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Young *Single* Cancer Survivors

mc2001
Posts: 344
Joined: May 2003

Hello Fellow Young Cancer survivors / patients / caregivers...
I was just thinking about a new section for this discussion board. * Young "Single" Cancer Survivors * Has anyone else thought of that idea? I know personally there are many concerns about Single Living that harbor inside my mind and imagination, and was wondering if that happens to any of you out there in internet land? If I am alone in this, fine... I'll drop it. But if anyone else has some input, please reply. Well, take care everyone. God bless to all.
-Michael

pickles123
Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi Michael,

I just love your upbeat posts! Yes, I think are many concerns when your single with cancer. Or even just helping your partner deal with your cancer. Let's face it being bald with scars isn't exactly the ideal sexy role model in today's society. Hope to see you online soon!

chrismn
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 2004

Michael, you're not alone man. I wonder in what ways people think of me differently now. Some people I've met this past year don't even know I have cancer, they haven't had the guts to ask why I have 3 long scars on my cheek and neck, I have no problem telling them if they ask, but I don't go around making sure everyone knows. I'm getting off the topic. I'd like to hear what other people think about young cancer survivors, we obviously carry a little more baggage than most people would like to deal with, in my opinion at least. I'd really love to hear what you all have to say on this, thanks.

Derrick's picture
Derrick
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi All,
I was diagnosed with Melanoma stage 3A over 2 years ago, had lymph nodes removed under my left arm and a few in my neck. Doing fair so far. Anyhow, I am 36 yrs old and have a girl friend who has being going through all this with me and she is the best kind about it and is very strong. She loves me just like before and is great support. She is tough and strong lost both her Grandfathers to cancer rather young and she is really supportive. She dont mind my hugh scars from the surgeries and I also have several scars from Crohns Disease surgery and also Appendix surgery and gall bladder. I take pills all my life and prednisone has made my bones weaker and my joints too. Yet she loves me, she just loves me I guess. Point is you will find someone who can, who wants, and who will love you. These are special women / people who are sort of angels in our life. Sent by God to help us through. God will help us through something even if not all are cured. Still we are all just as precious to God and to the ones we love. God bless everyone on here and I wish you all the best, never stop hoping, believing, be positive as best you can and keep doing something is important, whether it's an hobby you love or collecting or watching favorite movies and so on, the therapy it provides by taking your mind off cancer will be priceless. I like to draw and paint as well as do sculpture work, very theraputic. You gotta try it...get some Super Sculpey $10 or so and its very safe to use your hands on it etc very safe,...you can make sculpture with it and then bake in a regular oven to harden!
Great stress reliever, especially if u r feeling too sick to get out about so much. Anyhow would love to hear from anyone who just like to chat.
later,
Derrick.

3TimeChamp's picture
3TimeChamp
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2010

I just say my scars on my chest etc are hickeys. Most people believe me.

SwingBridgeTSI's picture
SwingBridgeTSI
Posts: 78
Joined: Oct 2003

Michael I think it would be a great idea because we are all in the same place in our lives for the most part and dealing with the same thing and it would help us be able to deal with dating and relationships and share what works and what doesnt with cancer in our lives. It is a great idea they could do 2 different boards to deal with the subject so that there is a seperate page for older singles/ married couples too so that others can have help with the same topic but us younger survivors I think do have problems in that area.

Christmasgirl's picture
Christmasgirl
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug 2003

Hi Michael,
I am definitely thinking it would be a great idea. Its so hard to explain to people what its like being a cancer survivor, young, single and dating. I know that now I look for something a lot different in my relationships than I did in the past. Plus, does the person Im dating understand me? Aaaaah, so many questions...

Jenniko's picture
Jenniko
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2003

I completely agree with all of you. Even if we are in remission or healed.. it seems the fear is too great. No one seems to want to date someone who has had cancer, I guess for fear it will come back and they will have to deal with it. What they dont understand is.. we are people who have an amazing ZEST and LOVE for life... people who cherish every day and every breath. WE hold compassion and understanding close to use, and long to give it away. Wow. im starting to sound a little too poetic. So im single, 27 and live in upstate NY, any takers? lol

srisko's picture
srisko
Posts: 34
Joined: Apr 2008

I was diagnosed in 1990 at age five. When I was going through public school I only had two good friends. It wasn't until 7th grade when I transferd to a special needs school would I make more friends. I have never, ever had a boyfriend, or been on a date or anything. I look fine, when I tell people I had cancer they're really shocked because I don't look like I've been sick. I feel like I'm not pretty enough for guys if I've never had a boyfriend, and its so hard when you're 24 years old and have never been kissed. I'm in my last year of college so that may be a factor. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm a simple girl, I don't need much to be happy, I just can't find any guys who feel the same way.

jrweeks's picture
jrweeks
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2008

I've had a girlfriend, srisko, and she was great--caring, understanding, and comfortable with me as a survivor and an amputee. It ended amicably, and while I miss her dearly I am at the same time pleased with our new relationship, even though we are now more distant than ever.

However, I've also faced a lot of rejection. In reality, it probably isn't any more than most men (or women for that matter), but it still hurts. And when I am hurting, it is hard to keep my mind from considering whether or not things would be any different had I a "normal" body. I know these concerns aren't healthy and are probably of less consequence than they feel to me, but I cannot shake them entirely. They visit me more so lately than ever before--I've moved to a new place for graduate school, itself a lonesome endeavor; I live alone; I've developed a crush on a new friend without knowing why: she's a wonderful friend, but I wonder whether I am motivated by my own anxiety to find some point of stability in the chaotic life of a survivor. I don't think she feels the same way about me as I do about her, which is nothing profound or new for anyone. So I must try to rein in my heart so I don't lose the closest friend I have in my new environment.

I must do that. I've never met a person who hadn't been through something similar. Yet as a survivor and an amputee, I also must return--and reluctantly so--to my body, a source of anxiety that drains me of the confidence I need to overcome its weight on my spirit. At these moments, it feels like the world wasn't made with me in mind. At these moments, no matter how much I try to judge others by their character, I cannot help but judge harshly myself on physical grounds. At these moments, I am not the man who can return a hug, but rather the man who can only offer half an embrace, who will hold your hand only if you walk at my left side.

I will not be this person if I don't let myself become him, but he is a part of me nonetheless. A part of everyone, I imagine, survivor or not. A relationship can cure many of the scars that never show, but when it ends you discover they never really went away. Your heart is right to seek solace in another.

I have no advice for you, srisko, but that you keep your chin up. Be all those parts of yourself you love the most, and share these gifts with others. Even when you are your most lonesome, your most distant, or your most defeated, you are still at your most beautiful. When you feel like giving up, attempt instead to give away. This is easy to say, but what I've written about myself above is attractive to no one (even I dislike myself when I drift into that depressing territory).

Just know that you're not the only one who has ever felt isolated, heartsick, or desperate as a result of your cancer. I don't think there is any one way out of the hole, either. One direction is as good as the next if you've got the momentum to carry you through it.

It's probably a good thing we've both come here to share our experiences; I imagine we'd be worse off without the courage to be vocal.

Chellebug
Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2008

I just got a Christmas card in the mail from a good friend. In our mid-late 20's she married a man who had a similar situation to yours. As a young boy he lost one of his legs to cancer. They have been married now for over 12 years and have 5 beautiful children and plan to adopt two kids in the next year.

I believe you will find someone who will love you for who you are. But first, you need to love you for who you are. That is true, not just for you, but for everyone, including me.

I'm 37 now and have had a rough year with breast cancer, losing both of my breasts. I am married, so I apologize for jumping in on the 'single' discussion, but as a 37 year old I'm on the fence between being a 'young' and an 'old' survivor. So I often check this board to see what others are sharing.

My point: with my new abnormal physique, I've had to learn how to love myself again. It took awhile, but once I did, there was a huge burden that fell from my shoulders.

I admire your courage, jrweeks!
Chelle

ajadestar's picture
ajadestar
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2010

I had Ganglionuroblastoma at the age of two. As a result I walked on my tippy toes and the docs kept me in horrible leg braces and cast for years. (Never correcting the problem might I had.) I had very very few friends in school. Children can be so cruel. As a result I didnt have boyfriends eaither. As I grew up tho, I worked with myself, n' am now able to walk pretty normal with just a slight limp. I did not grow up with the pride of being a cancer survior. Now as an adult I have that pride. But sharing it is a different story. When I tell people they start looking at me and treating me differently. Like with pity and like I still have it and am so fragile. But its been 27 years. So I still dont really say much. But then people start asking why I limp and if Im ok. Or guys will ask about the scar I have that literally cuts my abdomen in half. I dont want a boyfriend that feels pity for me. I just want to be looked at like everyone else. Not like Im gonna fall apart at any minute.

angiecarol's picture
angiecarol
Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2010

Reading some of the comments,I can relate. A lot. I had been dating this guy for 2 months when I found out that I had cancer, I basically told him I don't blame you if you go now but if you don't, I really hope you're there for me. So much for that.
He came to a couple surgeries at first, then when I started chemo... I rarely saw him.
The day I was supposed to start chemo, I found out I was pregnant. Basically didn't have a choice, lost my baby. He wasn't there for me at all.And here I sit even now heartbroken over it. But it was either try and go on with the pregnancy and you and the baby die. not an option.
I could barely get ahold of him on the phone. I saw him off & on for the next 10 months... I knew something was going on, but I was so sick and did not want the drama. I left it alone. Turns out,he was cheating on me. Great. And I didn't even find out from him first. Read it on facebook! REALLY?!
So I ended things with him.. and he says "oh since you're all better now you don't wanna be with me?" That comment pissed me off beyond belief. I was one week into remission and I had/have a lot of work to do on myself yet. Such a ridiculous thing to say.
He did many things that are hard no matter what, but add cancer on top of that. Ugh.
2 weeks later,he gotta new GF and now shes pregnant. Imagine that.

I don't think I will be able to trust anyone for a long time.
Many of my close friends disappeared,thinking I was gonna die .. Thanks for the confidence in me. HA.

There's nothing like a survivor. It's great to be able to relate to someone.

Furr_to_Skin's picture
Furr_to_Skin
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2010

That's terrible Angie..I'm really sorry you had to go through all that crap while you were dealing with something that was already horrible by itself. And I too lost a lot of my friends. People just don't know how to react and they just stay away...then the loneliness comes in and I found it very beneficial to see a therapist while I was in remission. I was so lonely all of the time because I really didn't have the close friends and numerous acquaintances I once had. It really does make you think hard about who you judge to be a close friend or a potential life partner.

I'm very happy I found this site. I love that we are all here for eachother.

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

i've had girlfriends...and while they told me they didn't have a problem dating a survivor in the beginning that was always the implicit reason the relationship ended. they just didn't have the "sterner stuff" needed to deal with dating someone that went through what i went through, and i don't fault them for that. it takes a strong person to deal with people like us...let's be honest...i think that's why so many of us are single...we just have to find people who are strong. that shoudn't be too hard, right? like finding a penny in the desert.

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

sorry about the double post...stupid computer

Aquagirl18
Posts: 45
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi I think its a good idea to have a board or section here for young single survivors and/or young adult single survivors as well. Having them would be a good way to get to know other survivors that could relate to one anothers experiences etc.

Aquagirl18
Posts: 45
Joined: Apr 2003

Does anyone know of any other singles groups or discussion boards for cancer survivors?

erolyn's picture
erolyn
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2008

I think this is a really good idea for a discussion board.

From my personal experience, it's been weird going out with my friends and meeting people since I found out I had cancer. Especially after I had my thyroid removed, because now I have a scar on my neck that I have to try and cover up when I'm at parties or bars so I don't have to tell strangers my whole story. A lot of the time I just want to be able to go out and pretend to be normal and not "that girl who has cancer".

Also there's explaining all of it to potential dates and hoping they don't get freaked out. I don't like telling people, it's always a long story and everyone always makes the same face when I drop the "c-bomb". I've pretty much resolved not to date new people until my treatment is over (which fortunately will only be about another month), just because I hate going through the whole thing.

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

Amen

Joe18's picture
Joe18
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

If might add to this, though it's more about relationships in general, I certainly know the frustration with having to drop the "c-bomb" once and awhile- taking the time dealing with people's reactions can get overwhelming. The way I think people might perceive me is often left up my own imagination. What I've learned to do is to only tell people about my experience when it's necessary, which with I'm sure you probably would agree, but also not to be afraid of it or be afraid to show people how it's actually affected you. If we can live with confidence, then maybe other people won't react with fear, uncertainty, over-bearingness, or even rejection. Cancer is part of those who are affected by it, but if we can prove to others that it isn't what defines us or what consumes us, then they can understand it to be more normal, the way we see it. Anyways I hope that doesn't sound cliche or anything. Godspeed with your treatment and recovery.

erolyn's picture
erolyn
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2008

That totally doesn't sound cliche. I personally am on a mission to "take back" the c-word and strip it of its power by mocking it whenever possible. :) My family and friends and I have gotten pretty good at this.

Godspeed to you as well.

Joe18's picture
Joe18
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

Well I guess I should be more specific with my own experiences here- I've been in remission for 5 1/2 years now so for me the c-word today mostly pertains to telling people I've had cancer, and the few instances where I thought it was worth being open about, like at a Light the Night Fundraiser. You've got a great attitude, stay with it!

rossgipson's picture
rossgipson
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

I like this idea.

flygirlc
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi erolyn, I'm 33 and had thyroid cancer last year. Sometimes I cover up my scar, it gets really red when I drink, but most of the time I tell people I was in a knife fight, and the should see the other guy, or something silly like that. One of the things I tell people about nthyroid cancer is that it's very treatable, and boy, did they treat the CRAP out of it! I hope your RAI went well! And thyca.org has a great LID cookbook for when you have to do your scans. Good luck!

Furr_to_Skin's picture
Furr_to_Skin
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2010

I totally agree with you man. Nice post. I feel the same way about dropping the c-bomb on people. The only times I ever do so is if it is absolutely necessary or if I'm getting to be good friends with someone (I think the longer you wait with a new friend, the more awkward it eventually becomes..especially since I have a large scar on the back of my head). I feel one of the main reasons I don't like telling people I've had cancer unless they are a friend or it is absolutely necessary is that I don't want to feel like the A I got on my paper was because I had cancer..or the big raise I got was because I am a survivor and they felt bad (I didn't get a raise by the way..haha I wish..just made this up as an example). I've seen people use the c-bomb to benefit themselves and to make other feel sorry for them and I think it's terrible. Keep up the good attitude. I'm very glad I found this site and everyone on here who I share this strong connection with. Good luck to you all.

rackled
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2009

I was just wondering if anyone here lives in the Bay Area, CA?

Roberto35's picture
Roberto35
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2009

I'm from Concord and was treated at Children's hospital of Oakland

DIVA's picture
DIVA
Posts: 38
Joined: Apr 2005

No your not alone.... that has always been a common topic with young survivors.... at least back in the day in 2003 2004 2005.... all around the time this board got started. (yes MC I still exist)

Kristin

flygirlc
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2009

No longer single. My boyfriend is someone I knew and dated a little a long time ago and when we had our first real date (this decade, LOL) a few months ago, it was the day of my first follow up scan. So when we went out later that night I gave him a brief overview of what I'd been through the previous year and he was very calm and didn't seem too freaked out. We talked alot about other stuff, mostly what we'd been up to the last 10 years or so. Then a couple hours into our date, he asked if I had any more braclets (I wear a light blue thyca bracelet) because he'd like to wear one. I knew right then that he was going to accept me for who I was and that my cancer was not going to be an issue. A few days later, I got my results and my scan was clean! And we're still together and very happy. He even made some new friends who asked him about his braclet and it turned out one of them was also a thyroid cancer survivor! So it might be hard finding someone who's willing to accept us, scars and all, but when we do, they're worth waiting for.

CynicSan
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2009

Oddly, the cancer stories seems to let me pick up girls. Course it becomes a factor in the breakup. Sucks for love--wonderful for flings.

AngelicBlue
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

I've found it very hard to find a guy since I've been diagnosed and now a cancer survivor. It seems I mention it and they go running. I've had two relationships since I was diagnosed, one lasted 3 years until things turned bad. And the second barely 3 months because he was so uncomfortable and that one just ended like a month ago. Maybe somebody can give me some insight on what I'm doing wrong? lol

Vulgarism's picture
Vulgarism
Posts: 47
Joined: Dec 2009

It's never once bothered me that I'm single. I'm not that big into dating, and havent dated since long before I was diagnosed, which was four or five some odd years ago already. Having someone romantically involved with me..just isn't that important. If I find someone, fine, if not, fine too. :)

Saltylibrarian's picture
Saltylibrarian
Posts: 12
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm not single right now but my BF lives in Phoenix and I live in Philly. I live alone and although we were set to get married, he has backed off on this (just prior to dx). I certainly wish I had that unconditional love at hand. I'm doing my next 5 ACs alone...I have good friends here but i'm too private to want to have people see me in that state.

At the same time I think of some of my exes and am much happier knowing they are NOT in my life while I'm going through this. Not all relationship are good ones. Either way, cancer blows and feeling alone is never good. Glad for the boards as truly we are NEVEr alone here.

xo

KendallHeart
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2010

I just joined this board today (4/18/10), and I saw your post. It's from 2 months ago, so maybe your situation has changed, but I wanted to reach out in case it hasn't. Like you, I'm a 30-something living alone in Philadelphia. I have leukemia and I go through my treatments alone because I have found that, when I bring someone with me, I end up taking care of them and making sure they're not freaking out too much. It actually makes it harder for me.

I wanted to offer to take you to your appointments if you would like the company (or just someone to drive so you don't have to.) I know it sucks to have to see people when you are feeling and looking your worst, but maybe it would be bearable if it was just some other cancery girl from the internet.

This is a real offer. But I understand if you want to pass.

Regardless, I'm sending good vibes your way.

KH

jmp123
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2010

hi cutie I'am joshua are you doing anything

evanslyke
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2010

I am a recent lymphoma survivor and still getting back to pre-c shape. I have have been struggling over whether to tell any prospects that I had cancer. I have tried dating a little but find cancer takes the sexy out of any situation. I have come to the conclusion that I don't want to date anymore until my hair grows back and I loss the chemo weight.

I know other people have baggage but it seems their baggage doesn't include the option of a terminal illness. My point is how do you open up to someone and have them get to know you without the c-word getting in the way?

Perstephanie
Posts: 28
Joined: Feb 2010

How about young got dumped in the middle of having cancer because of the symptoms of a condition directly related to your cancer survivors?

But I'm not bitter.

;) Wait, yes I am.

Chemo_Princess's picture
Chemo_Princess
Posts: 105
Joined: Aug 2009

That is just wrong! But it's better to find out exactly how people are early on. I do not hide the fact that I have cancer. I would love to meet my prince charming and live happily ever after, but now I doubt that will happen. I'll just have to see if it's in Gods plan for me...
Blessings to all of you!

Perstephanie
Posts: 28
Joined: Feb 2010

I wish he'd done it sooner or else waited until I was going to be leaving anyway - his timing couldn't have been worse.

hopingforlife
Posts: 12
Joined: Mar 2010

Mine was an over all jerk about me having cancer and so when i told him he decided I would be too difficult to be his girlfriend and left

KaiTenSatsuma
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2010

Yeah, some guys can be um, hm, now that I think of it I'm not sure what profanity is allowed and disallowed on these boards.

To say it accurately, they are *fluff*ing *Richard*bags with their heads so far up their *Rear-end*s that they can basically see the next meal as it begins to digest.

jayjune
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2010

i was dumped by my 5 yr boyfriend after i was diagnosed a second time. and this was what he said he dumped me cos his parents think its not a good idea to be with mei was dumped in the second month of being diagnosed even b4 my treatment started. his timing couldnt have been worse. worse still he gave me all this hypocritical bull**** about how bad he felt for having to do this whereas he started dating someone new 2 weeks after he broke up with me. all in all he just blazed the trail of jerks who are going to say" people with cancer shouldnt be loved" and trust me it hurts being rejected but being rejected on grounds of the c- word is almost inhumane its not as if it was of our own doing u know? we have a lot to offer cos i think the whole experience gives us a bigger heart and hence lots of love to give. love you all and Gods speed on the whole dating thing

Eric65
Posts: 122
Joined: May 2010

You took the words right outta my Keyboard, hang in there!

jmp123
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2010

hi I'am Joshua how are you doing today

jmp123
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2010

hi I'am Joshua how are you doing today

lauren379's picture
lauren379
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2010

about a month after diagnosis (breast cancer) my live in boyfriend moved out, although we remained together I knew something was up. And a week after my double mastectomy, I found out he has been cheating on me with another girl for a few months now! Not trying to have one up on you, just letting you know it sucks and I know!!! I really want to focus on myself and my treatment and getting better but all I can do is be depressed (i just found out about the cheating two days ago). I really want to snap out of it but I cant. My friends and family are not really supportive either, they call to talk but no one ever asks me to do things and go places. So i sit at home every day and every night...alone! Im so bored and depressed and dont know what to do. Anyone out there in a similar situation and want to talk?

survEYEve's picture
survEYEve
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 2007

I've been reading through what you cool folks have been saying, and glad that relationships have worked out great for some, whereas others...well, nothing really surprises me anymore. My story fits in the latter - I was dating someone for about 9 mos, and I told her everything even before getting involved. She wasn't scared away or anything. But around the 8th month, I'm going to a follow-up w/the eye specialist in a few days, and let know that although I'm not paranoid or thinking about it constantly, it's on my mind. Her reply was 'well, I can't help you.' A little backstory - at the time, she was clearly not happy w/work, and related issues like money, and so I decided not to get too wrapped up in each and every thing said, and just be on alert if I start really getting the vibe that she can no longer be cool about it. About a month later, in general, I'm starting to doubt the future of the relationship, for other reasons really. She started showing lots of anger and acted meaner. I had a follow-up w/the regular onc. coming up, and again, let her know that these tend to be stressful. She asked 'how many more of these do you have?' I told her 'the rest of my life,' and she didn't appear to be ok w/that. Not long after that, we split.

Eric65
Posts: 122
Joined: May 2010

Sounds to me like you're better off. Just put it all in God's hands and you'll be amazed.

Marvusman's picture
Marvusman
Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2010

After reading your post you are way better off man. Focus on you and your health in time you will meet someone much better. I personally would not date a non-survivor for that reason. People who never faced the illness often grow tired of the consistancy it has in your life. The tests, doctors appointments, scans, bloodwork and how you may feel leading up to getting your results. Do yourself a favor and meet a fellow survivor I'll guarantee you she'll get it! Every bit of it! Good luck brother and stay healthy. LIVESTRONG

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