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Starting new relationships

butterfly5135
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi: I am a 53-year-old woman who has a history of Hodgkin's lymphoma. I have been cancer free for 2 years now. I am wondering if anyone has any advice about starting new relationships. Since my diagnosis and completion of treatment, I have been reluctant to pursue romantic relationships with men. My feeling is that I don't have a right to invite someone into my life knowing there is a possibility that my cancer could return at any time, or that I could develop another kind of cancer. I have recently met a man that has the potential to lead to something wonderful, but I am afraid of telling him about my history. I have a fear that telling him (or anyone else I may meet in my lifetime) may drive him away, and I honestly couldn't blame him. But, I can't stand the thought of never having someone to spend the rest of my life with. I deserve to be happy, but do I honestly have the right to expect someone to want to be involved with me knowing what the future could hold?

I would appreciate any thoughts/advice.

Thanks.

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Your CSN Staff
Posts: 200
Joined: May 2008

Hello,

You may wish to search for other discussion board postings as well as other contributions to the CSN on dating by entering the word "dating" into the search bar at the top of this page. You can then browse the results and contact other members if you choose.

If you are interested in finding a support group in your area where you may meet others with similar issues, please contact the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center. Cancer Information Specialists are available 24 hours a day to assist you with questions on your diagnosis and to provide support resources. They can be reached at 1-800-227-2345.

We wish you the very best.

Kind regards,

Your CSN Staff

NoQuiSi
Posts: 106
Joined: Sep 2008

Hi butterfly. Congratulations on being cancer free! I understand what you're asking and I've considered the very same things. I'm an NHL survivor. I thought I shouldn't allow anyone to be a part of my life in a romantic sense (or any other type of relationship, for that matter)...I felt it wouldn't be fair to the person involved, just as you have.

I've been in an indolent phase with the disease but was told it could become more aggressive at any time and in fact does seem to be doing so now. A dear friend suggested to me that I was actually being quite unfair to other people...that I was in fact taking their choice away from them to either be a part of my life or not. This made a lot of sense to me.

My advise to you would be to grab all the life that you can and wring every drop from it...give your guy a chance. How a person rises to a challenging life event is very telling of their character. If you feel your fella to be of a strong, compassionate and understanding nature, then have no worries. If you don't feel this to be true of him then you'd probably want to rethink any type of relationship with HIM, regardless of the history of the lymphoma, am I right?

Best wishes to you as well as love, light and laughter.
~NoQuiSi~

butterfly5135
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi NoQuiSi:

Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. Yes, you are absolutely right. And your advice sounds like something I would tell someone else who is in my situation. I will never know what will come of the relationship if I don't go for it.

Funny how things that we think are big issues for us suddenly seem not so important when you learn that someone may once again be in a battle for their life. I am sorry to hear that your cancer may be coming back. I wish you luck and best wishes for a longer remission. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Thank you again for the words of encouragement. God bless.

Butterfly

NoQuiSi
Posts: 106
Joined: Sep 2008

You're right in that you'll never know until you go for it. Please don't undermine the issues you're facing with recovery...they're very valid points and very worth considering.

I'm sorry, didn't mean to confuse you. What I should've explained is that the cancer already did come back but was (hopefully still is) in a 'slow moving' phase. That is to say that I still experience symptoms and affects, however the cancer itself hasn't been extremely aggressive. Apparently something has changed recently however, which indicates from the blood work that there's been a progression. I'm waiting now for test results which will determine my current status.

I wish you all the luck and would like to thank you for extending best wishes and prayers for me. I'll do the same for you and my hopes are that any relationship you pursue is everything you want and need.

May life be good to you, my friend.
~NoQuiSi~

LisaD67
Posts: 26
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi, my name is Lisa and I'm 41. I felt the same way you do. It took alot of talking from my family and friends to get me to start meeting men. I am upfront and honest with anyone I talk too. If they stay great, if not then maybe it wasn't meant to be. But I believe that there is someone out there for all of us. I recently met a man who is wonderful. He makes me feel good about myself. I don't know where this will lead, we are taking one day at a time. Only time will tell. Just don't be afraid, take the chance. Happiness can be yours. I hope this helps.

Take care,
Lisa

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