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Be my Valentine

Published: 12 Feb 2019

Although Valentine's Day is commonly known as a celebration of romantic love, its origin is a muddle of Roman gore, ecclesiastical mix ups and pagan ritual. By Elizabethan times however, Chaucer and Shakespeare had imbued a little romance into the day, and the trend for sharing love notes with a sweetheart on February 14th took off. Gaining steam during the industrial revolution, it became commonplace for friends and lovers to exchange factory produced cards to express their feelings. 

Today, it’s a lot harder to escape Valentine’s Day, but if you’re not feeling 100% the idea of a romantic night out might be the last thing on your mind. If your cancer diagnosis and treatment has fundamentally changed how you feel about yourself, think of it more as a celebration of love and togetherness. Afterall, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that don’t involve eating out on the most expensive night of the year. There’s no shame in cuddling up in front of the TV over a Netflix box set with your partner, mum, friend, cat, dog or kids. 

Here’s a list of things to take into consideration this Valentine’s:

Make time for someone special

It doesn’t have to be a romantic partner, it can be a friend, relative or someone who has supported you through your cancer journey. Go to the movies, have a nice meal out or get a takeaway and binge on your favourite romcoms, the aim is to do something you both enjoy that takes you away from the pressures or distractions of living with cancer

Get poetic

You don’t have to write a sonnet, but opening up to a special person in your life in a Valentine’s card or letter, will let them know how appreciated they are. Sometimes it’s the small stuff!

Treat yourself and a friend

If you don't have a significant other, booking a relaxing spa day or taking a mini break with your sister, mum or a good friend over Valentine’s will help you connect with those closest to you and make new memories

The food of love

If your appetite is suppressed, a heavy meal might be a bit much but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy breakfast in bed together or a light mezze style meal at home in front of the fire. Get creative - dress up a tray with flowers, a card, hot cuppa and your partner’s favourite magazine. It’s the thought that counts! 

Intimacy

Physical touch is one of the most important senses when it comes to building intimacy. Being affectionate with your loved one, even if it’s just holding hands, hugging or giving each other a gentle massage, can make all the difference to how you feel about each other  

Memory lane

Take a day trip down memory lane to places that mean something to you and your special person – it might be where you went on your first date or had your first kiss  

Try something new

If there’s a skill you both want to brush up on, learning something new together is a great way to bond. Try a cooking class, painting class, pottery course or couples’ yoga

Treasured forever

If you love seeing the face of your loved one opening a gift, send them on a scavenger hunt with handwritten clues to find their Valentine’s gift 

If music is the food love…

If romantic gestures aren't your thing or you’re not in a romantic relationship, head to the nearest karaoke for a night belting out classic duets.  You’ll be spoiled for choice 

Future proof it

If you’d rather forget this year altogether, don’t be afraid to shelve it until you’ve finished your treatment. Instead, spend the evening planning something special with your partner for a time in the future of your choosing

What are you doing for Valentines? Share with the members of the Facebook Chemotherapy Support Group.  If you’re not feeling on top of the world, our members have lots of love and good thoughts to offer, so why not spend your Valentines with them!