Ah the wonderful topic of dating, after cancer. Have I been dating? Yes, and after only 8 months since I finished my chemo my hair has started to grow back curly, I have a full head of hair, got my skin tone back, still haven't lost those extra 15 lbs gained from steroids. But over "I look healthy", which is what I looked like the day I walked into the ER also. But the reality is even though on the outside physically I may have started to look like myself that doesn't mean that those "little" side affects just disappeared too. People are actually surprised that I sign into support groups as a "member" with a question mark look on their faces. The reality is that a lot the side affects hit me after I stop treatment, for example Chemo-Brain and Neuropathy. Try explaining why I keep re-introducing the same friends over and over again to each other or try explain that my entire right side of my body goes numb and sometimes I fall.
Of course after one goes through a disease and all the treatment that follows cancer, it puts a lot of things in to perspective and your priorities change. Now, I'm naive to the world simply because of my humble upbringing and having the responsibility of raising my siblings (there's more, writing a book). But the reality is that if I didn't know what I entire wanted out of life before, I absolutely know now. And that's the thing, I know what I want at 29 but my peers are at different paces. Or am I at a faster pace of life because of cancer? I have to be honest, I'm not in a huge rush to just pop out 8 kids! I'm patient, I can wait but I don't have 10 years to make up my mind. But I am living life at a different pace than most people around me or that I come into contact with, with the exception of fellow cancer survivors/patients that understand. Statistically I was given a 60% chance of the cancer returning, if so 10% to make it to 5 five years and 40% chance of being able to birth my own children.
I have noticed I've started to attract a different type of man or guys that would like to date me, it's a good thing cancer happened because I have met some wonderful men that would potentially be great partners. But at the same I have been proposed to 6 times this year by men that I never dated, with the exception of one that I dated 5 years ago. I have denied all 6 proposals. It has to be that I was finally proven to be human and not so intimidating to a few people, I know I know I can come across as aggressive at first glance. I call it determined. So hear I am in a weak position and they think "ok, this is our chance!" Nope, not happening with me, if anything they don't know me. I haven't been in a serious relationship since early 09', that's a different blog lol topic. What can I say? I have high expectations, I hold myself to high expectations and also I'm beyond my years so sometimes I can't exactly relate to the average person my age.
So here it is, my life is going at 100 mph to your guys and all I see is my life passing by slowly. It's a different pace, I'm living life based on how much time I may have left. I have said this before, I'm ok with going now if it's my time. The only thing that kind of sucks is not having a family of my own. What is important is that I'm surrounded by wonderful positive loyal friends in my life. Life seems to be much better overall after cancer, it really allows me to enjoy feeling the air hit my skin.
What are you waiting for? Go live life! :-)
I've been really working hard at this. Not trying, doing. But it can always easier said than done to think positive when your under the microscope and needles of treatment or a possible re-occurence. I understand that this may be a very overwhelming time, but ALL WE HAVE IS TIME to breath. Here are some things that I used to help me breath, stay positive, think positive and be happy regardless of my cancer diagnosis. The most important thing is to take time and care for you! You are the one who needs extra attention and love right now, and it's OK to be a bit selfish at this point in your life. "Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself"
1.Smile! Smile! Smile! "Every second is an opportunity to change your life"
2.Creative outlet (ex. writing, painting, cooking, start a blog, etc)
3.Take time for myself more than once a week to sit at a park and look at the sky, trees, listen to the birds and feel the wind.
4. Listen to relaxing music (mostly Pandora with easy going music or apps with nature sounds)
5. If you can't afford a lot of messages/acupuncture try a warm bath with Epson salt twice a week, it helps remove toxins from the body (chemo) and relaxes muscles, make sure to drink plenty of H2O.
6. Do something you like, I enjoy drinking coffee and long conversations with good friends at Oak Lawn Coffee.
7. Do something you never would have done, talk to strangers, go rock climbing, jump out of a plane. After all you already have been diagnosed with Cancer. ;-)
8. Don't do anything, it's OK to take a day and be alone.
9. Surround yourself around positive uplifting personalities, the "I can" attitude instead of "I'll try".
10. Most of all be HAPPY AND LIVE LIFE no matter what you are doing (money can't buy you more time).