Dating and cancer don’t really seem to go together. As if dating isn’t difficult enough. I suppose I could leave cancer out of my past or even lie. Then I might be able to have a few dates, but that wouldn’t really work for me anyway. My life is about authenticity. I eat, think, and live differently from pretty much everyone. I struggle with feeling connected to my family and friends, let alone meeting a stranger and finding a connection with them. I long to find someone who not only gets it but lives life like I do.
So leaving that bit out would pretty much require lying because at some point I get asked a question that requires I explain a bit about my past. My past… cancer has played a huge role in it, but not in the way that many people would imagine. It has caused me to change my life, but in a way that made my actions line up with my values. Cancer helped me find myself and my passions. Cancer isn’t my doom, it’s been my salvation.
Still, it hasn’t helped me in dating. When I became sick a few years ago, the guy I was dating broke up with me by never contacting me again and unfriending me on Facebook. A different one alluded to how he had to consider [my cancer] when it came to dating me and made it seem like I should be grateful that he decided to date me. More recently I haven’t even made it on dates. One ghosted me after I told him because he asked about my dietary habits. Come to find out his mother had died of cancer.
Another quit talking to me after I sent him my blog. We had a date planned and the night before I contacted him, and he said “Yes, he’d like to go out”, followed by “But my Monday is crazy, I can’t make it to [said place]”. My response of “Would you like to reschedule or go somewhere else” must have been lost by the telecommunications company since I never heard from him again. The best response was probably the guy I did make it out on a date with. As I was telling a bit of my story he said, “I’m sorry, but can I see your boobs, I’ve never seen fake boobs before”. I mean at least he didn’t act like I was going to die on him.
Most recently I tried to avoid by the “C” word with “I got really sick”. It didn’t work. When the question came I could lie or tell the truth. I told the truth because there are enough lies in this world. Side note – Spotify just started playing “Bad Liar” by Selena Gomez. Let’s be even more honest, I’m also a bad liar if it’s not something I believe. I can lie to cover for someone I love, but I don’t feel I should have to lie about this. I think it’s BULLSHIT that I have to even think about lying about it. His daughter interrupted our conversation and I’m pretty sure he was grateful for the ability to end the call. I ended up receiving a text a little later where he apologized for the “abrupt end to our conversation”. That was it. Rather anticlimactic when someone is pouring out their heart to you.
We’re all going to die. The fact that I’m healthier than 95% percent of the population doesn’t escape me like it seems to escape all of these “men”. Correction, I make that statement to everyone. My cancer isn’t going to kill me. My treatments aren’t going to kill me. They make my body strong enough to withstand and heal from cancer. Nevermind that most of it is enjoyable. I like to meditate, get massages, use the infrared sauna, get nutritional drips, eat so that I feel good. None of this seems to matter once the “C” word is said.
To add to the power of the “C” word is me. I’m passionate and I want to make a difference. I’m determined to Be the Change. I can’t not talk about it because our ideas about cancer and illness need to change. We need to recognize that our attitude and energy affects the outcome of the situation. This is true for all situations, but even more so with illness.
Every time someone has a negative response to cancer I spend precious time reassuring myself that they have no idea and that there is nothing to be afraid of. It pisses me off that I still must do this because I know how they tend to get their information. I know most people don’t take the time to think deeply about pretty much anything. At this point I’m pretty sure I’ve earned a master’s degrees in Cancer and also Philosophy, Psychology, Nutrition, and Holistic Healing. The amount of time I’ve devoted to research and my own personal experience should make me immune to all the outside feedback. But it doesn’t.
It also hurts to put my heart out there again and again. How many times can you put yourself out there only to get punched in the heart? After so long I go numb and I don’t want to feel numb again. Someone must protect my heart. I’m pretty sure that’s my responsibility until I find someone I can trust to care for it as much as I do.
So, what does one do? It appears I call my mom and cry about how I was born with a broken heart (more on this in a different post) and I really would just like to fit in for once (I don’t mean this). Then I write a blog post to pour all my feelings into. I may break into the emergency non-dairy ice cream in the fridge, (I totally did). And I’ll go to sleep and wake up again tomorrow and see what the day brings.
Everything else has worked out. I believe that this will too. In fact, something wonderful will come from these experiences. And I’m still happier now than I’ve ever been. There is that.