Don't feel whole; talk to husband?


Question from Kelari: I have had a radical mastectomy. My husband says he still loves me but I don't feel whole and find myself turning away from him. What can I do?
Answers - David Spiegel This is a hard question that many women face. I think it is important for you to realize that your own experience of unhappiness with what has happened to your body may be quite different from your husband's experience of you and your body. I suggest that you discuss in advance—a time when you and he are rested and have privacy—and that you invite him to touch your scar and spend some time together acknowledging the change in your body, and see if that doesn't help you get beyond it.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. Many of my patients assume that their experience is going to be the same as their partner's experience. That if you don't feel sexy, then how could they possibly think you are sexy or attractive. So your words of advice are very comforting.

On Wednesday, October 18, 2000, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Feelings about Breast Cancer. David Spiegel, Ph.D. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about the emotional effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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