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Sexuality & Cancer

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day During Cancer Treatment

Romance and intimacy often take a back seat when battling cancer. Here are some tips on how couples can celebrate Valentine’s Day and stay connected during cancer treatment.
Web Exclusives – February 4, 2019
John Parkinson

Valentine’s Day is coming, and maybe you or your loved one is not feeling very romantic due to the challenges of cancer. During this time, your attitude might be a bit different toward romance and intimacy.

Whether you or your significant other is undergoing cancer treatment, dealing with short- and long-term side effects, or feeling insecure about body image, these tips may help keep you connected with each other.

A Nice Surprise

Nothing is a better reminder that you are thinking of your partner during a difficult time than surprising him or her with something meaningful. It could be a small gift, a reservation at a favorite restaurant, or tickets to a show―something your partner has been wanting to do or that has some symbolic meaning can go a long way in showing your loved one you are thinking of them.

A Night at Home

Going out during cancer treatment may not be an option because of fatigue, or self-consciousness due to issues such as hair loss during chemo, so a night at home might be the perfect solution. You can have a nice romantic dinner at home, rent a movie, and take your loved one’s mind off the disease.

Continue to Be There

To help ensure you maintain a strong relationship, stay connected to your partner. You can just listen to your loved one and be his or her sounding board while undergoing treatment and experiencing the anxiety associated with the disease.

Show Gratitude

If you have cancer, tell your loved one how much you appreciate him or her. Showing gratitude toward that person―who may now also serve as your caregiver―can go a long way in reminding that person how much he or she means to you.  

Talk to Your Navigator

Your navigator is a good resource with whom to discuss intimacy. You may have questions regarding physical adjustments you now must make. For example, women who have had a mastectomy might have concerns about body image. Your navigator can offer you some insights and information to help you and your loved one incorporate changes or alternative approaches to intimacy.

Share this post with your partner or couples who are dealing with cancer.

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Last modified: February 4, 2019

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