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  • Dating after Breast Cancer

    Posted 9/18/2013 by hhill
      Many women find the prospect of dating quite daunting. This is especially true after breast cancer, but I have known a number of women who found husbands/partners after cancer and who eventually felt that their health experience contributed to the richness and value of their relationship. In addition to the standard stresses and concerns about dating, breast cancer usually adds issues around body image, self-esteem, anxiety about the future, sadness about what has transpired. Read more... Comments (1)
  • Living with Advanced Breast Cancer

    Posted 7/25/2013 by hhill
      There is so much to be said and so much to learn about living with advanced/metastatic/Stage IV breast cancer. One of the obvious statements is that this is a subject that most people try hard to avoid--not just average people in the world, but also women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. In the beginning, we all want to/need to believe that we can be cured and go on to have long and healthy lives. The reminder that the reality may be different is sometimes too hard to hear. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Sex and Cancer

    Posted 6/30/2013 by hhill
      I am always pleased when I see a good article about sex/intimacy because I know it can be used to write a blog that likely will be of interest. As many of you know, this is a common topic of conversation in my office--both in groups and individual sessions. The first reaction for many women is relief that their experience is normal and expected--which surely does not mean that they are happy about the reduction or loss of libido and responsiveness that almost always accompany chemotherapy. The issues around intimacy after breast cancer surgery are a bit different. Losing or even changing a breast is a huge psychological hit, and most women and their partners have to find their way back to comfort with touch and sight with the physical changes. There is also the period of weeks or longer after surgery when pain is a real concern, and many partners are afraid to come too close. Read more... Comments (0)
  • How to Be a Friend

    Posted 6/18/2013 by hhill
      Finally, a really excellent book that we can give to all our friends. Or at least we can tell our friends about it and strongly hint that they buy it. I am talking about Letty Cottin Pogrebin's new book, How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who is Sick. Written after her own experience with breast cancer, it is especially helpful in cancer situations, but I suspect the advice is quite relevant to all kinds of crisis and sadness and hardship. The suggestion, for example, to say:' It is good to see you" rather than the dreaded:"How are you? I mean, really how are you" would work just as well after a house fire or a death or a horrible accident. Read more... Comments (0)
  • WIll Life Ever Feel Normal Again

    Posted 6/6/2013 by hhill
      This excellent essay by Heather Millar is more supporting evidence for both the prolonged time recovery takes after cancer treatment and the poor job that most doctors/nurses/social workers do to prepare women for that reality. As I say over and over and over, it takes at least as long as the total duration of your treatment (starting to count from the first day you worried or knew there was a problem until the final chemotherapy or radiation) to feel fully well physically and emotionally. And, for many women, it takes even longer than that. Read more... Comments (0)
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