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breast cancer & dating

mariaz's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2002

Hi All, Just wondering if there's anyone out there who's had a mastectomy & is the dating world. I was single when diagnosed in 10/01 & just started dating someone a month ago. This is a subject I can't find any information on. When do you tell someone about the CA, how do you do it? Fortunately, the man I'm dating asked why I decided to cut my hair so short & that was the perfect lead in to the subject. It's short because it's growing back from chemo. He took it well. Any experiences to share? I feel alone in this aspect of the breast CA journey. Maria

Posts: 704
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi Maria:

I know several ladies who have been where you are re dating. I've also read several articles about this aspect of bc and it just all comes down to what you're comfortable in doing.

The two women I know don't tell guys (dates) anything initially. To a casual date, it's really none of their business.

If you become intimate, depending upon what your sugeries were, etc. you may be asked about the scars and you may not. You have the right not to explain if that's your choice. If you choose to explain, you don't really need to go into detail unless that's what you're comfortable with. Generally, you call the shots, depending upon the quality of the relationship.

Most larger book stores have some very good books about bc in general and some contain specific sections which address your concern. Your doctor may be able to recommend helful resources also. I hope some of the ladies here can share their experiences too.

I saw your profile here and you're such a lovely lady and if anything, you've grown even more beautiful through your experience.
I'd say just let how you feel about this guy and how he feels about you, be your guide.

Sometimes, "guys" are more sensitive and understanding than we may tend to give them credit for, before we really get to know them. They're as different as we are, I think. For that occasional shallow caveman whose looking for the perfect "Barbie" and nothing else will do...well, he doesn't deserve your company in the first place!
That's my take and I'm stickin' to it! Ha.

Good luck!

Love, light and laughter,

mariaz's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2002

Ink, Thanks for sharing your thoughts & words of wisdom. I appreciate it. Cheers to you. Maria

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

anone, feel very lonley and no real poorpose to
cleebtste life, I fail at this ust as i did in life before cancer,know any magic way out out I want to br hsppy and to br touched..like everyone

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2004

I had Breast Cancer in 2003 and divorced in 2005.  I am in the dating world and still wonder if I'm still attractive to men.  I had a mastecomy and decided not to get reconstruction.  I have always had trouble deciding when to tell a man.

Thank you I truly liked your comments !

hummingbyrd's picture
Posts: 961
Joined: Sep 2002

Know what u mean, so don't feel lonely. I'm divorced, 41, have 2 wonderful boys, diagnosed w/ Parkinson's Disease at age 38, Breast Cancer 10 months later. Divorced 1 year this month after 17 yrs of marriage.

Dated so far 3 guys, one I met during my chemo, he had a buzz, I had fuzz. I said "hmmm, looks like we've got the same haircut". He said he fell in love w/ me then because of my attitude and outlook on life. We still see each other occ, but we are and always will be the BEST of friends.

Second boyfriend said he fell in love w/ me because of my love for Christ. Had to break it off because he got way to serious and possessive for me.

Current boyfriend attracted to me because of my intelligence and wit, now this is what they tell me. You know whatever happened to "your beautiful and have a great body"? I may be 41, but I'm told I look 10 years younger, I'm 5'2", I weigh 108, I had a lumpectomy so I'm still a 34C. I've had more offers for dating now than when I was in hi school or college! I guess my point is the bod doesn't seem to matter. At least not from what I'm hearing, and let me say this, these relationships stayed nonsexual. It's my rule, 'I don't even kiss till we've known each other 3 months. If they won't hang in for that long they (in my opinion aren't interested in me for the right reason), besides why have sex, risk diseases, and cloud a relationship w/ physical emotions before you even get to know someone? Personal opinion, I don't judge, I'm just sharing my experiences. I do however think it's important to be upfront and let them know your history, we bring along a lot of baggage w/ our diagnosis in a way, course I just say "I've got cancer, I think the Lord has healed me, but I may get hit by a truck tomorrow, just as easily as anyone else." You can't guarantee how long you'll live no matter what.

Now if the mastectomy is the issue, and he's looking for boobs he's not worth your time. If that doesn't matter to him then he'll get his 'perks' later if you have reconstructive surgery, which I gather thats what most women do. Trust me, I may still have breasts, but gravity is no friend of mine!

The thing I think you do have to be aware of is "the knight in shining armor." I think some men are attracted to me because they think I need to be 'taken care of'. Wrong! I'm relatively independant, not 'the little woman' even though I am petite. Depending on your personality make sure they aren't mislead, if u want to be taken care of go for it surprisingly there are a lot of men who want to fill that role. Probably because of women like me, I don't think it's because they feel sorry for me, I think it's more 'the damsel in distress' syndrome and 'I'm here to save you.' Best advice:

1.) Know what you are looking for character, personality, looks...you can't find something if you don't know what you want
2.) Diligently pray for God to provide you w/ the person that is just right for you and the words to say when you meet him to best explain your condition.

Now, keep living! Stay busy with church, friends, etc. and just wait. God does everything on his own time schedule. Trust him to provide. In the mean time enjoy life, praise him, give him all the honor and glory and before you know it prince charming will appear!

Hope this is of some help. Feel free to email me if you want. I also have a web site www.conqueringcancerthroughchrist.com you have to type it in like that in the address line. Not big enough to be on search engines yet. God bless and happy hunting. LOL, Hummingbyrd

mariaz's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2002

Hummingbyrd, now I don't feel so isolated. Thanks for the advice & laughter. We all need that. Interesting about the knight in shining armor comment. I felt the guy I'm dating might think of himself in that way but he now knows how independent I am. I want him in my life, I don't need him. You & I are so close in age. It must be really rough with the Parkinson's & CA. You have a good spirit & that counts for everything. Take good care. Maria

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

I felt relieved to read your stories. I had a mastecomy 6/02, just finished chemo in Jan. I feel very good, very optimistic spiritualy as well. Which puts me back into wanting to date. I'm a single mom with 2 teenage girls. Havent dated in a few years, but feel like now I want to and didnt know how or what to say about the big "C". I know I dont have to tell them, but if I meet someone I like, and our friendship develops into something more, then what? How would I explain the surgery marking? I still have to finish the reconstruction,(nipple) so right now I dont even have that. I needed to hear from someone who could relate to this. How does dating feel after chemo and a mastecomy? How are things going with mr. wonderful now?

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