Friday, January 24, 2014



And manners.  I am deeply grateful to Scorchy of Sarcastic Boob fame for writing an entire blogpost about my project.  Ditto in the gratitude department to AnnMarie of pink boa flinging Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer who keeps putting it on her Facebook page where she has over 4000 "likes."  And thanks to all who are sharing and tweeting and especially, filling out the survey.

What prompted this sudden interest in gathering information and how in the world do I think I can turn that information into a successful book?

All I can say is this.  I'm taking a leap of faith.  Going with my gut.  Using the brain in my stomach rather than the one in my head.  Hell, I've been guided by the brain in my heart for quite some time and that's caused plenty of pain.

So, Why?

Life can be very complicated and mine has been, and still is, quite complicated.  These complications began at least a year before I launched this blog.  I've been an open book about everything that pertains to me.

However, I don't live in a vacuum.  There are friends, there are parents, there are kids, there is a spouse.

My mom's privacy has been sufficiently invaded but my mom is a part of this community.  My dad, despite his death is also a part of the extended cancer community.  If my dad was the inspiration for me to see this through, the wind beneath my wings, my mom has been my daily cheerleader, on the sidelines encouraging me.  Yes, mom is definitely part of this community.

My kids are young adults.  It's not appropriate for me to invade their privacy in any form.  If one of them makes a decision to open up about any aspect of their lives, it would have to be of their own volition.

And then, there is my spouse.  I've not mentioned him in too many places for a number of reasons which I will share in an upcoming post.  Obviously, that is a significant relationship but I've respected his privacy on every level.  This is my gig and he's a very private person.  He knows this blog exists but beyond that, he knows very little of this aspect of my life.  Indeed, this larger than life aspect of my life is something about which he knows nearly nothing.

There are reasons.  We have had our issues and those issues are the complications to which I refer at the beginning of this post.  Those issues have had us leading separate, yet together, lives for quite some time.  We are in a dance of push and pull and this dance has gone on for over three years.  I've had plenty of time to reflect about life with and life without him.

During those times of reflection, my mind went to very dark places.  I thought about what it would be like to be dating again. I thought about what it might be like to be intimate with someone else, someone who didn't know my story.  How would I tell a new person?  At what point might I slip in, "Oh, by the way, I have scars all over my chest, silicone implants that don't feel so great to fondle and by the way, I can't feel it anyway so don't waste your time, abdominal scars and lest I forget, my cervix is missing, too.  I'm sewn shut."  When exactly does one bring that up?  During the lowest points of this push-pull, I've spent plenty of time trying to visualize the unthinkable.

Those thoughts are the foundation for this project.  I've heard from a wide variety of people: all ages and stages (yes, several mets patients have filled out the survey), same sex couples, married couples, committed couples.  Interestingly, the least amount of responses have come from, wait for it and cue Beyonce, All The Single Ladies.

Maybe being single is such a big damn challenge that cancer boobs and cervical stenosis are the easiest parts of dating in 2014?  I'd sure like to know!

Like it?  Share it!


  1. I am happily married - and I filled out your survey. I cannot even imagine dating or being intimate with anyone else post cancer. And all I have is a few scars (and lopsided boobs). Yes, even as a happily married woman my mind has gone there. This is an incredible project. You have another cheerleader in me.

    1. THANK you!!! I tried to leave a note on your blog and I couldn't :( I'm so thankful for your support.


    2. Sorry you weren't able to post a comment. I am happy to spread the word! And thanks for reading. :-)

  2. Hi Anne, yes, while not legally married, I have been with my sweetheart for over 10+ years. I took your survey and it brought a few tears to my eyes. I have this amazing man, who is my strong patient advocate, and I have zero, and I mean zero sexual desire. My survey will reflect that. Good Luck on your project:-)!

  3. Very much worth pointing out! I've added a little note on the FCT post inviting the single ladies to fill out the survey :) ~Catherine

  4. Hi Ann Marie, I know exactly what you mean about trying to respect the privacy of our family members while at the same time blogging openly and this is primarily why I've been quiet on this front too, but Lordy, there's a lot I could say... And yes, being single and dating while dealing with all this stuff... geez...that's another ballgame entirely. So kudos to you for taking on this project.

  5. Hi Anne Marie, Welcome back. after cancer sure is a big old can of worms, isn't it? And I echo all your issues about the lack of feeling in my very lovely but scarred (and nipple-less) new silicone implants so I hear you about what the world of dating post bc would be like. You'll figure it out, you're a very smart and determined person, I can tell from your posts. Looking forward to hearing more of the journey as it unfolds. And PS, I filled out your form. Can't wait to hear more as the book evolves. xo

  6. I am single, dating someone, but for all intents and purposes, single. Dating after breast cancer is really difficult.

  7. dear Annemarie,

    I took the survey. I was very happy to share my story and provide my identity. I hope you and your writing partner find it relevant and that it will help shed light on many of the aspects of couples trying to rebuild their sex lives after cancer. I am so glad you are taking on this project - there are so many individual situations, so many that need encouraging and validating, and so many people who may benefit from our stories. I am excited about hearing how the book turns out.

    much love and light,


  8. I took the survey, having nothing to lose because I am divorced and single. There's nothing really to hold back, and we already have so many taboo subjects when it comes to cancer. I'll be so thrilled when you have the results back. Thanks so much for doing this. XOX


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