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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Let’s Get Real

The following is a guest post by Barbara Musser, author of Sexy After Cancer . Barbara is a respected and inspiring intimacy and sexuality speaker, educator and coach, facilitator and author. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 as a young single woman. She married and had a child after treatment. Since then, she has worked with thousands of women, couples, and health care professionals, specializing in creating programs to help heal the trauma of cancer treatments to intimacy, sexuality and relationships. She does this with wisdom, humor and grace.
Sexy After Cancer~ I laughed and I cried, but mostly I found that this was a much needed book that will help restore the love in many- a- life.
 I love Barbara’s recommendation for taking inventory of the areas of your life that aren’t working for you and making any changes that are more aligned with who you are now, addressing  what is important to you and what is not.
I love, love, how Musser stresses the importance of taking an advocate along to all appointments, including surgery (okay, well not in the OR, but you know what I mean).  Take an impartial friend, partner or family member….someone who can stand tall for you when you are at your weakest moment; someone who can ask questions and take notes and not well up with emotions.  Trust me; an advocate can make all the difference.
This book is your roadmap for creating or re-creating the sexy you that you need, love and deserve.  You will find useful tips and even recordings so you don’t have to juggle a book while trying to implement Barbara’s liberating exercises.
Read Sexy After Cancer, and rediscover the sexy in you. Rediscover the happy, healthy, robust and even sexy life you thought was a casualty of your breast cancer journey; tips, tools and hope for a healthy and satisfying intimate and sexual life after diagnosis.
Let’s Get Real

When cancer comes into your life, things get very real very fast. It’s shocking to be on the roller coaster of making decisions, wondering why it happened to you, dealing with all the details of life so that you can have treatment, and all the stuff of life. Underneath that, there’s the very real experience of what matters in life and what doesn’t. You know this.
Something that gets talked about mostly on the surface level is the impact of diagnosis and treatment on you as a woman. In addition to making choices that will keep us healthy during and after treatment, sexual health gets a nod at best. And the decisions we make about treatment can have an enormous impact on our sexual life ~ libido, medical menopause that may be permanent, loss of pleasure, fertility, to name a few.
Here’s the rub ~ if we don’t know about these consequences of treatment it’s really challenging to factor them into treatment decisions. If you haven’t had children and want to retain that possibility, there are things to consider before treatment begins. After treatment it’s too late. This is heart wrenching.
The good news is that many of the changes to sexual function that result from treatment, can be remedied. It’s sobering that many women tell me that their sex life wasn’t so great before cancer, and wonder if it’s worth doing something about it after cancer. Really? I’m not so sure about this. I think it’s really about the sadness, grief and fear that comes along for the ride, and not having resources to support you on this part of the cancer journey. Rather than ending our experience of ourselves a beautiful, desirable and sexy, cancer can be the catalyst for getting real about the true nature of being a woman and getting beyond our limiting thoughts about ourselves.
As a firm believer in living a good life, including wonderful intimacy and sexuality, I’ve been researching, learning and teaching about this for years ~ borne out of my own necessity, and unwillingness to not have a great sex life after cancer. We all have many archetypes in us and I’m the Wake-Up Fairy for your Inner Aphrodite.  
There are lots of ways to love yourself, experience pleasure and awaken a sleeping libido. Check out my book, Sexy After Cancer ~Meeting Your Inner Aphrodite on the Breast Cancer Journey. Peruse my website for article, blogs and events. Read my Sexy Saturdays blog on 

         ~ Barbara Musser
          Founder and CEO, Sexy After Cancer

Barbara Musser is the founder and CEO of Sexy After Cancer. She is the author of Sexy After Cancer ~ Meeting Your Inner Aphrodite on the Breast Cancer Journey. She is a member of AASECT, the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists and ISSWSH, the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. She writes a weekly Sexy Saturdays blog for The Pink Fund and writes the Sex and Intimacy column for The Pink Paper magazine.

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. She is also on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She mentors women who are coping with issues of well-being associated with breast cancer and its aftermath; she is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn has been featured on CNN Money, Talk About Health and more and has contributed to Breast Cancer Answers as well as written for the Pink Paper, Breast Cancer Wellness, Natural Healing-Natural Wellness, Integrative Oncology Essentials, and other publications and newsletters. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

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