awkward, and frankly, you have little to lose.

Tell your husband you love him and long for the intimate connection you once had. Ask whether there is anything you can do to change the situation. You could suggest he talk to his doctor about adjusting his medication, and also consider alternative forms of intimacy. Ask for his input and make him a partner and an ally in this conversation.

Dear Annie: I am a 53-year-old survivor of the nation's No. 2 killer cancer: colorectal (colon) cancer.

Two years ago, I requested a colonoscopy because I had one alarming symptom of cancer: blood and tissue in my stool. Doctors discovered a large tumor in my colon. It was a slow-growing cancer, and the doctors said it could have started 10 years prior, in my early 40s. It was still stage one and easily removed with no chemotherapy or radiation. My life is back to normal, and I am a survivor.

Every year, more than 50,000 people die from colorectal cancer. It is easily diagnosed and, if caught early, is usually very treatable. Your chances of having colon cancer increase with age, but more young people are being diagnosed with colon cancer than before. Readers should be aware of these signs:

1. Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding when you have a bowel movement.

2. Stomach aches, pains and cramps that continue with no apparent cause.

3. Difficulty eating or swallowing.

4. Losing weight without cause.

Many times colon cancer causes no symptoms until it has spread. Please discuss colon cancer screenings with your physician. A colonoscopy is an easy procedure that shows polyps, both cancerous and non-cancerous, and they can be removed at the time of the screening to prevent them from becoming cancerous. Please help me to save lives by letting everyone know about this killer disease. - L.

Dear L.: Thank you for reminding our readers how important it is to take those preventive measures that allow us to stay healthy. Please, folks, if you are over 50 or have a family history that increases your risk, make an appointment today.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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