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Dating, Losing friends, etc

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2009

I read a little about this issue on this board after googling "losing friends when you have cancer." I am in remission for over a year from ALL and I just turned 27. Having been diagnosed with ALL in the middle of my undergraduate career, I quickly found out how fast ALL will chase some of your "friends" away. After all, I went from being a fun college student to the very opposite of fun in no time. I even predicted losing my boyfriend at the time. I kind of even understood it. I didn't deserve ALL in my life and either did he. But I never thought that this "losing people" part would follow me through remission and onto the rest of my life.

After a few cases of meeting guys who I would consider dating, only to hear them say "it doesn't bother me" to turn into "actually it scares me too much" I recently met someone who I allowed myself to get very close to. The only reason why I really kind of gave myself so much was because he was so reassuring that he understood. He had lost a girlfriend to ALL prior to us meeting and through his previous gf had met a bunch of young people with ALL. I really felt like he knew what he was saying when he said he understood and having had ALL would not scare him away. I guess I should have known that his own history was not reassurance, but rather a red flag. Now that I feel really close to him, he is pulling away. All of his reasoning on why is clearly because he's scared. He says my health history provides an "obvious risk" to him.

And now... I can't help but to think that this will be the story of my life post-ALL. Will there be anyone who I can trust to stick around? :(

rossgipson's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2008

I have a similar story except mine is longer. I had ALL at 6 and have had to deal with what you're dealing through all through grade school, middle school, high school, and college.

I didn't worry so much about not being able to get close to girls in high school because everyone is shallow in high school anyway. When I got to college, however, is when things changed. I dated a couple of girls, and it was the same song and dance that you've gone through. "it doesn't matter to me" is where it starts. "i can't see myself getting that close to you" is where it ends. which basically boils down to "you're different, and that scares me."

I can't say that there is an easy answer to your question. I find myself answering that question with "maybe" but then saying "but probably not" under my breath. I find myself becoming more withdrawn and unwilling to submit to emotional investments in the future, but i can only be so pessimistic. there is in me a glimmer of hope that i will meet some girl who doesn't mind that her boyfriend/fiance/husband is a cancer survivor, and that may mean she has to deal with a very difficult future, and that i will gain satisfaction knowing i have filtered through all the crap humanity has to offer and found someone very strong (because let's face it...it takes a strong person to be with our lot).

I just don't hold my breath. I just don't dwell on it. I commit my mental faculties to other aspects of my life, trying to better myself, to become more successful, and thus happier with myself.

I'm not saying this will work for you. I'm just letting you know what works for me. I do hope you find the answers you're looking for.

Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 2008

I'm so sorry to hear your heart so broken. Obviously that guy is an 'obvious risk' to you.

Will this be the story of your life? I don't believe it will. Will there be anyone who you can trust to stick around? Yes, I believe so.

I'm glad you found this board and that you are reaching out. My losses have been more with friends. There are some people that can hang with you in the worst of circumstances and there are others that just can't take the heat. It is sad. But it is a growing experience, too. You will cherish those friends that have stuck with you.

Hang in there!

erolyn's picture
Posts: 21
Joined: Dec 2008

It's been interesting for me to see which of the people in my life have stepped up to support me and which people have not. Almost everyone's been really supportive...except, of course for the two people I really needed to be: the guy I was seeing last summer and my best friend of 9 years.

He stopped trying to contact me altogether after I told him I had cancer, and she couldn't even bother to drive 15 minutes to visit me post-surgery after all this time. The worst part, really, is that I kind of expected this from both of them - I always knew he never really cared about me and that she was selfish, it just took getting cancer to see it for sure.

But I have a lot of people still in my life who are great, and extremely supportive, and so ultimately I feel like I'm better off without the two who are not. You'll find people who will stick around, too...just hang in there.

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Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2010

I wrote a post a few months ago called 'love' that I think you should read.

I've never had cancer, but about 6 months ago the guy I was falling for found out that he had testicular cancer for the second time (the first time was before we met). Watching him fight through something like that was absolutely the hardest thing that I have ever done, but I still love him. I love him more every day. For me, it doesn't matter at all in the slightest even remotely that he was so sick, or might perhaps be sick again one day. It didn't matter that his hair fell out, or that he gained weight when his chemo was done because he was so excited he didn't throw up everyday, or that he cried if front of me, or anything. I'm sure that from where you're standing, especially with the dating experiences you've had recently, it's hard to wholly believe that, but it's true. I refuse to live my life in a way that would put so much weight on what happened in the past that I'm too afraid of the future to take any risks, and stop doing what could make me happy. There must be others like me somewhere in the world. It probably won't be simple, and it might take a lot of heartbreak before you find what you're looking for, but hopefully knowing that I'm so crazy in love with him give you some hope.

And just so you know, he and I are not together. I don't even think he knows how in love with him I am. I want to tell him, every day. But I'm terrified that I'll scare him away or make him feel uncomfortable, or that he never felt anything close to love for me even before he was sick. Maybe someone already has felt that way about you? I don't know of course. But it's tricky to be on the other side, not wanting to pressure the situation and just being so relieved that the illness is over that you'll take whatever the other person will give you.

I hope this has been helpful. Smile today :)

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2010

If you aren't too sure where to start when it comes to dating, then you can find a few tips here. If you are a baby boomer gal and starting the quest to find love all over again then you have some pretty strong points in your favor. Unlike when you were in your teens and twenties, you now know exactly who it is that you are wanting to meet. You are also able to tell someone what you need and want from them and you aren't afraid to speak up if it isn't right

cgarr71's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2010

During my treatment my relationship went to the crapper. I was diagnosed with complete bone marrow failure dude to severe aplastic anemia and PNH. I know its not the same but I went through some harsh chem and a bmt. I am about 6 months post and doing well. But during treatment it was very hard being isolated (it still is) and then having a lot of my closest friends give up on me. My ex girlfriend who I have been friends with for years and had been going together for awhile definitely let me down pretty hard. It was my last day of chemo and I had some bad reactions earlier, she called and did'nt even ask how I was doing and started yelling at me because she was having a shitty day and I wasn't around to fix it. I let that go because everyone has shitty days but it kept going on so I called it out one day and brought it all to a head and pretty much came to the fact that she wanted to break up but didn't want to be the one to do it for her conscience sake. So somehow treating me like **** in the worst of all scenarios of my life made more sense. As for my other friends it definitely weeded out the real few and the fake ones. Out of a huge group of friends two came to visit me. My best friend who was my center/room mate and the manager of the locker room who I was friends with but not best friends. Well now I'm back at my college and the only two guys I hang out with are those two. The rest shun and shy away from me. But now the worst of all things I don't even know if I could or want to try to meet girls due to germ issues and me having the immune system of a six moth old baby or having to explain everything and getting shot down for that reason. On the days it gets bad (mentally) I just remind myself everything is better than the alternative and that I have it better than a lot of other patients and then delve into my school work. But I admit there are times when my two best friends leave town to go back home for a bit its lonely as hell.

Also I don't like talking behind people's backs and shouldn't be bad mouthing my ex because up until those weird days she was extremely supportive and was there for me a lot. She stayed with me all through the christmas break before I had my transplant. I caught her crying her eyes out one morning and as soon as she saw me she tried to cover it up. I told her it was fine and she should let it out and talk to me about how it affects her too but she didn't want too. She said no and just bottled everything up. I let it go and now regret it. Because it seems like out of the blue one day it was all just too much for her and I feel that it wouldn't have been if she could have just communicated.

Marvusman's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: Sep 2010

I just turned 29 and have battled a rare and deadly sarcoma twice now since I was 27. I dont care about dating right now I just want to survive, laugh and have fun. Though I can say this I would like to be in love oneday and I wouldn't even consider dating a NON-survivor. Only a survivor can understand and accept the consistancy the disease has in your life with the constant monitoring, tests and treatment. Therefore if I do stumble upon love it will be with someone I have that ultimate common bond with. Someone who knows what it means to suffer, fight and kick cancer's a*s!

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