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Being a breast cancer survivor means that Valentine’s Day doesn’t necessarily put a warm feeling in your heart. Actually, anxiety is the first thing that came to my mind on Valentine’s Day. Feeling sexy post cancer, and wanting to be romantic, is not always top on the priority list.
I remember feeling that way. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 and my self-esteem and body image took a hit! I thought I would never feel romantic or sexy ever again. I hated Valentine’s Day.
Getting comfortable with your new body post breast cancer can be a bit of a struggle. It takes time to get to a point that you feel comfortable in your skin again. Sometimes you have to adjust to a mastectomy, reconstruction, or maybe you’re just plain exhausted. That doesn’t mean you can’t show your partner how much they mean to you; how much the relationship means to you.
It occurred to me that while I wasn’t “feeling it” right now, I could still enjoy Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day was about love. I could still love. People could still love me. So I set out to make Valentine’s Day about making my husband know that I loved him, and I appreciated how he loved me.
Over the years, I found that I preferred to celebrate Valentine’s Day in easy, comfortable ways.
- Put songs on a CD (I guess it’s a Spotify list now) that are meaningful to you and your partner. Pick some new songs that can become new favorites for you both.
- Purchase a “Why I love you” book and fill it out. There is nothing more romantic than listening to your partner read the book out loud.
- Write romantic quotes or poems in a journal to give to your partner.
- Buy a card that truly says it all, or multiple cards. My husband buys packs of small blank cards and leaves them around the house for me with handwritten notes.
- Wear pretty pj’s, even if you are just going to sleep. Get this robe here.
- Buy a bottle of wine to share with your partner on a living room picnic. My husband loves craft beer. The beer names are fun. I will sometimes buy a four pack of new craft beer for him to try with names like, “Love Buzz” and “Salty Kiss”.
- Watch a romantic movie together or binge watch your favorite show. Snuggling up on the couch is a great way to spend quality time with the one you love.
- Have a Valentine’s Day lunch if you are tired by evening.
- Order in, light a candle and enjoy each other’s company.
These are simple ways to spend Valentine’s Day. No stress involved. I decided that my holiday was going to focus on my relationship and reconnecting with my husband.
Cancer makes you tired and can really challenge your self-esteem. That’s okay. Adjusting to the “new you” takes time. Celebrate your relationship in ways you feel comfortable. If you need a safe space to talk about the adjustment, join my private Facebook Group for survivors here! You can share your heart and concerns with women who get it.
This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about general breast cancer information and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not a substitute for professional, medical advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment. For my full Disclaimer, please go to ConsultColleen.com