May 15, 2018

A Letter to my Potential Lover…I have Cancer.

I like you, a lot, so much so that I’m considering having sex with you.

I want you to know the deeper parts of me, but it’s a big deal to be welcomed into my body, and there are a few things I’d like to share. I am making a conscious choice in moving forward, intimately, and to do that, I need to tell you something.

I have cancer.

Let me be more specific. I have breast cancer in the form of a lump in my right breast, just behind my nipple. My cancer is like a turtle…it has been growing slowly for many years, and it may take a few more years to heal. It is not a death sentence or a state of emergency, it is a condition that requires awareness. I am mindful of my diet, exercise, emotions, stress, sleep, and yes, lovemaking.

Allowing myself to be loved and nourished is the best gift I can give to myself. And although I questioned my right to even start a relationship, the truth is that I deserve to feel loved no matter where I am on my journey.

This means that rough sex with that breast is a no-go, and while I would have really enjoyed that in the past, right now my body and breasts desire to be treated with softness, tenderness, and love.

Just know that there is nothing for you to worry about. I don’t need a savior to solve my cancer problem—because it’s not a problem.

It just is a part of me at the moment.

And while I was busy distracting my immune system with processed foods, drugs, unconscious sex, unresolved emotions, smoking, and drinking, my body let some cells go into overdrive.

I am scared that you will run away. I worry that I haven’t told you soon enough, but I know there is no perfect time.

It’s safe to touch me. My breasts long for loving touch now more than ever. It’s safe to feel love for me. I’ll be around for a while…it won’t be this that takes me out. It’s safe to show love for me because nothing we do together will cause you any harm. I am not taking drugs, chemo, or radiation. There is nothing that can be transmitted. My body is as perfectly beautiful as it was just before I told you that…

…I have cancer.

I am grateful for my cancer: it demands that I speak openly. And without the shock of a diagnosis, the numbing hours of research, the existential choice of life, and the seeking of natural cures, I wouldn’t have found the security, faith, and deep respect I now have for my body.

I am treating myself with the utmost care, which is why I want to show you how to treat me. This is the most tender lesson I can give.

My body loves to be caressed fluidly and aroused sensually, with careful fingers and supplicated palms. My body is invigorated by attention and kinetic in play. My body disarms when treated with compassion, desire, and curiosity. And I light up with marvelous abandon when we explore our edges together.

So, dear lover, touch me with respect, a calm curiosity, and with exceptional play. And do not be afraid of hurting me, because my body is full of feminine vitality. Breathe with me while we disrobe. Reflect my perfect imperfections, and rest my fragility on the shelf of your headboard.

I know that this is not common sexy talk, but this is my before-foreplay. Before we entangle ourselves in physical pleasure and bodily bonding, it is important that I share.

For many years I sought out sex to heal my emptiness and dissonance, but now, I am embracing sex for all its healing potential. And if you’re ready, I’d like to explore. But only in a way that vanquishes our past insecurities and celebrates our fearlessness.

I like you so much so that I’m considering having sex with you, and consciously stepping forward in relationship. This is not another drunken night after the club closes. This is intimacy, vulnerability, and this is why my cancer is a blessing for the both of us.

We are forging a new consciousness in communication, where consent is confirmed in baby steps, where truth is revealed without shame, because our desire for understanding and connection is stronger than reactionary judgments based on fear. We’re brave enough to speak to the silence that lay in between the lines. We’ve been hiding too long, my love, and now it is time for us to be seen.

Walk beside me, hand in hand, into this unknown to explore the intimate connections that can heal both of us—all of us.



6 Things To Do (& Not Do) When your Young Friend is Diagnosed with Cancer.


Author: Jade Osborne Bellequest
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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Jade Osborne Bellequest