This entry was written by Jaime Rossano. Jaime was diagnosed with 2B invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer. Jaime is a college student pursuing a degree in Humanities and Social Science. Every other Friday, Jaime will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.
To read Jaime’s previous entries, enter “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.
As a woman, we want to feel sexy, look sexy and believe we are sexy. As a woman, we want our partners to make us feel special and turn the heat up in the bedroom. As a woman, we want passion, we want to just feel that chill that runs through your body when your partner touches you. We want to feel connected. Did your cancer take this all away too?
Going through breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, can change the mood in the bedroom. I know it did for my relationship with my husband. I feel that breast cancer has had an effect on my self-esteem and confidence as a woman. I know our breasts don’t define us or make us who we are, but hey, we are born with them and learn to like them. It sucks when you don’t have a choice and are told, point blank, “You need a mastectomy.”
At the beginning when I was first diagnosed, I felt like I had the plague, I made sure my husband didn’t come near me almost as if he was going to catch it. Silly, huh? I shut myself off from him and tried to keep him from the pain that I was in. I didn’t want him to know how scared I was. Because of all these mixed emotions that I was feeling, I couldn’t be in the moment – if you know what I mean –—–
I was so pre-occupied with what doctor I had to call or what appointment I needed to make next and Ronnie. My little one had to be taken care of.
When I had my mastectomy, Oh goodness! I was in so much pain, and truly felt like Frankenstein. I honestly felt like less of a woman because I lost my breasts. I still had the implants at the time, but one was sideways and under my arm pit and the other is saggy. I just felt incomplete.
I saw my OB-GYN today and the topic of discussion was sex. Oh yeah, I thought to myself. Sex? That doesn’t exist in my house. She looked at me, smiled and said, “Sometimes you don’t feel like going to Zumba but when you go and you’re done, you feel great. Well, think of sex as if it is your new exercise.” She explained to me the importance of sex in a relationship and how it is healthy for a couple to have sex. “The less sex you have, the less he will listen,” she warned. True fact! Guys, don’t you agree?
She had a lot of valid suggestions:
- You may not feel like it, but go with it
- Don’t be ashamed of anything
- Don’t hide your scars
How can he look at me and look past the scars? The truth is, it doesn’t bother him. What matters most to him is that I am alive. So why can’t I get over it and let him see me in the candle light?
Doctor’s order are as follows: Connect with husband and get candles burning in the bedroom.
Do you face similar sexual related challenges as Jaime? You may be interested in dowloading transcripts from C4YW’s past workshop that highlighed sex and intimacy.
Sex and Intimacy: Thinking Outside the Box: This program will help you think outside the box in the bedroom and provide tips and techniques for single and partnered women of all sexual orientations. Explore ways to strengthen your emotional connection and physical relationship with your partner, and discover strategies to increase pleasure, both on your own and with a partner.