Mastectomies and Your Love Life – part 3

     This is the last day I will be sharing some things that my husband and I found enhanced our love life following my first mastectomy

     We became empty-nesters just two weeks prior to my diagnosed with cancer.  That could be another series itself, but I will simply say that there were huge changes everywhere in my life. 
      Because of my cancer journey it was about five months before I felt good enough to begin redecorating our son’s bedrooms.  One we turned into an office and the other a guest room.   My husband asked me where we should go to purchase a new bedroom set for the guest room to which I responded: “No way, we get the new bedroom set and the guest room gets our old set”. 
      He would tell the story a bit differently, however the end of the story is, we purchased a lovely new bedroom set that we both loved and the old set fit perfectly into the guest room.  What we discovered was that our decision had far bigger reprecussions than we ever imagined.  We had a new bedroom for a new love life and it was the best decision we could have made. 
     If you cannot afford all new furniture then change the bedspread, throw pillows and paint the room a great new color.  It will be a very important part of making your changed love life and new experience for both of you.  You will be tempted to keep trying to go back to your old love life everytime you step into the bedroom if you don’t make some decorating changes.   Take it from me – sex can be even more wonderful after one or double mastectomies.  It’s a chance to start over fresh!  
I hope you have enjoyed the series and gotten some good ideas from what I have shared.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen


Mastectomies and Your Love Life – part 2

     For those of you who didn’t get to read yesterday’s blog I just want to bring you up to speed.  For a couple of days I am sharing things that my husband and I found enhanced our new love life following my first mastectomy.  Please check out Friday’s blog and I will finish up on Monday with one more idea.   
     Today’s tip is: tease, laugh and tickle each other.  Have fun together!  At a time when life is quite serious – learn to laugh with and at each other.  My husband is quite the tease and when I was diagnosed with cancer he said life had become too serious; he was no longer going to tease me.  One day during my cancer journey when I was feeling particularly awful from the chemotherapy he came home from work to find me laying on the couch.  I was bemoaning to him how terrible I felt and as he hugged me he commented, “I know what you are suffering from…”mono-nippleosis!”  Mt first reaction was that I wanted to kill him.  My second was – how unbelievably creative his comment was.  And my third thought was that I was so happy he was beginning to heal himself.  He had begun teasing again.  We laughed and laughed and I had to admit he was accurate in his diagnosis.  I did have mono-nippleosis!

     It’s easy to get too serious and too introspective while journeying through cancer.  Fight off the seriousness by laughing with and at each other!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Mastectomies and Your Love Life

     Today, Saturday and Monday I want to share some things that enhanced my husband and my love life after my first mastectomy.   It wasn’t that we were so smart.  We actually somewhat stumbled onto them.  I trust you will find them encouraging and helpful also.

…your body has changed permanently.  Yes, you may have reconstruction done, but the body your husband married is gone forever.  Because of that – your love life will change also.  Not only because of physical challenges and changes but emotionally challenges will be there for both of you.
     So, wh
at can you do to help your NEW love life be as good or better than it was before?  Well first,  be open about what has changed.  Your husband may find that although he is very accepting of your new body; scars and such hinder him from totally engaging you visually.  This is natural and you should not be disappointed, frustrated or depressed if this is the case.  Just think how you  react  to your new body when you look in the mirror.  It is not a sign he doesn’t love you – he just needs some time to adjust to your new body as well.  Perhaps you can wear a skimpy top that covers your breast area and choose instead to “wow” him with your slender waist, great legs or beautifully made up face. 
      Talk about what is still a “turn-on” and what hurts or is uncomfortable.  He will be grateful that he doesn’t have to guess and possibly make the wrong choice or choices.  You will have to experiment with potential new “turn-on’s” for both of you.

     Join me again tomorrow for more thoughts.  I promise a story that will make you laugh.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Cancer and Skin Care

    Cancer treatments tend to dry your skin.  For a few, your skin may get more oily.  However, for the vast majority, dry sensitive skin is the norm.  Add cold weather to the mix if your treament(s) are during winter months and your skin can begin to look and feel taut and raw.
    Skin care products made from organic ingredients offer relief.  Because there are no added chemicals, alcohols, perfumes or preservatives your skin receives good old-fashioned nourishment.  Ingredients like floral tinctures of roses, lavender and lily combined with olive oil, sweet almond oil and shea butter not only sound wonderful … they are wonderful!
    Lily Organics is an organic line of skin care that I particularly like.  We have taken five of their most gentle, nourishing products and created the Cancer Care Collection.  In it you will find a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, mist and skin oil priced 25% lower as a package than if you purchased them individually. 
    If you, a loved one or a dear friend are journeying through cancer and experiencing taut, raw skin check out the cancer care collection. 
carin for you,
Carin g Hansen

Cancer Support

     There are times during a journey through cancer that we find ourselves needing outside support  for medical and/or emotional reasons.  Today I wanted to share some great resources for cancer support.

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization has many great programs for women journeying through cancer.  One of those programs pairs women with similar types of cancer, offering one-on-one peer counseling.  Additionally, the organization sponsors family oriented fund raising events and an annual walk called “walk, run, empower”.  Y-ME’s main goal is to come along women during their cancer journey.  They are not focused on prevention or cures but help for those in the midst of the disease.

The AVON Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of women globally.  The foundation offers money to those who have no other means for covering the high cost of treatment.  More than 500 million has been awarded to women going through breast cancer, women who are victims of domestic violence and emergency relief.   

Cancer Treatment Centers of America have several locations from coast to coast.  On the cutting edge of cancer research, treatment and nutritional education; their state-of -the-art facilities are staffed with caring, qualified administrators, nurses and doctors.

Sirius Medicine developed a FDA approved non-conventional cancer treatment.  Currently they are raising funds through HARP, their non-profit branch to construct a machine specific to their treatment.   This highly effective, lower-priced treatment offers an alternative to traditional radiation in addition to potential immune-enhancing results.

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

October Victor!

     With October being Breast Cancr Awareness Month I thought it fitting to reflect a bit.   October is extra significant for me because I am not only a breast cancer survivor but today, October 4th, is the 13th anniversary of my survivorship.  
      I have struggled with that word “survivor” for a long time and recently came up with a new word.  The word is “victor”!  Every person who begins a cancer journey must either survive or end their journey in death.  When we talk about survivors it is connotated with someone who simply “made it through”.   But, a victor is someone who wins in the end. 
     I have often said that had God asked me if I wanted breast cancer so I could grow spiritually and emotionally I would have answered a resounding “NO”!  However, God didn’t ask and I grew immeasurably because of it.  I won in the end!  Does that mean I never get too into myself and feel a bit of remorse or that I cherished every step of my cancer journey.  Not even close.  But what it does mean is that although I may have lost a few battles I won the war.
     Now, don’t think for a moment I am saying those who lose their battle with cancer are not victorious.  I do not believe that at all.  In fact, I see those who lose their lives to cancer but have a personal faith in God as not only a victor but a victor wearing a purple heart medal!  In the end they won and they are now living in eternity without pain and tears.

     I am thankful God has given me thirteen more years to live.  I cherish every day knowing that it may be my last.  Not because I am obsessed with death but because that is simply how it is.  Everyone who is born must die, it is just a question of when. 
     Touch someone’s life with the love of God today, tomorrow and everyday you are blessed to stay on this earth .
with love and care,
Carin g Hansen

Headwear Choices During Chemo

     There was a time when your choice of headwear for hair loss due to chemotherapy was either a simple scarf tied behind the ears or a wig.
     Times have changed!  Now you can choose from stylish long pre-tied scarves with elastic backs to help hold them in place to soft knit snoods (somewhere between a pre-tied scarf and a turban)….  Or how about trying a wonderful soft two-toned turban for a spin around town.  Hats with hairpieces attached make quite a fashion statement (available at as do hats alone.  Most hats designed for hair loss are soft yet durable providing cool protection form the sun.  AND, of course, there are great wigs in so many choices of styles and colors also.
     If you choose a scarf, snood or turban try using a small should pad attached with a body adhesive called “It Stays” to the crown of your head (you can find it at under accessories).  It will add height giving the illusion of hair being underneath.
     Make certain any scarf or turban knots are slightly off-center otherwise you may emphasize your nose more than you want.  Slightly off-center is more eye-catching and dramatic also. 
     For more ideas or to talk with me personally, go to and read about my e-book Beauty During the Cancer Journey or contact me to schedule a time to chat.
     During a time in your life when it seems everything is out of your control – here is one thing you can have complete control over… AND have some great fun with it!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen    

Gifts for friends part II

     The following ist of items can be given individually or in a lovely gift basket for a friend who has been diagnosed with cancer.  It is wise to choose lotions and potions that are fragrance free since many cancer patients have a low tolerance to odors during treatment.  You might also want to ask a family member if she has any skin sensitivities or allergies.
1. Nightcaps: homemade or purchased  
         This is a wonderful gift for you friend if her treatment will cause her to lose her hair.   Be sure the fabric is soft and washable and that any elastic is covered and not too tight.  Ask her what pretty color or pattern she would like if you are making hte nightcap…or surprise her!
2.  Nightgowns or robes that open in the front  
         Ease in dressing is extremely important both during any hospital stays and once she is home.
3.  Extra moisturing body lotion
         Keep the ingredients as natural as possible
4.  A natural bristle hair brush that has extra soft bristles
         Again, this is if your friend will lose her hair with treatment.  She (or you) can lightly brush her head to stimulate healthy new growth AND it feels great! 
5.  Purchase my short e-book Beauty During the Cancer Journey
         In it she will find support and help in beauty related issues…and it is simple reading.
6.  Lastly, how about a beautiful bouquet of silk flowers to match the colors of her home. 
         She won’t have an allergic reaction to them and no one will have to remember to water them. 

caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Gifts for friends

     I often get asked for ideas on how to encourage a woman going through cancer treatment. 

     First of all…be specific.  A willingness to help in any way she needs is often overwhelming.  She may not have the energy to address and think through what all her needs are.  Take the time to look at her home, family, medical and social needs.  Then give her a small list of thing you can either do or help with. 
     Second, if you have a personal care skill such as hairdressing, manicuring or massaging, offer your services for a session free of charge.  Come to her home if at all possible.  Any of these things will delight her!   All of us know there is nothing like a little pampering when we don’t feel our best.
     On Wednesday I will give a list of great gift ideas so be sure to check back.  You can also check out my e-book  Beauty During the Cancer Journey.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen 

it’s ALL about You! part V

     For some of you working or not working during treatment is not a choice.  I know that your care team will be advising you to try to lighten your work load, if financially feasible. 
     My part is to have you think about work in terms of beauty issues.  If your work demands you be in contact with many people on a daily basis in a very professional atmosphere a wig, false eyebrows and eyelashes or a makeup regimen using eyebrow stencils and  eyelash techniques are as important as professional clothing.  If however, your work situation keeps you behind the scenes you can choose how much or how little you want to do in terms of these beauty issues.
     …and don’t forget that whether you are in the limelight or behind the scenes you will want comfortalbe, easy to care for clothing.  

     On a different subject – the final thing you will want to answer before beginning treatment is your level of  physical fitness. Do you exercise several times a week?  Do you work out at a health club or are you a “do-it-at-homer”?  Is exercise more of a hit-and-miss event for you?  Maybe it has been years since your did any formal type of exercise.  In my book Beauty During the Cancer Journey I address exercise from a health viewpoint. 
     For this blog I simply want to have you think about exercise in terms of comfort.  You will want to be certain to have loose clothing that breathes for times you may be swollen or have pain pumps, surgical drains or ports.  Additionally, you will want to consider headwear options based on the answers to questions two, four and five.  (if you need to check back to see those questions look at  August 31st and September 3rd.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen