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TALK ABOUT SEX (AND INTIMACY AND BODIES AND LOVE)

TALK ABOUT SEX (AND INTIMACY AND BODIES AND LOVE)

TALK ABOUT SEX (AND INTIMACY AND BODIES AND LOVE)

Excerpt from Online Dating Profile:

A perfect day for me is…

Despite my breast cancer, I have always lived life to the full and until now I have lived a beautiful life. I am very thankful for everything that has crossed my path. Pain and sadness are simply a part of life! Every day I receive certain blessings and that is perfect for me! I would describe my looks as… I have had breast cancer. In spite of having only one scar, I feel damaged. People always say that I look beautiful, that I have a beautiful body. However, it feels different. When I was young, I did not realize that I had a beautiful body, until I allowed naked pictures to be taken of me. From this point on, I am searching for a new identity in a different body. Am I a cancer patient (when therapy and treatment has finished), or am I not?

I cannot live without:

Music, books and art. I am happy by myself. A relationship could colour my life more. Openness and loyalty are, for me, important values. For some time I have been thinking: What can I offer as a woman with breast cancer? Well, I can love and be loved. I am committed and I realize that life is short!

A special positive characteristic of me:

I am a warm woman who is enthusiastic and enterprising. However, I sometimes feel ‘small’.

– Vera

Charlotte and Joke

When people experience cancer, one of the things that they notice is that the physical body changes, it often becomes weaker and tired, and people feel that they don’t recognize themselves anymore. Its not always easy to talk about changes in sexuality and how cancer affects patients or, if they are in  relationships, their partners. They don’t want to hurt each other and are not in the habit of talking about it, so no one wants to bring it up. We encourage people to try to talk about it, and to give themselves both time to adapt to a changed body image. The feeling of being and looking the same as before often doesn’t come back. This doesn’t mean that it can’t feel right (again), its just different. Unfortunately, there aren’t any instructions for how to talk about this with partners, or with future partners when the relationship feels secure. When people feel ready to openly talk about it, they will, or should. As a person with cancer, you have the choice to decide what part (or parts) of this history you want to share and what you choose not to share, yet.

manifesto