Having cancer is like being an X-men, well, without the cool powers and the fancy school.I get plenty of people judging me though, there it is! I knew I could link the two! I win… nothing.
In all seriousness, I have missed out on several relationships because sooner or later, I have tell the women I date, I technically still have cancer. Most of the time the conversations play out like an old Abbot and Costello routine.
I realize there are no real answers for this question, but I can offer some Advice. Keep in mind there are no rules or guidelines for this, there’s no handbook for the recently diagnosed. ( beetlejuice!)
1. Don’t be afraid to talk about it, if the relationship is seriously getting continually punched in the face, by a metaphorical Ivan Drago. Talk about it
2. Write down how you feel so when you approach your partner you have key topics to talk about, Break ups are never easy, especially in this case. So before the conversation derails and the arguments and finger pointing begins, make sure you are clear and concise about the why.
3. Do not make it about them as a person, ( unless it has affected who they are) but the cancer or the disease itself. Do not take them to your favorite restaurant, wine and dine them and then breakup with them. Well, actually, do wine and dine us, but have the conversation at their apartment, so you can leave at anytime.
4. Be a supportive friend if you can. They’re going to need support now more than ever. Only do it if you can, don’t let them guilt you into staying in a relationship. Trust me, it’s going to be a hard for them not to.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer, the girlfriend I had at the time broke up with me during chemo. She came in, crying, with her head looking down at the ground. She looked up at me and said “Keith, I can’t do it anymore, this is killing me” I reply ” This is killing you? Great, because this is physically Killing me, High Five!” Granted, she cheated on me when I was in and out of chemo, so she was hardly a keeper.
A girl I was involved with, texted me on Easter than she couldn’t do it, fair enough, she owes me nothing. I just love the Juxtaposition of the text ” Happy Easter, Keith!! I can’t date someone who may die on me, I’m sorry, Have a great day!” How can you not laugh at that?
There was girl who told me the day after my birthday, that she thought I was special and I deserved someone, but she just wasn’t strong enough. Fair enough. I’m not sure how strong you have to be… I don’t know, maybe able to lift 50 pounds.
I could go on, there are so many other examples, but these will do for now. My love life is like an episode of seinfeld… a lot of talk but not much going on.
To be honest, I’ve been thinking about giving up on dating, It’s been a roller coaster ride of toxic shame.Maybe I should I pin a C on my chest so people can know? I’m not ashamed of it, I just wish I could find someone who isn’t ashamed either.
I’m not condemning these women, they have the right to Not date me because of it, I totally get that. I just wish there was some way I could educate these women, instruct them in the ways of dating a 20 something person with cancer. Sometimes I wish there was a film that could educate and explain things a little clearer, like roots!… I did it again…
Thanks for reading!