How one woman found love after breast cancer

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by Dr Katherine Schmidhofer

How will sex and love be after breast cancer? How does a couple cope with the sensitivities? For both women – and men – the question is rarely asked. Soon after her 25th birthday, Katherine Schmidhofer was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her doctor advised an immediate mastectomy. Her breasts were removed, and she underwent ghastly sessions of chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

She wondered whether she would ever have children. She mourned her incapacity to breastfeed. She asked herself whether a man would ever want her again. How, she thought, would he react to her scars and her new breasts? She even conducted a survey of the male partners of friends and family members who had suffered breast cancer, to find out what men thought.

Where many women despair after breast cancer, Katherine did something remarkable: she chose to live her life – to the full. And she chose love. In this beautifully warm, often funny, and deeply moving memoir, Katherine guides us through the intricacies of love and sex after the Big C – and shows why every new day is a triumph of hope and courage.

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Dr Katherine Schmidhofer

Australia

Dr Katherine Schmidhofer is a psychologist who has completed a Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine) at the University of Sydney, Australia. She works with children, adolescents and their families, and has a speciality in childhood developmental disorders. After working in both the public and private sectors for years, she more recently opened her own child psychology practice. In June 2005, Katherine was diagnosed with early breast cancer and underwent treatment including breast removal and reconstruction, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. In 2013, after years of dating, she appeared on the first season of The Bachelor (Australia) and made it to the final five women. Katherine strongly believes in ‘life after cancer’ and in getting back on the horse as soon as possible post-treatment, whatever your age.