Judging by the response to my previous post it seems I have mentioned the 'unmentionable'
Thank you for your comments on the blog, and also to those that have chosen to email me personally. Maybe I had underestimated the degree of change in attitudes towards sexuality and sex after breast cancer diagnosis and/or treatment.
Given the level of interest, I decided to follow up on the original research. It led me to the Breast Cancer Network Australia and the results were published in the BEACON magazine. I had only to seek out my Autumn edition. If you would like to know more, simply follow the link:
I have chosen to speak out on behalf of all women who have felt that for too long the problem has been hidden. Sex and sexuality is a very sensitive area and one that has a profound impact on women.
I have included a brief summary of some of the problems mentioned in the article and would be happy to cover them more fully if requested, although it is recommended that you check with your doctor, breast care nurse and/or the website mentioned. It may take courage for you to become proactive and enlist the help of sex therapists or counsellors but anything is possible.
- physical effects such as fatigue, breast tenderness, pain and loss of sensation
- sometimes partners have trouble accepting the changes. Feelings may be different.
- partners may stop making sexual requests because they don't want to put pressure on us
- intimacy and sexuality is not just about sex.
- body image is important.
- adult products can enhance sex life.
- online forums and breast cancer support groups may be helpful
- then of course there is blogging; we are becoming 'old hands' at that
Spontaneity can become a thing of the past; it can become a major planned event. Sex can become not only unbearably painful, but virtually impossible. Treatment can put you into early menopause.
- be yourself
- be honest
- sexuality is more than a woman's breasts
- ask advice from people who have been there, or health professionals
- talk about sexual needs
- take time for yourself
- do things that make you feel good about yourself
- different positions
- oral sex
- vibrator or masturbation
- creating an environment to help 'getting in the mood'
- believe in yourself