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Let's talk about dating as a cancer survivor. Entering into a new relationship can be a challenge with or without a cancer diagnosis. Dealing with the emotional and physical changes that may have come with your cancer diagnosis can add to the situation. Many people find that dating after a diagnosis of cancer can be a much different experience than before a cancer diagnosis.
A few of the challenges might be:
However challenging this is, you may also find that you have positive changes that may impact new relationships. These may include:
You may be interested in dating again, but concerned about the first steps in meeting someone new. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Please share your experiences, ideas and thoughts on this topic with each other.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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In November 2014 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was blessed to have an excellent husband by my side, at which time he assured me that he would be with me no matter what happened, our relationship was strengthened. I must tell you that it has not been easy because I had my depressive moments and he had a lot of patience with me.
The person who truly loves us loves us for who we are, not our body and even when we are in the most difficult situation can see our inner beauty.
It is extremely sad the abandonment that breast cancer patients suffer in many cases, but this serves to show that their husbands did not really love them, because the one who loves does not really love you for your body or your physical condition, it is a deep love that transcends the physical, the appearances, the superficial.
Encourage, life is wonderful and we should be grateful to God for the opportunity that has given us to survive !!!
I'm a breast cancer survivor of 2 years and had a complete and total amputation of my chest better known as a full mastectomy and I find the issue of dating after chemo and surgery and the emotional baggage that cancer brings on very trying and apart from this I don't view the world, life death or my time here the same nor will I ever and thats not a bad thing in fact it's been a very liberating and good consequence amongst the myriad of bad that cancer actually did bring some good along with bad. In other words I never was into shallow people before but even much more so now after cancer I am disinterested in people who are full of themselves self centered egotistical or uncaring or that have disregard for others and don't invest their time in people. I feel it thus even more challenging to date in this society and modern fast paced era with people chasing futile dreams and goals instead of concentrating on the things that really matter. Please let me know how you all started dating again who you dated and how you met them.
I'd love to hear how others have dealt with the extreme drying effects of aromatase inhibitors on vaginal tissue. Or do we just give up? I'm dating but keeping it non-physical. FYI I'm 73 but still interested in sex and am feeling robbed!
I struggle with feeling joy and celebrating my survival of prostate cancer (which was removed five and a half years ago). I was in a longterm relationship which ended two years after my surgery. I suffer ED but have some success. I haven't dated since she left four years ago and am totally frightened of even trying a new relationship. I am 62 and feeled doomed to live the rest of my life alone. It seems to be more of a punishment than survival. I know it is full of self-pity but it is how I see it.
Never look back only look ahead! I life my life freely and don't think about Cancer. At this point, Cancer is only a state of mind and if you think about the past you will become the past and always live in fear or Cancer! Life is short as it is. Be strong and move ahead. Remember, the strong will survive and Cancer is weak. A strong mind and body will always prevail over Cancer. Kick Cancer to the curb and live your life not in fear but happiness. I'm a survivor for life and plan on being around for a long time with God as my co-pilot.
I read the responses. I'm in a quandary also. My wife passed from brain cancer a couple of years ago. I had prostate cancer and went for radiation, but still developed metastasis of a few small spots on my bones. Three is a lovely woman in my community whose husband passed suddenly several months after my wife. We were all friends as couples. It's too painful for this woman to date. She is healthy. She is disinterested in romance. I suppose because of my advanced prostate cancer which is in remission right now.I understand that she's still grieving as I am. However, I'm ready to date her. I have deep feelings for her. It's difficult. I'm thinking of joining cancermatch.com because at least the members I would think are all in a similar positions. I miss going to a movie, theater, out to dinner with a pleasant woman.
Complex and often confusing. Cancer survivors seeking cancer survivors for companionship has a tinge of co-dependency if not wallowing in the shared experience. Surviving cancer can be the result of excellent medical attention, personal fortitude, genetic disposition and - who knows what?. There are those 'out there' who respect and care for another person because they simply 'do'. Others take on a relationship as a heroic task while others are there to manipulate the situation to their advantage. Knowing your own 'heart' and finding an honest, shared-caring companion takes introspection on both parts and time...as much time as it takes. One has to dig deep to find a diamond...unless one happens to 'pop up'. One never knows, do one. Cheers. VinMurph
I just recently met a man and he had his prostate removed - he had cancer of the prostate. I like him and he is a real gentleman
It is only 7 weeks after his operation, Dr's have taken blood and it looks like he's pretty well out of the woods. Obviously this could be many months down the road, but I was just wondering if a man can have a reasonable sex life after having his prostate removed because of cancer - I wouldn't know where else to ask this question. If someone can answer it would be appreciated.
My wife and I walk the MOA 4-5 times a week, and have watched you grow there. We have also been gtenitg our medical care at Mayo-Rochester for the last 5 years; and it's worth every inch of the drive there from the Twin Cities!First, whatever you offer at MOA, please make absolutely sure that the culture, ethic, and standards of Rochester are maintained. I know of no medical facility in the metro area that chooses to match the Mayo Model. (Those who have not experienced it, probably are wondering what the heck I am talking about . I can assure them, from experience, it is a far better healthcare experience. Mayo just has far more resources, and attracts a different breed of healthcare professional and I mean that in a very positive way.)Second, allow your new patients in the metro to understand how Mayo is different. Allow them to know the history. Allow them to know about the accomplishments. Allow them to know about the medical school, the research, the endowments, and especially allow them to know that Mayo operates through the Mayo Foundation, to which thousands of people voluntarily donate to the ongoing mission of healthcare as it should be. So many donate because of the quality of superior care they receive. It's that simple.And last (at least for now), just keep doing what Mayo does best: Providing the World's Best Healthcare! And by the way, THANK YOU for helping me when others couldn't or wouldn't.
I am glad this topic is being discussed. I am a breast cancer survivor for 5 years now. I am divorced with 2 adults kids. I was in a relationship for 2 years, until I discovered accidentally that my wonderful boyfriend was dating another women and would not leave me out of pity for my condition. I left him but still,I don't know how to deal with that very hurtful situation and how to avoid it in the future. Any thoughts you can share? Love to you all
That was great but i also want to know about the precautions for avoiding cancer.
This is an excellent approach.. Great..
A few have asked about a dating site for people with cancer. I did some research and found that CancerMatch has a good site (http://www.cancermatch.com/). The creators of the site saw the need for a site like this after attending a LiveStrong Summit. The site is not endorsed in any way by Mayo Clinic, but seems to be a great way to meet others who have been touched by cancer.
I agree with Elsa and Sandra. I have been divorced for 3 years and Cancer free now for 1 year. I live in a very small town with very little activities to do so I would also love to see a dating site we could go to in order to meet some gentlemen.
Reading this made me appreciate my wife of 43 years. (Don't ask me what led me to this article about dating. As a cancer survivor, I'm just interested in reading all I can from the Mayo Clinic.) Good luck to everyone!
I have been a long time cancer survivor. Cancer patients understand each other. Mayo Clinic should offer an opportunity for patients looking for relationships to meet. Many people would join!
My approach is to be as matter-of-fact as possible. I had ano-rectal cancer, and I now have a colostomy. To me, it's just an alternative way of getting rid of bodily waste: I use irrigation, and I do it from my abdomen through a plastic sleeve once every three days. In between, I just wear a credit card size patch over my colostomy, and if I go swimming, I let it show. People probably wonder how I came to scratch myself in that place and need to wear a plaster; if they ask, I tell them. The bigger problem is probably the effect of the high dose radiotherapy that was used fifteen years ago. This killed all the nerves around my pelvis and thighs, but to the amazement of my surgeon, these started regrowing after about six years, and now after fifteen years they are more or less back to normal. Nevertheless, I would hasten to explain that when it somes to sex, I would still need understanding, and gentle encouragement. Then of course I encounter the fundamental problem, that I am a very active 80 year old, and those who are active don't want someone my age, and those who want someone my age aren't that active. I sometimes think I can't win!
Good morning Sheryl. Can you refer me to dating sites geared towards people with Cancer? I would greatly appreciate it.
I was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after starting a new relationship. He has been a rock. The very person I had searched for my entire life and I don't know what I would do without him! He faced my new diagnosis with the courage and strength I needed to see and feel at the time. If nothing else, I know I have a man that will stand by me know matter what, and it feels wonderful!
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