We created the Patient Empowerment Program to address the wide range of emotional needs of our breast cancer and breast reconstruction patients. The program’s holistic, patient-centered approach is a critical part of the total healing process. Patients reap powerful benefits by allowing them to openly share their experiences with professionals and other people who’ve traveled the breast cancer journey. This week the group talked with a marriage and sex therapist about “Sex & Intimacy: Getting Your Mojo Back,” and the Sisterhood of Support group learned about an inspiring partnership formed within the group.
Getting Your Mojo Back
Marriage and sex therapist Rachel Pill, LCSW shared her time and expertise with the Patient Empowerment Program Education Series. The conference room was packed and the response to her candid and direct presentation is that of patients wanting more.
Sex and intimacy post-mastectomy is often a very difficult issue for patients to confront and sharing concerns and feeling with those who have similar feelings is reassuring and helpful. Open discussions about this topic are critical to assisting patients with feeling restored, whole, and embracing a new normal. Body changes due to mastectomy/reconstruction – and, in some cases, chemotherapy, radiation and long-term drugs such as tamoxifen – may all impact one’s libido and self-image. Women, those involved in a relationship and single, had a unique opportunity to openly speak of the impact it has had on their lives.
Sisterhood of Support Personified!
Two weeks ago, at the femPower belt workshop, two sisters met for the first time, Erica and Lindsey. Erica Misorek, the founder and creator of femPower had just returned from running in a marathon in Paris and it sparked Lindsey’s interest. When Lindsey mentioned that she wanted to prep for one, Erica jumped in and offered to help train her.
This past weekend, 12 days after completing her last radiation treatment, Lindsey was greeted at the starting line at the Long Island 10K Marathon by Erica. She never imagined that Erica’s support would go beyond all that she had already provided. When the runners were off…Erica ran with her through the entire route.
A glowing, Lindsey, proudly showed off her medal at this week’s Sisterhood of Support group meeting.
Way to go, Lindsey! And, kudos to Erica for paying it forward.
Clinical Director, Patient Empowerment Program
Photos: (top) Rachel Pill, LCSW (bottom) Lindsey with her medal