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(1) Life After Breast Cancer

The stories can be heartwarming (e.g., the 40-year-old workaholic who reprioritizes her life after her diagnosis to slow down by spending more time meditating, eating well, playing with her kids, and making love with her husband) and others devastating (e.g., the 52-year-old woman whose husband drops her off at the bus station so that she can go to her radiation appointment alone while he leaves for a liaison with his young mistress).

Breast cancer clearly affects a woman, her family network, her sexual function, and intimacy. The diagnosis of cancer can pull strong, loving couples together or tear them apart. It can destroy their intimate bond or rekindle a previously fading sexual fire. Cancer appears almost mystical in its ability to transform relationships, good and bad, positive and negative.

These papers are written in the hopes that the intimate lives of its readers will be rekindled, rather than devastated, by the experience of breast cancer. We realize the difficulty of the cancer journey, but we are also privileged to witness the “light at the end of the tunnel” (e.g., reestablishment of sexual wellness) for our patients every day. We hope to share with you some of what our patients have taught us.

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