Don’t let cancer be your anti-valentine
You spot someone interesting from across a crowded room, but you stand back and watch them leave because you're afraid they won't understand your cancer, your scars, or your current outlook on life.
The decision of when and how to tell people of your cancer experience is up to you. However, if you are currently in treatment, have a lot of accessible anger, or noticable scars, you might want to do it sooner than later.
Having to put yourself out there to new people so early in a relationship can be a really scary thing for some people. What if your paramour doesn't like your scars, or doesn't understand why you're still so connected to your cancer? Well, they're not the right person for you at this time. It's important to be with people who want you to be the best you can be. It's just as likely the other person has their own demons, isn't bothered at all by your medical history, or is happy to support you.
While breakups can be devastating, the thought of someone leaving shouldn't keep you from dating when you're ready.
According to Opposing Views, Page Tolbert, an oncology social worker at the Post Treatment Center of Memorial Sloan Kettering, has sat in on a lot of support groups and says a lot of survivors see themselves as "damaged goods."
"To be young and feel as if you are not all that you should be or that pieces of you will never be back in place, it is a terrible feeling. You feel vulnerable, because who’s going to want what you have to offer when other people’s package is fuller?”
However, she says she has been in a lot of groups where people voice their concerns about how people will react to their amputation, impotence, infertility, or reduced sex drive, and the rest of the group reassures them that sexual prowess and a perfect body aren't necessarily the top catalysts for love.
When two people care about each other, there are other ways to show it than a conventional sex life. One woman said, “It is number three on my list of things that I look for in a man. It’s behind ‘loves me’ and ‘treats me well.’”
So take a chance if you see a cute girl or guy. Your differences might make you stand out in a sea of other young singles.