I have often wanted to bring this up as I feel it is an important topic and I have less of the embarrassment gene or thats inappropriate feeling than most. So if you get squeemish from TOO MUCH INFORMATION, sorry.
Less embarrassing help first....My husband is like an oven and produces more body heat than our heating system. I was very uncomfortable with him next to me so we figured out ways to cuddle that kept me cooler. He stayed under the covers, me on top. Sometimes we used a fan and it was winter! He had to wear pajamas as it kept his body heat contained. He also became my anti itch cream and lotion applicator. It was a way to keep us intimate AND it helped relieve all those symptons.
After surgery, I was able to sleep on my left side, but not my right. So we changed sides of the bed so we could spoon on the "good" side.
Here I might embarrass people so hold on or stop reading.....
Intimacy is more than sex, though sex is important. I had a hard time showering when I first got back from surgery, so Hans and I showered together so he could help me. It was all very intimate and caring and did not feel clinical or nurse like at all. It was very sweet.
There are other sexual activities than intercourse. Go back into your mind when you were first experimenting with intimacy. You most likely didnt jump into full sex immediately. Remember all those other things and put them into play. And anyway, foreplay for women is usually more rewarding than the actual sex.
And as for intercourse, there is more than one way to skin a cat. There are so many positions in which you dont get weight on your stomach or sensitive areas. Use them, they are your friends. Missionary position is your enemy. Avoid for several months after surgery. Thing about positions in which you as the woman dont use your stomach muscles, such as the so embarrassing named "doggy style".
Since my diagnosis, I can say that my husband and I have always been intimate, though we dont often have intercourse. We talk openly about sex and our needs. We dont get embarrassed about it, we dont judge. And I think we have a quite healthy relationship because of it.
Cancer is a word, not a sentence.
36 year old patient with buckets of hope