romance

A Letter to all the women who have rejected me. Thank you.

To the women who have rejected me; thank you. I didn’t know it yet, but because of you I have become a better person. Without your help I wouldn’t have analyzed what I really wanted in a partner and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to continually fall in love with myself.

When I was diagnosed with cancer I thought I was going to die alone, that the longest relationship I would ever have would be with my cancer ( Thank God it hasn’t asked for a ring yet, six years and going strong), but there was one person I was forgetting about… me! The longest relationship I will ever have is with myself… (How could I have missed this?) Don’t get me wrong rejection never stops hurting, but thats not a bad thing; it gives you the opportunity to grow as a person, to look within yourself and question what you thought you knew about yourself.

One thing I learned was that the women who genuinely wanted to be in my life made it clear; by giving me time to heal as well as reaching out to me. Another thing; You can’t blame someone for not being attracted to you and they shouldn’t blame you for not wanting to be friends with them afterwards; it’s no ones fault, but it’s a sad reality you both may have to come to terms with.

This one is for you, thanks again to all the women who have rejected me. No matter how small your contribution may have been you all have shaped my life; definitely for the better. I would have never discovered my own strength without you guys. I haven’t found the ” one” yet, but when I accidentally, englishly stumble upon who ever she is I know I will have you guys to thank.

-Keith

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How to date someone with a terminal illness

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Dating someone with cancer or any life threatening illness is like entering Mordor, and as we all know, one does not simply enter a relationship without doing some research.

Dating in general is hard, especially in todays digital “I want it now”  ( Veruca Salt FTL!) age; now throw a little cancer into the mix, shake it up a bit and you will find dating to be almost impossible. The Key word is Almost.

Before I get started, here are a couple things to consider. Take a good, hard look at the reality of their situation and what you yourself want. You also have to consider the vast array of emotions that you’re going to feel through out this journey. 

First of all, don’t buy into those silly books that romanticize cancer, I’m looking at you Nicholas Sparks and John Green.

As a Jedi once told me ” Patience, you must have my young padawan. Patience is Key, in all honesty, it took a lot for that person to tell you in the first place, so cut them some slack.  Feel free to ask questions, but don’t 60 minutes them to death, also, do not expect them to divulge everything about their journey with cancer. This isn’t “The Year of  Magical Thinking”.

It’s OKAY to be scared, seriously, it is! Talk about what specifically scares you with your partner; I can pretty much guarantee you that it will help build your relationship.  Remember, that fear is what makes us human, so use it to your advantage. You’re probably asking yourself, “but how Jedi Master, Keith?  Simple, let go of what scares you and you will truly be able to live.

Don’t let anyone else influence you, you are in a league of your own. Seriously, you are in the boss battles of all boss battles, you can make up your own mind. It’s okay to ask for advice, but in the end, it’s all you.

Don’t be a back seat doctor, seriously, Anakin, don’t do it, the real doctor has the high ground! We know you want the best for us, but unless you actually have a medical degree, have powers beyond this world or you’re simply the devil/Angel, you don’t know JACK. It’s okay to talk to us about alternative medicine that you have read about, but please don’t pontificate your new found love of science to us.

I want to talk about physical limitations. ::Barry White Voice::  “That’s Right”  So there will be days when your partner will be so exhausted, that they will literally have to roll out of their bed to go to the bathroom, let alone get intimate. S0 when you do get intimate :: Barry White Voice:: ” Ahhhhh, Yeah Girl”  communicate to each other. This is on you, patients, if your partner thinks they are hurting you in anyway, it’s over, and if it does hurt, but you want to continue, talk them through it.  Having Sex while undergoing treatment is like playing WarGames, you know you probably should be playing chess with your partner, but Thermonuclear Detonation   is more fun ( You see what I did there?!)  ::sigh:: One last thing, do not strain yourself or put yourself in danger, communicate to each other!

Chemotherapy affects everyone differently, some people are really tired after their session, while others  feel the affect much later. Believe it or not, there are some people who go to the gym right after their treatment; either way, the movies lied,  no one throws up automatically after chemo.

Hero Worship is never good… No one I know wanted cancer, so don’t put your significant other on a pedestal. It’s okay tell them about your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Trust me, we want to know how your day was, we want to be there for you too. Don’t ever feel like you can’t express how bad you’re feeling because we may not be feeling well.

If your partner becomes depressed or is taking medication that has altered his mood in anyway, talk to him about it. I have taken more radiation to the face than Bruce Banner. Seriously, I have taken medication that has affected my mood so bad, it made Courtney love seem sane. The more honest you guys are the better.

Lastly, Don’t let him take his anger out on you!  It’s going to be difficult, there will be bad days, there will be crying and There Will be Blood. uhhh errr sorry, I’m watching Daniel Day lewis as I’m writing this.

Congrats on making it this far in your relationship and I hope you make it work. I tell you this, there is nothing more rewarding, than crawling out of the primordial soup of mediocrity and knowing that you took on the impossible and made it.  I hope this helps you Star fire and any other person who may be curious.

 

 

 

 

HOW TO BREAK UP WITH SOMEONE DEALING WITH CANCER

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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!

Love after cancer is as improbable as Sex after marriage.

Love after cancer is as improbable as Sex after marriage.

Man… after all these years i still don’t know the appropriate time to tell someone I fancy, that I have cancer… Being a cancer survivor is a blessing, but finding your love life after cancer, is proving to be as impossible as catchingCarmen Sandiago. Le sigh…

Conversations with My cancer ridden Body.

Keith: I doubt you’re getting many love letters this Valentine’s Day. Don’t get excited — this isn’t one, either. But since you’ve been what some would classify as a relationship, I just want to say-

Cancer: Keith, you don’t have to say anything you sweet, sweet man!

Keith: Now hold on there, peanut butter Jelly time! … I just want to say that as much as I can’t stand you most days, you brought a certain change in me good and bad that can’t be ignored. 

Cancer:::waves hands towards face, trying not to cry:: Oh Keith!

Keith: You’re not going to get all Halle Berry on me at the oscars are you?

Cancer: Shut up!

Keith: I just wanted to say that because of you I have slowly been able to accept myself for who I really am… short comings and all and yes… that even means you.

Cancer: :: sings:: If you wanna be my bestie, you have to get with my marrow, make it last forever frien-

Keith: cancer Pay attention as much as I want to hear you sing a cover from the spice girls! I don’t have time for this. Sure… So far my longest relationship is a tie between you and my oncologist, but today isn’t about you… 

Cancer: It isn’t?

Keith: I’m going to spend this day thinking of all my beautiful friends who have helped me make it this far, and also, ALSO by taking myself out and celebrating in the delights of new relationships.

Cancer: but, but what about me?

Keith: Oh relax cancer…. will always have chemo.

Conversations with my cancer ridden body.

 

Keith: dating is hard, this is ridiculous, the Ratio of Single Men to Single Women in NYC is 53% female and 47% male

Cancer: wait, you counted?

Keith: This is a well-known statistic!

Cancer: Okay, okay, calm down. I feel your pain, I’ve been trying to talk to this white blood cell across the way, but her family just isn’t having it. ::sigh::  

Keith: I see you have taken on some of my unfortunate traits of asking out the wrong people, well not people, but you know what I mean

Cancer: yeah. I do my friend, I do. I wanna go over there and talk to her, but it just won’t work. We come from two different cells

Keith: well technically you both come from bone—

Cancer: Two plasma cells, both alike in dignity

keith: what are you doing…..

Cancer: In Keith’s fair capillaries where we lay our scene, 

Keith: actually white blood cells travel through cap-

Cancer: From ancient marrow break to new mutiny, 

Keith: you’re just going to keep goi-

Cancer: Where dirty cells makes dirty ventricles unclean,

keith: aaand good bye context.

Cancer: From forth the marrows loins of these two cells 

keith: oh I can’t wait to hear the next part.

Cancer: A pair of star-cross’d cytes take their life.

Keith: Oh I get it!  I get it! (fast) because plasma cells are called plasmocytes and white blood cells are called leukocytes. That’s actually pretty

Cancer: -Clever! Yeah I know I made it up.

Keith: you mean, you adapted.

Cancer: No… I  made up, as in

Keith: Cancer!

Cancer: Maybe I didn’t, Maybe I did. We don’t have proof if Shakespeare-

Keith: Cancer… you’re not implying that

Cancer: what, that shakespeare had cancer!

Keith: wait, what!? I wasn’t expecting the conversation to-

Cancer: – I’m just saying that cancer has been around for a loooong time my friend.

Keith: So now you’re saying Shakespeare’s cancer wrote the prologue to Romeo and Juliet? Oh my god, my cancer is a conspiracy theorist

Cancer:  shhhh. (whispers) Think about it.