I said, “I have no idea how I acted, what I said, or if I even smiled”
Emily (16 yr old) said, “Well, you didn’t make me cringe”
I said, “I guess I did ok then”
That was the conversation immediately following my on air guest appearance on The Dr. Manny Show alongside Dr. Laura Berman. Both Dr. Laura and myself are breast cancer survivors and were discussing (to the dismay of Dr. Manny!) “The Surprising Ways Breast Cancer Improved My Sex Life.”
That title sounds crazy doesn’t it? As I put the words together to pitch my story idea to the producer at FOX my mind was saying…”No, you can’t say those words:…better…sex… cancer” they just don’t go together; but in my little world they do.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer over 4 years ago I realized I was paying too much attention to the bullshit in my day to day life rather than the important things. Important things like pleasure. And when I mean pleasure I’m not just talking about orgasms; I’m talking about pleasure in snuggling, kissing, caressing, holding, being present …that kind of pleasure!
My husband and I now make a point to get into bed early and physically feel each other. I make a habit of only wearing cute things to bed now instead of the old pj’s that I’ve held onto since college over 20 years ago. Now I look forward to going to bed every night and saying yes to letting my husband cup my breasts from behind…instead of saying ummm, “not tonight.”
I shut the bullshit off in my head too. I stopped the inner messages of, “your legs are dimpled, your tummy isn’t flat and you look tired.” Since my diagnosis I now show my body the respect it deserves: It did create and birth 3 kids. It did beat freakin breast cancer. It did run a full marathon…26.2 miles. When my mind creeps back to the bad parts, I gently guide it back to pleasure. And I remember that my body deserves pleasure.
My body feels different.
I wear my body differently after cancer.
I wear it proudly and confidently.
I wear it knowing where it’s been…and I know what pleasure it can receive
And that has me excited.
So yeah, I will write…“The Surprising Ways Breast Cancer Improved My Sex Life.”