But when do folks talk about their sexual history and mental health?
Back in the game: Dating after cancer - First Descents
Where is that balance between revealing too much information too soon and waiting too long to disclose an essential part of yourself? One of my boobs is fake. Finally, there are all of the typical dating questions that come up in your 30s—kids, marriage, and the rest of the details about spending your lives together.
The question of whether I want kids is complicated by my concerns about genetics and the possibility of recurrence. The trick is to find—and be—someone who is self-aware enough to own their unique set of experiences and is present enough to see the person in front of them for who they are: Green known outside of FD as Liz is a thirty-something teacher, professional development coordinator, and trainer in the Washington, DC area who finds any and every excuse to soak up some sunshine. In her spare time, she can be found on the yoga mat, on a hiking trail, in a kayak, or cooking up a scrumptious vegan meal for family and friends.
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Join a club, volunteer or take a class. That way you can become more relaxed in new social situations, with less pressure.
Back in the game: Dating after cancer
If you have worries or difficulties with dating after cancer, talking with a counsellor may help. You can also find cancer survivor support groups where you can talk with others about dating and new relationships. Not every date has to be a success.
After all, not all dates worked out before you had cancer. Take each situation as it comes and do what feels right for you. Remember, when making this decision, that many people find honesty to be a very important part of a relationship, especially a relationship that becomes long term. You may choose to tell someone right away to get it out in the open and to see how the person reacts.
With other people you might wait a while so that you know and trust them a bit better before sharing your experience with them. If your cancer treatment has changed your body, it may be better to tell a new partner if you feel that the relationship is becoming intimate or sexual. Waiting to tell until the moment of sexual intimacy may add a lot of tension to what could already be an intense or emotional situation. If cancer has affected your ability to have children, you may want to tell someone who may become a long-term partner, especially if they have told you that having children is important to them.
Some people may be supportive and understanding right away, while others may be shocked at first but not put off. Others may be uncomfortable with your news and may reject you because of it. Call us toll-free at Or write us. We will reply by email or phone if you leave us your details.
I was dating my boyfriend Rob for six months when something big happened: I was diagnosed on July 28, , with stage two breast cancer and found out I had to start chemotherapy immediately. I also learned that I had approximately 14 days until I would be bald from the chemotherapy, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was a healthy, fit, year-old, with no trace of any cancer in my family. As I ventured into the world of chemotherapy, oncologist appointments and uncertainty about the future, I also unwittingly stepped into a new realm of dating and relationships—or, in some cases, the lack thereof.
I was terrified of a double mastectomy, mostly of the idea of someone cutting off my nipples. The day I was scheduled to meet the surgeon and discuss my surgical options, my boyfriend was supposed to come with me.
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It felt like he was leaving me when I needed someone most. Well that was me after we broke up. I was the biggest sob story you could imagine while talking to my best friends, who tried to calm me down, but how would they even know? They were still hot, and I was going to look like a bald old man.
"Here's Everything I Learned Dating with Breast Cancer"
How is someone supposed to start liking a sick bald person!? Even though I had family, friends and a team of doctors around me working to keep me alive, my breakup made the diagnosis feel so real and I felt completely alone.
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Despite how things all went down with my ex, I should really thank him for noticing my lump in the first place. We were spooning in bed when he knocked my breast and noticed a hard lump—which you could only see if I was lying on my back braless for my boobs to fall naturally to the side. I thought at the time it may be a lymph node that was swollen or something.
After things ended with Rob, I gave dating a shot.
Life after cancer isn’t what you think it is
I got back on Bumble and set up some dates, but kept my new life updates off my profile. I felt like I could never be honest, or tell people what I actually did during the day. I used old and new photos online, as my wigs were fabulously thick and long: I felt so unwanted.
The worst thing about cancer is how LONG it takes. Safe, but very lonely. I was later also advised from my doctor to not consume soy, limit red meat to two servings per week, and drink no more than four drinks of alcohol per week, as these would all increase my risk of breast cancer recurrence. But online dating without drinking is tough—how do you go on a first date without a sip of wine to relax?
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