Top iTunes Marriage Podcast

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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Dealing With Breast Cancer #545

Come join the conversations in the SMRNation Community at my.smrnation.com

On the Regular version of today’s show …

I’m joined by Dr Laurie Watson and we talk about how breast cancer impacts a couple’s  married life, sex life and desire – plus the journey for both spouses facing this battle.

Learn more about Dr Laurie here – https://www.foreplayrst.com/

The article mentioned in the show is here – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/married-and-still-doing-it/201605/12-strategies-sexually-survive-breast-cancer

On the Xtended version of today’s show …

Laurie and I talk about the yin and the yang of the energy in a couples sex life.

Enjoy the show!

Sponsors …

Rekindle and Connect Online Course: Get in-depth help for your marriage via 7 video sessions to work through at your own pace.  https://smrnation.com/rekindle

Got a question?

CALL US 214-702-9565
or email us at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com

Pam Allan: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, smrnation.com. You've turned on Sexy Marriage Radio, where the best sex happens in the marriage bed. Here's your host, Dr. Corey Allan.

Corey Allan: Today's a big day, Pam here at Sexy Marriage Radio. On the day this is airing Wednesday, November 10th is launch day of our course, the rekindle and the connect course. Which is an online course that's video taped or recorded from the Sexy Marriage Radio getaway that was intentionally created and put together in a manner that would help across the board of people.

Pam Allan: Right? Bring out some good resources for a lot of people. People that can't make it to the getaway, that kind of thing.

Corey Allan: And so as of this morning, on November 10th, Wednesday, it is now live and we're doing a 48 hour flash sale. And so you've got 48 hours from November 10th that morning early till early on November 12th to pick it up at the lowest price possible.

Pam Allan: So hope you listen to podcast.

Corey Allan: If you're listening right away.

Pam Allan: On the day it's released, so you got some heads up.

Corey Allan: Take advantage of this. You've got the next two days from the day this airs and drops to catch it. And academy members, there's a special rate for you. So check your email inbox. If you're a member of the Sexy Marriage Radio academy, but it's smrnation.com/rekindle is where you can learn more, take advantage of the 48 hour sale. If you missed it, sorry you missed it, but it's still going to be available once you join. You've got access to it.

Pam Allan: Not the flash sale, but the videos.

Corey Allan: Everything else would still be available. Correct. Once you join, it's yours forever. And it's all housed at the my.smrnation.com platform. So it's user friendly.

Pam Allan: It's a great opportunity to listen, to use this on your own time, right? And you could do a segment a night or however, hopefully you and your spouse do it together.

Corey Allan: And the beauty of it is, for the members that are in the course, there's some discussion available at the bottom of each of the course pages that if you want to jump in there, I'll be hanging out there. If you got questions, ask specifically.

Pam Allan: Perfect.

Corey Allan: And you'll get the of support and the feedback all the way through as if you were there in the audience. And that's what we really hope can be incredibly impactful for people. And so this is a big day. We're excited to have this resource. It's been something that's been in the works for a while and there's more to come.

Pam Allan: Looking forward to it.

Corey Allan: Coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a conversation I got to have with Dr. Laurie Watson. And so we missed the window of having this air in October because we couldn't coordinate schedules with her well enough. So the free version of the show today, we're talking about information for couples dealing with breast cancer. Of what's good things that she needs to be aware of. What's good things he needs to be aware of. Because we had a listener email in with, hey, this has just hit us.

Pam Allan: They're dealing with it, right. It's real life.

Corey Allan: I need some help. How do I be an advocate for this? How do I fight for this? Because I don't want to lose what we could and I still want be as courageous as possible. She actually wrote a dissertation over the idea of how breast cancer impacts couples. And so this fantastic conversation. And then on the extended version of Sexy Marriage Radio today, which is deeper longer, and there are no ads, you can subscribe at smrnation.com/smracademy. We pivot the conversation with Dr. Laurie and talk about this dynamic she's come across. So she's kind of calling it the yin and the yang. It's where you have a sexual pursuer that's paired with an emotional withdrawal or pursuer. So a sexual pursuer often is paired with a sexual withdrawal. And then that person's an emotional pursuer, that's often paired with an emotional withdrawal. And there's this dynamic of round and round we go.

Pam Allan: So one's more of a pursuer and the other is less of an emotional or are they typically opposite within the same people?

Corey Allan: Well, it's like, an easy way to sum it up would be the idea of one person seeks sex for connection, and the other person wants emotion to have sex. Wants a connection to have sex. But she kind of unpacks that a little bit more. And so all that's coming up on today's show. Well, it's been a long time since I get to welcome my guest today, Dr. Laurie Watson, back to sexy marriage radio. So Laurie, it is so great to see you again.

Laurie Watson: It is so great to help sexy marriage make it sexier. I'm excited to be here.

Corey Allan: That's what we're all trying to do I think in a lot of ways, that's exactly what you guys are doing at Foreplay Radio.

Laurie Watson: Yes we are.

Corey Allan: And so it's nice to be able to collaborate and I would love to get your expertise and your view to help a listener of the SMRNation. Because this is something that, this is an email that's been sitting in the inbox for now almost a year. And so I hate, I don't like when sometimes it takes that long for us to get around to answering a question from a listener, but it's also something I know is applicable to a lot of people. And so let me kind of read through this and I'll paraphrase some of it, but this is from a husband that's just asking for some guidance. He says, my wife is 36 and was recently diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. We have a three and four year old, outlook is good, but it's going to be a long, difficult journey. So over the years, we've struggled with desire differences and other issues in the bedroom in general. Last year or so things have been pretty good and on an upswing, but I can see progress related to the work that both of us has put in.
Most of it is related to listening to the shows and the different resources I use. He's the higher desire. She's the lower desire. We recognize the roles for what they are and have been much closer as of late and really make some good progress until now enter a very aggressive cancer diagnosis. Everything's changed. We're both stuck firmly in our heads. She had to immediately go off birth control. So I'm having to use condoms, which has never really worked well due to the added friction, no matter how much lube or what type that we use. I'm planning to get a vasectomy soon, but even then, scheduling has gotten great because of COVID. Everything I read is the chemo specifically combined with hormone suppression as a death sentence to both function as an extreme vaginal dryness, tightness, et cetera, which was already an issue and it hits desire. Treatment starting out of the gate is 20 weeks of aggressive chemo followed by surgery then more chemo.
To add complications to this all, she's also had vaginal reconstructive surgery when she was younger to correct a urinary tract issue. So this is already causing a hit or miss issues with us. The medical team she has is fantastic because they are experienced with her actual case. So I cannot even begin to tell you how well off medically things are. It's just super frustrating that sexual wellness is not even part of the conversation, which that's a big truth.

Laurie Watson: That's a big truth.

Corey Allan: So where do we go? How do I advocate to her and her care team regarding all of our concerns without coming across as a selfish a-hole. I want a long fulfilling life with her. I just don't know how to navigate the possibility of that. Not including physical connection, starting at this early point in our life. Thanks. So there's a lot here, Laurie.

Laurie Watson: There's a lot here.

Corey Allan: And I think it's worth-

Laurie Watson: And we're going to get to it.

Corey Allan: ... Diagnosing some as far as... Because you've got some framework from some of the work you've done with, there's a research that I saw.

Laurie Watson: That's right.

Corey Allan: I'd love to, where do we start with this?

Laurie Watson: Yes. So I'm Dr. Laurie Watson now. Just fairly recently in my old age and I have done my dissertation work on breast cancer. I'm a certified sex therapist and the reason I picked breast cancer is because it was the most vicious disease against sexuality, prostate cancer too, really problematic. But one of the issues that's different with prostate cancer is a man can walk down the street and you never know he had prostate cancer, whereas a woman who has breast cancer, she is suffering enormous body self-image problems because oftentimes she has mastectomies and a single or a double mastectomy and our breasts as women denotes us as female to the world and to our own self image. So I thought what's the worst of the worst that I can focus on to help people. And I thought breast cancer was it.

Corey Allan: That's good.

Laurie Watson: First of all, I want to tell this man something, you are not selfish to want to keep sex alive.

Corey Allan: Correct.

Laurie Watson: This is a blessing. This is important. We bond as people sexually and emotionally, both of those things are what we expect in romance. And the fact that you have good desire, solid desire, this is a gift. This is a gift to the relationship. It is so important. So please, I just beg of you, see this as something that is a drive, God given drive, that is something that will solidify the partnership. It is not selfish. It is a gift. So that's my first message to him.

Corey Allan: Absolutely true.

Laurie Watson: So I'm going to break down some of the problems with breast cancer so we can think about them in many different ways. So there's body self image. And then we're going to talk about arousal problems and desire problems. And they're actually a bit separate. Orgasm as well. And so it's like, how does the body work now with these problems? And then I'd like to talk about the sexual relationship between two people, because that, he's part of that too, even though it's her body that is enduring cancer. Trust me, when you're partnered with somebody who has cancer, you are absolutely a part of it.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. It impacts you differently, but it is one of those impacts and that same philosophy of, it's easier to go through something than watch somebody I care about go through something.

Laurie Watson: It is, it's so painful. I mean, how many of us have had children suffer something and we'd be like, if only it were me or our partner.

Corey Allan: I'll trade places at any moment for you.

Laurie Watson: Or partner, right. I would wish it were me rather than you. And this is the heart of the protective partner. And that is a blessing. And I want us to remember this as we come back to it, Corey, because I think that protection is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it messes up the sexual relationship and we're going to do that last.

Corey Allan: Perfect.

Laurie Watson: We'll get into that last. So body self image, right? A woman losing her breasts. Chemotherapy means she loses her hair. She loses the hair on her head. She loses her eyelashes. She loses her pubic hair. These are all things that mark us as female. And I mean, I know that fashion right now is less pubic hair. So sometimes for young women, that's okay. But for many people, pubic hair also marks us as sexually mature adults.
And so, I mean, it can be very distressing. And I mean, I see eyebrows gone, eyelashes gone on my patients. And so it's not just, she can wear a wig. It's like her whole face looks different. Her eyes are unframed. This is so distressing. Let alone basically the amputation of a breast, which I can't even tell you the joy, all the things that women feel as they come into puberty and their breast start to develop.
And I mean, some of us feel awkward, but most of us eventually really enjoy having breasts and the breast, the nipple is an arousal pattern, right. If she likes nipple stimulation and suddenly she has no nipples, this is really problematic.

Corey Allan: crosstalk factor.

Laurie Watson: It's her body self image primarily is what we're talking about right now. But we'll get to the fact that there are arousal pattern differences. So first thing I would say to him is he is in the most powerful position to affirm her femininity still. To say, I look at you and I think you're beautiful. Basically, if a man will affirm to his wife suffering breast cancer, losing her breasts that he finds her deeply attractive, this is so incredibly healing. I mean, that's the one thing I want to get through to the partners out there, say that. The one thing I want to get through to the wives of prostate cancer suffers is tell him he's a man. Tell him you love his body that he's still a man. I mean, this is the affirmation, the gift that we can give each other and heal each other in self image. It's so powerful.

Corey Allan: So let me, I want to add one thing to this, Lori. Because I think a framework matters in this regard, because there is a incredibly powerful, and I'm glad you're mentioning it in this way of the role the partner plays for the spouse that's going through it. Because as we're alluding to, most of the time when it's happening to me, there's an inner resolve or a courage or you know what, I'm going to beat this. I'm going to... There's something that is born in a lot of these kinds of things. And that's what I think a spouse can use to call upon, that's what's attractive. Is to watch how somebody goes about facing what they face. That's what I see in my clients. That's probably what you see in your clients of the courage it takes to face life on life terms.

Laurie Watson: Yes.

Corey Allan: And to face diagnoses like this. That's an attractive quality of seeing it.

Laurie Watson: It's beautiful to see-

Corey Allan: Absolutely it is.

Laurie Watson: Our partner.

Corey Allan: So that's what you're calling on. Is just like, man, look at the manner in which you are going about this, that is vibrancy in and of itself.

Laurie Watson: It is really powerful to see our partner struggle and be victorious, maintaining their mood and stuff like that. But I also want to leave space because George and I are also, my podcast cohost George Faller. We're also about the flip side, there's always a flip side to just about everything.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Laurie Watson: So I'm going to hold space for the flip side of being each other's comfort in our weakness as well. It is a beautiful thing to see the courage of a survivor, but we also have to leave room in the relationship for sharing our weaknesses. So self image is a big blow. It's no kidding. I really encourage young women, think about reconstructive surgery at the same time as mastectomy. Think about getting tattoos. Right now they have incredible 3D tattoos where women can get a nipple tattoo that actually looks like trompe l'oeil. Do you know what that is in painting? It's painting that is flat, but it makes things look 3D.

Corey Allan: It looks 3D. It's got the texture or the dimension to it. Yes.

Laurie Watson: Absolutely. And I'm in Raleigh, North Carolina and there's a woman here. I think she's called Pink, Pink Ink. And I'll just pimp her. And I don't get anything for that, but she does a beautiful tattoo. People fly in all over the country. I think she was on Oprah and she really does do a beautiful tattoo for my breast cancer patients.

Corey Allan: Perfect.

Laurie Watson: So think about that. We want to help you restore as much as possible to at least being able to get as close to as possible, something that you don't feel as self conscious, maybe enclose. I think, the difficulty is that a breast after breast cancer, even a reconstructive breast, we're not talking about a boob job. It doesn't look like a boob job. And I think so many people say the stupidest things to breast cancer survivors like, well, at least you're getting a boob job out out of it. And I'm like, no, no.

Corey Allan: No, you're not.

Laurie Watson: This is, no, you are not getting that. So self image, we get that. I think the next thing I'd like to talk about is what do we do about desire and arousal when you are dealt this card? So first thing that happens is your anxiety is going to skyrocket. You get a diagnosis of breast cancer. Are you kidding me? This is literally life and death and our body is going to go into high alert. Our brain is programmed to look for danger. So it's like alert, alert, alert, danger, danger, danger. And that escalation of anxiety, it's very hard to be aroused when we are anxious.
So oftentimes desire goes right out the window upon diagnosis. And I get that, my heart gets that. I'm sure the partner gets that. And yet, we know that making love is a way that we connect and we need each other so desperately. And oftentimes in partnership. And I think this has been indicated in this email is one person usually finds sex as the most soothing, comforting, connecting place. And the other person may find it as a way that they connect to their partner, but it's not everything. Maybe she's more emotional and needs emotional connection before she can feel sexual connection. And now her emotional world is in turmoil.
So I just want to encourage them, if there's any way to take time before surgery, before chemo starts, to go away, spend a lot of time crying, holding each other, spend a little time in poignant, love making, please do that. And I would say above all, this is the time that we need help getting to desire. And so, if you allow yourself a little bit of wine or a little bit of champagne to take the anxiety down, please do it.
One of the problems that happens is doctors are concerned about life and death. That's why they're not talking about sex. Oncologist, their whole focus is let's talk, let's save this person.

Corey Allan: They got bigger fish to fry as they frame it.

Laurie Watson: They do. And I understand that. And I think the other thing is doctors are human and they don't have a lot of hope about how to help with sexuality. So they don't want to open a can of worms where they're not going to be able to offer much.

Corey Allan: That's true.

Laurie Watson: So first of all, let's get this couple to a sex therapist who knows something about breast cancer and kind of predict what's going to happen. And help them do it.

Corey Allan: Good step, that's a good step.

Laurie Watson: That would be wonderful. I've written blogs. There's a lot people out there who have done a lot of work. In fact, one of my research projects is to do a film for couples on surviving sexuality, a whole nother story. So beginning problem anxiety. And what do doctors offer when a person is anxious? They offer an SSRI, that's an anti-anxiety antidepressant to help with her mood because she can be so devastated. But the problem with an SSRI is it has a side effect that represses sexual desire and it represses orgasm.
So right when you need it the most, you're medically being dampened by an SSRI. So it is sort of like this terrible choice, like okay, do I feel horrible and not want to have sex or do I take an SSRI and I feel a little better and I want to have sex.

Corey Allan: I want to have sex.

Laurie Watson: So there are medication choices and she needs to talk to her oncologist about that. Wellbutrin is a particular drug that works on dopamine instead of serotonin, it does not have the sexual side effects. In fact, sometimes it can be added to an SSRI course of treatment to help with sexual side effects. So that's one part. And I would say go to a psychiatrist and this, your team, you're going to see a lot of experts. You're going to see a lot of doctors.
Trust me, psychiatrists don't mean you're crazy. They are experts on psychotropic medication. So they can help think about what would be most appropriate for your situation. So I would say Wellbutrin over an SSRI to help with depression, maybe spot treatment of anxiety with a benzodiazapine, which is like Xanax. So it doesn't have the same depressing effect on libido.
Now we're getting to other problems. We're getting to chemo and chemo does a major thing. It basically shuts down the ovaries. So when we shut down the ovaries in a young woman, we throw her menopause instantaneously. What does menopause do? Is it shuts down our hormone production. So ovaries are shut down in terms of them producing hormones. And sometimes I get it. There's really good reasons for this.
I mean, we're trying to save a life. So I get this, but the problem is suddenly estrogen and testosterone are shut down. And that's kind of a stew along with progesterone that a woman has that creates her physiological libido. We already know she's a low libido woman and we already know that for all women, testosterone is so much lower than for men. I mean, men have, probably a 40 year old guy, he's 800, 600 mammograms per deciliter of testosterone in his body. She's probably at 25 to 40. I mean, if you can think of that quantitative difference.

Corey Allan: Huge.

Laurie Watson: She's not going to to have a lot of drive from testosterone anyway, and now let's wipe it out. Her body is going to feel very, very quiet. I think the good news is that most women do not feel libido in their bodies. I mean, that's tragic and let's not have a lot of envy for men. I wish to experience that. What is it like-

Corey Allan: The biological component that that consists of in the whole dynamic. I get it.

Laurie Watson: Absolutely. Absolutely. So beautiful. So her body's going into shutdown, what can we do about that? First of all, desire is like a component. It has components. We got to have success. We got to be able to reach orgasm to reinforce any kind of desire that we might have. We have to use our minds to get there. And if your mind is preoccupied by, oh my God, I have cancer, really hard to think about sexual, use our sexual imagination to think about I could have a great time in bed tonight. It's like, I just got to get through this day. I've got kids. I just want to of live so that I can see my kids grow up. That's what I want.
And it's just really hard to get that rat off the wheel, the anxiety wheel inside. But I would say, so this is a time that I recommend using some helpful things like a vibrator. A vibrator is, I think we think of it as a toy, but it becomes a tool when you have breast cancer. When you are under chemo treatment, your body just is not going to respond as quickly. So you need some help.

Corey Allan: Is that one of those things like the threshold just gets raised on what would normally have worked all of a sudden now that threshold is higher and it takes more to get there because you're operating baseline is different and lower.

Laurie Watson: Absolutely. So I say, definitely use a vibrator. And let me say to your people, because maybe they don't know what I mean, is most women don't reach orgasm through sexual intercourse and never have.

Corey Allan: Correct.

Laurie Watson: And this woman has sexual pain problems because of surgery. So I'm talking about clitoral vibrators, vibrators that they use on the clitoris. And I want her to use it with a lubricant. I'm going to pimp for Uber lube, if it's okay.

Corey Allan: That's fine.

Laurie Watson: I do sell it with the podcast. It's Uberlube.com with the coupon foreplay, you get 10% off, but I got to tell you, I've been recommending it for 20 years. It's a silicone based lubricant. It will not trap bacteria. It will not give you an infection. It will not give you allergies. And when your vaginal tissue is getting dryer, you need a lubricant every you do every single time.

Corey Allan: Absolutely you do. We confirm that over and over as well through the years. So it's an important message.

Laurie Watson: Good. For menopause, cancer treatment. Absolutely.

Corey Allan: Perfect. So we got to start kind of pivoting to wrap this little section up on, we were talking about arousal desire and then orgasm, is there other components that are definitely we need to nail before we finish?

Laurie Watson: So one of the problems with the dryness is that she's also going to atrophy, that means her tissue's going to shrink and get more fragile. So I need her to do something new in terms of hygiene every day in the shower. And some women have never done this. So it feels like a big task, but I want her to put her fingers in her vagina and press against the peroneum, which is the space between her vagina and her anus. And I just want her to give it a little push, not a big stretch, not a big deal, but every day in the shower, no soap in your vagina, just put your fingers in, feel it, squeeze it, relax. It's actually the relaxed movement that I want her to focus on. And I want her to signal those muscles at the bottom of her vagina. It's okay to relax. And that's what that little push does.
So it becomes a new hygiene. Because I want her to keep her vagina open. And this has to happen like from day one of the diagnosis.

Corey Allan: That's a great tip because that is one of those things that's preventative, but it's also part of the process of restoration in a lot of ways, too. Perfect.

Laurie Watson: Exactly. And in terms of, for him, he's got to become masterful at seduction and take longer than he could possibly think it's going to take.

Corey Allan: And be okay with at the long game. I like it.

Laurie Watson: Long game. And I think at 40, one of the dilemmas between heterosexual couples is he gets an erection because he's so turned on and he doesn't want to lose that erection. And she's nowhere close to ready. And this is ubiquitous between couples, let alone cancer couples. And I would say to him, you know what, it's okay to go soft and get hard again with a little bit of help. So you just kind of got to set your mind on that. Your erection is going to wax and wane in order to have a good time together and maybe she stimulates him manually. And then they later have sexual intercourse or maybe they just give each other orgasms at this point, because orgasms are also powerful for her healing. They keep blood flow to her vulvar, which is super important.

Corey Allan: And that's what jumped out to me, Laurie. Was the idea that he's got the concern of, I can't imagine going, having to do away with this kind of a connection this early in life, when in reality, there is still all kinds of ways for connection.

Laurie Watson: Yes.

Corey Allan: That are sexual. Because we've been proponents here at SMR for a long time. Sex is not just penis inside vagina.

Laurie Watson: Right on.

Corey Allan: It's a whole lot more that we can do. It's a whole lot more of an experience and act, a presence, an essence, if you will. And so think outside the box like you're describing and be an advocate and an ally for each other in a lot of ways.

Laurie Watson: Lying naked releases oxytocin. And that's the bonding hormone. And that's good too.

Corey Allan: Perfect. Well, Laurie, there is so much more we could even be talking about this, I know.

Laurie Watson: I want to say one last thing about the sexual relationship. I'm sorry, I'm going to take you a little long.

Corey Allan: No, do it, go.

Laurie Watson: But this is the most important thing that my research discovers. I can't let it go.

Corey Allan: Perfect.

Laurie Watson: So you know what, because he probably has a protective heart. One of the things that men for breast cancer patients is they don't tell their wives about their own concerns and worries. And therefore the couple cannot get on the same page and grieve their losses together. So what I would say to him is, of course you want to support her. And of course you're thinking I'm not suffering compared to her. That's true, but you are suffering. And just being able to say, you know what? I love your body. I'm always going to love your body. But yes, of course, there's a part of me too that is experiencing so much loss.
And I don't want to hurt you by saying this. I want you to know I'm with you. I'm your sexual partner, I'm your husband. But yeah, there are times I miss your beautiful breasts and I miss being able to make love the way we used to. And I so worry about hurting you. And there's all these things that go on in my head and communicating that in a gentle, loving way helps the two of them feel each other's pain. And this is what we need to do, in times like this, we need to be each other's source of comfort. And that's the solitary thing that a man can actually do is share his own pain in gentle, loving ways that changes the trajectory of the coupleship.

Corey Allan: That's so good.

Laurie Watson: Isn't that crazy? I mean, that's, it's so counterintuitive, right? He wants to be the Silent Knight, who's so strong and there for her. And he never thinks about the vulnerability of talking about his loss, because he thinks it would burden her, but she knows it's there. And then it allows her to talk about her losses instead of saying, don't worry about your breast being gone, I love you anyway. No, it's like, "Oh baby. I can't even imagine what it's like for you to lose your breasts. Oh my God." And really being in that with each other, that is what saves the coupleship after breast cancer.

Corey Allan: That's good. No, that's the shared experience of you both have your own journey that it's not a personal attack of each other. It's your own journey.

Laurie Watson: Exactly.

Corey Allan: And so share it. So Lori, that is so good. How do people find more of you and what you do, please? Let them know.

Laurie Watson: Thank you. Thank you. So I'm a podcaster too, and it's with George Faller. It's Foreplay Radio, couples and sex therapy, or just Foreplay Couples & Sex Therapy I think now. We're on iTunes, Spotify. We're everywhere. You just have to Google Laurie Watson or Dr. Laurie Watson, find me. But just think about foreplay. Join us on Instagram. We're foreplay_radiosextherapy. And we have a big Instagram following and we do these kinds of posts so that you'll have visual reminders about where we're at and how to be with each other.

Corey Allan: Perfect. Lori, thank you so much for helping expertly deal with a subject that impacts far too many people and far too many couples.

Laurie Watson: You didn't know that I would just go on and on, did you?

Corey Allan: No, I kind of knew it because I knew if you did a dissertation about the subject, I know you've got a wealth of information about it because having done one myself, I get the magnitude of what that is. So thank you.

Laurie Watson: And you know what, I will link you to an article that I did on psychology today too on 12 strategies for surviving breast cancer sexually.

Corey Allan: I'll put it in the show notes.

Laurie Watson: I'll send that to you.

Corey Allan: Perfectly. So thank you again, Laurie.

Laurie Watson: You're welcome. Thank you for having me. What an honor.

Corey Allan: One of the things that continually stands out to me, Pam is the struggles that impact people in life today. Not just marital stuff, but health issues. Cancer diagnosis, chronic illnesses, anxiety, depression. I mean, these are real things that reek all kinds of havoc on relationships and people.

Pam Allan: Relationships across your entire life, which dives right into your relationship and how you interact.

Corey Allan: Right. So it's so fortunate to know we have access to people that can help give some steps, give some pointers, give some thoughts and a framework. And that's the way I love Dr. Laurie Watson today on the framework she put together of, okay, you want to look at this and this, all these different aspects. And that's where we went. Our hope and prayer is that this is incredibly beneficial. That if you know somebody that's impacted by this, if it's not you directly, pass it along.

Pam Allan: Share the episode with them. Maybe it'll be a blessing to them.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone, let us know. 214-702-9565 or make a recording or email us that recording or a print, text information on the email at feedback@sexmarriageradio.com. Well, wherever you are, however you've chosen to take a little bit of time out today to spend it with us. Thanks a lot. And we'll see you next time.