Sexuality for Women after Breast cancer
Part Two: The Uniqueness of You
In part one of this Newsletter, I spoke about the importance of discussing sexual concerns after breast cancer, and gave an overview of some of these issues.
I want to continue this discussion in Part Two by acknowledging that if you have breast cancer and you are reading this, it is significant in that you are taking personal responsibility and accepting a unique opportunity in working towards making ‘intelligent sexual and relationship decisions’.
Remember that positive motivation and understanding, promote wise choices…
Guilt, shame and anxiety about yourself or your past will act like an anchor in your life and weigh you down, and hold you back...they may lower your self-esteem, and negatively affect your relationship and sexuality.
I have had the pleasure of working with some amazingly courageous women who are managing their loss of ‘sexualness’ in relation to their own femininity, body image and sexual partner.
However, I know that for many or perhaps even most, this becomes a very challenging area of their life…
I encourage you to think about… and talk about... what your sexuality and intimacy needs are, for you and if you're in a relationship, for your partner and relationship... What is it that you would need to enhance your sexuality and intimacy......?
...as you do this, remember that we all have unique perceptions based on our own thoughts, memories, feelings, attitudes, values, learning and knowledge. It's all of these things and more that have helped create who we are at this very moment...
These things and our perception of ourselves and our life doesn’t make things ‘right’ or ‘wrong’… Perhaps instead, it's better to think about how 'helpful' our thoughts and perceptions are...
sometimes our perceptions will be helpful to us…and sometimes unhelpful…
However, increasing awareness of our perceptions, beliefs and thoughts of ourselves will open us up to new learning, new possibilities, new ideas…
It's this 'new learning' that will help to enhance personal self-esteem, build confidence, enhance sexual self-esteem, and overall, create a healthy approach to sexual well-being.
Questions for self-reflection:
To help with your awareness and understanding of your own sexuality, take a few minutes to write down your thoughts about the following…
In Part 3, the final part in this series, I'll go over some ways to support you to develop and maintain a healthy sexuality.
Clinical Sexologist / Counsellor
Helena is a highly qualified Relationship Counsellor and Clinical Psychosexual Therapist with extensive experience talking about sex! and supporting others to manage their sexual concerns.