Posts by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN

Survivor

Marloe Esch, RN, BSN, Oncology Certified Nurse, AASECT Certified Sexuality Counselor, and young adult cancer survivor, graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Nursing (Go Badgers!) in 2008. She enjoys educating both survivors and healthcare professionals on the topic of cancer and sexuality, and has presented for the Young Survival Coalition, the Oncology Nursing Society, and Planned Parenthood of WI, among others.  She holds a certificate from the Sexual Health Certificate Program through the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  An enthusiastic supporter of sexual health and wellness, she is making it her mission to bring sex into the survivorship spotlight.

Marloe works as a Breast Care Nurse Navigator in Milwaukee, WI.  She lives in the Bay View neighborhood her husband and their cat, Princess Leia, in a fixer-upper that has “a lot of potential.” When she’s not at work or supervising her husband’s house projects, you’re likely to find her reading, writing, running, playing guitar, or enjoying a cold beverage and contemplating life. She’s also fairly competent at crochet, which comes in handy during the cold, dark Wisconsin winters. Feel free to give her a shout out at marloe.esch@uwalumni.com and let her know what questions you’ve got about sex, intimacy, and cancer!

“E” is for Emotional Intimacy

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN September 29, 2022

Cancer has a way of disrupting almost every aspect of a person’s life, including sex. If you’re like most young survivors, you may be struggling with a number of things that can affect how sexual you feel, or whether or not you’re interested in or able to engage in sexual activity. This is totally normal. Sometimes, though, altered sexual routines can also impact a couple’s emotional closeness. If you are in a romantic relationship, it’s important to remember that there are lots of ways to share intimacy that don’t include sex.

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The Who’s Who of Sexual Health in Survivorship

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN April 22, 2022

Building a Sexual Wellness Recovery Team. Changes in sex, intimacy, and relationships are common after cancer.  But if you are experiencing an issue, it can feel pretty lonely, and you may not know who to ask for help. Your primary care or oncology care teams are always a good place to start.

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The Ouch Factor

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN January 7, 2022

Why Sexual Pain Happens After Cancer, and What Can Be Done. If you experience discomfort with sexual activity, you’re not alone. Sexual pain happens to be the most commonly reported sexual complaint for women after cancer (Bober & Krapf, 2021).

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Help! I’m in Hot Flash Hell!

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN July 23, 2021

Hot flashes and night sweats are common side effects of cancer treatment. Although hot flashes themselves are not unsafe or unhealthy, they can be extremely disruptive and distressing. The good news is that there are options available to help you find relief.  

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Intimate Issues with Marloe: Your Brain in the Bedroom

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN July 8, 2021

While it’s true that the physiological aspects of sexual functioning, like vaginal lubrication, erection, and orgasm, are impacted in part by both our hormones and the health of the blood vessels and nerves that supply our nether-regions, that’s not the whole story. 

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Dear Cancer, Your Fingerprints Are Everywhere

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN June 11, 2021

What an unforgiving companion you are.
So nonchalant,
          so willing 
          to hollow out dreams.

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Embody Your Body

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN March 14, 2021

Cancer is not just life-changing; it can be body-altering as well.  We lose body parts to surgery and our hair with chemo.  We acquire scars, develop lymphedema, and experience weight fluctuations. 

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Dating After Cancer: The Disclosure Dilemma

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN October 26, 2020

The idea of getting close to someone new after a cancer diagnosis can be nerve-wracking.  I mean, cancer has changed so many things already; what if it’s also changed what a romantic relationship could look like? 

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Speaking of Sex: Be H.E.A.R.D.!

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN June 29, 2020

But often, such conversations are an important and necessary part of addressing any worries, concerns, or questions you might have about your sex life.  Cancer can change how our bodies look or how they respond to sexual touch, how we feel about our appearance, and our interest in being sexual.  And yeah, bringing up any of these sensitive topics with your partner can feel really awkward.  But is it impossible?  Of course not!  

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Running

by Marloe Esch RN, BSN, OCN April 21, 2020

I was on my way to work one morning when a news story on the radio caught my attention. Apparently, a 70-year-old woman ran seven marathons in seven days on seven different continents.

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