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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)
  • Scalp Cooling Safe

    Posted 8/28/2013 by hhill
      For many women, the hair loss associated with chemotherapy is almost the worst (or, sometimes, the very worst) part of the whole experience. This was a major topic of conversation in my group yesterday for women who are currently going through adjuvant chemotherapy. One woman has just lost her hair, and another is anticipating the "fall out" this week. It is awful, always, for everyone. No question about it. Although some women insist that they don't care "too much" and adjust fairly easily, I have never met anyone who wasn't traumatized to a greater or lesser degree by new baldness. 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)
  • Crowd Funding and Reconstructions Bras

    Posted 6/22/2013 by hhill
      The whole concept of crowdfunding delights me. I first heard about this on NPR some months ago; that story was about declining federal dollars for grants, and some scientists turning to crowdfunding as a way to finance their work. Sometimes it came through and sometimes it didn't--but that is the nature of grant applications, too. This story from The New York Times is about a small business dedicated to making bras for women who have had mastectomies and reconstruction. 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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