I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer on November 3, 2005. I opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 4 ½ years of Tamoxifen. I was just 27 years old when this disease changed my existence. Being a single mom of a five year old at the time, I was scared, lonely and anxious about what the future would hold for me.
While recuperating from my surgery, dating was one topic that I constantly worried about. What would my dating life be like after cancer? My doctors kept telling me that it would be at least a year until I would be finished with all the surgeries, chemo and hair regrowth to be in a somewhat better place. One freaking year! Just before I was diagnosed, I had finally reached a place where I was once again comfortable with dating, since my divorce. Now I had to push pause again on my life because of cancer.
What’s a girl to do during this time? I have always been an outgoing girl and quite flirtatious. After losing my hair, I wanted to hang out with someone who understood what I was going through. I wanted male companionship. So the forward person that I am, I asked my oncologist and chemo nurses if they knew anyone who was a single male who was going through cancer and somewhat close to my age. At this point, I had nothing to lose.
And to my amazing surprise there was a young guy (two years younger than me) who had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I immediately gave the chemo nurse my cell phone number to give to him. He called and we started to go on chemo dates! I know you’re asking yourself “What is a chemo date?” It’s when two people who have cancer book their chemo sessions on the same day and then go out to dinner or do something fun afterwards. We did these kinds of dates for 6 months until we were both done with chemo.
We knew we weren’t each other’s soul mate. But these dates allowed me to believe I was still beautiful despite my physical and emotional scars. Cancer had already taken so much from me. I wasn’t going to allow cancer to silence that coquettish personality I have.
This wonderful guy and I kept in touch for a few years but we both moved on. Going through cancer as a single young woman or man can really tear you apart. It can bring you insecurities that you may never had or deepen the ones you already had. The chemo dates were my saving grace and allowed me to feel normal again. They allowed me to start seeing my future dating life was going to be just fine. And now…I am happily married!
“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you’ll know exactly what to do”. ~ Michelle Ventor
Check out Diana’s awesome blog at soulfulnecessities.com