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Topic: Dating After Recostruction (and CANCER!)

Forum: Singles With Breast Cancer —

Singles with breast cancer who want to connect.

Posted on: Sep 28, 2009 04:28PM

elizzim wrote:

Hi friends,

I thought I would start a new topic, since I know there MUST be others like me out there?! I was diagnosed last December (2008), and 2009 was spent in treatment thus far: bilateral MX w/ TE's, chemo, and then exchange to Allergan 410's (Gummies). Facing cancer did one great thing for me: it taught me that I do, really want to experience love again in my life.

I'm a very young 47, single (divorced with 2 beautiful daughters), and faced with the prospect of dating as a completely different, less confident person than I was before I last dated, before BC. It's funny - I managed to stay pretty positive and hopeful through treatment. But ironically, now that it's mostly over (except for tamoxifen for 5 yrs) I feel a kind of sadness - even depression setting in. The fear about my future, the loss of my breasts, the uncertainty about how a man might react to my new breasts - all of this makes me doubt myself and my chance of finding love, even though I've always been a pretty confident woman in that department. I feel as though I shouldn't even put myself out there (with the short hair, reconstuction, etc.), that it would be a miracle to find someone who could feel about me the way men have felt about me in the past.

I know, intellectually, that good men are out there, that love happens to people in the thick of treatment, that I am more than my "looks". But on a gut level, it feels like the wind has been taken out of my sails.

Can anyone relate to this? Where did you begin to search, for those of you that are taking care of children, and don't get out there much? 

Liz Dx 12/9/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 03:21PM musiclovermom wrote:

I am so insecure right now after the past year.

I would like some kind of male attention other than my plastic surgeon telling me how good I look and how great I will look after this is all overwith.

He is amazing and I can't wait to test drive his work this summer with a date!

I am not only dealing with the new boobs, but my husband left me! (2 months before the cancer)

I have a bunch of issues!

Kimberly

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 03:25PM - edited Oct 21, 2010 08:42PM by Bigapple09

This Post was deleted by Bigapple09.
Dx 11/2002, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 03:30PM - edited Jan 1, 2010 03:31PM by musiclovermom

Wendy

You are savvy! Can I be you when I grow up?

Kimberly

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 03:34PM - edited Oct 21, 2010 08:42PM by Bigapple09

This Post was deleted by Bigapple09.
Dx 11/2002, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 03:38PM musiclovermom wrote:

Yeah... I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up yet!

I am glad you have vanity! Where can I get some to cover my insecurities?

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 04:15PM - edited Oct 21, 2010 08:42PM by Bigapple09

This Post was deleted by Bigapple09.
Dx 11/2002, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 04:23PM musiclovermom wrote:

Now I am crying...

Emotional baggage every where!

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 04:27PM - edited Jan 1, 2010 04:27PM by Mai605

Wendy I am so inspired by you!  You have such an amazing spirit, and I can't imagine how tough it was with your infection and losing an implant.  I'm uptight b'cuz that's my fear now, with capsular contracture, my right foob is as hard as a rock and hurts.

This will be the ultimate test ladies, to find Mr. wonderful throughout all this.  Somehow I believe God will bless us in spite of all this as we learn to love ourselves again.  I'm printing off your list for reference... I hope you don't mind :)

Edited cuz I can't spell....

Diane Dx 4/8/2009, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 04:33PM - edited Oct 21, 2010 08:43PM by Bigapple09

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Dx 11/2002, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 05:32PM thepinkbirdie wrote:

Mai - Thanks but I don't think it's confidence so much as that I sometimes just don't give a sh*t what others may think.

It's true, men are visual creatures.  I used to struggle with that and get really aggravated some times over it.  What helped was when I realized that although they are visual they don't all have the same taste in women.  At the risk of sounding bad, I would think that many of us at least once in our lives have seen a good looking man with what we may think of as a not so pretty woman and wonder what he's doing with her.  To some, she's not pretty but to him she's beautiful.

Wendy - tons of great advice and good points!  It's amazing how our childhood has affected our adulthood. 

thepinkbirdie.blogspot.com Dx 6/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 1, 2010 11:10PM cookiegal wrote:

listen I was single for a long time, I just got married in 08 at the age of 41.. As far as being honest with your picture during chemo....on a dating website I might just go for a wig. If you don't normally wear a wig, maybe a pink or blue wig just for fun.

I think the cancer thing is TMI on a dating site.

And I dated 2 cancer patients I met on line, it was never a big deal to me. I respected them.

I have a very very cute guy friend who just finished chemo last week. I am so excited for him to meet someone nice.

Good luck ladies, I really admire y'all. 

You deserve a cookie!
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Jan 2, 2010 04:57PM imnyc wrote:

Wendy,

 Nice list for the new year!!  Here's to #3 on this list specifically!!  I need to have that written on a post-it and stick on my wall!!

 Everyone - Happy New Year!!

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Jan 13, 2010 08:30AM - edited Oct 21, 2010 08:43PM by Bigapple09

This Post was deleted by Bigapple09.
Dx 11/2002, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 13, 2010 10:06AM musiclovermom wrote:

You give me HOPE that I will have a date someday!

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2010 10:29PM imnyc wrote:

Nice new profile picture Wendy!!  Way to go with your dates!!  Keep us posted.  I, like you, have less pain after the implant on the problematic side has been removed... although I am still getting used to the long scar across my chest that made me look like I had got bitten by a shark... and also being lopsided... well, I guess both of us would just have to wait it out...and hope for the best in our next surgery...

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Jan 22, 2010 06:12AM Sexy-bald-chemo-girl wrote:

Dating sucked before cancer and it hasn't picked up since. But I keep hope alive that it will. Life is funny. I had planned in 2008, that after I started my new job and got a little more comfortable with my new boyfriend... that I was going to buy a condo and work on having a baby because I was 39 and I felt that I needed to make moves. The first move I made was to have a lump checked out in my breast - finally had health insurance - and that lump turned out to be stage 3 breast cancer. Now, Jan 10, I am boyfriend-less, post-chemo, post-rads, post-mastectomy and post-reconstuction... but I am lonely and I don't know how to go about getting myself back.

 Meeting men is not a problem. Never has been. I'm an outgoing person with a nice smile. Men tend to be simple enough to attract. But keeping them around? Seems like I'm a failure there. And to make matters worse.. I decided to blog about my breast cancer experience and that really seems to be the wrong move. I like that my blog helps other women to understand what to expect but men just don't know how to deal with me. I keep hearing the same/similar line... that basically they think I'm great but they aren't quite ready to deal with me. I talk to guys who tell me that my cancer isn't a problem. That I'm still physically attractive and that my personality is a winner. But I'm still "kissing frogs" and its tiresome.

Cancer really feels like one bad thing after another.

40, no kids, never been married... How is this fair? Dx 7/28/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, ER+, HER2+
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Jan 22, 2010 07:19AM - edited Oct 21, 2010 08:44PM by Bigapple09

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Dx 11/2002, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 22, 2010 07:26AM Sexy-bald-chemo-girl wrote:

How very profound. "Cinderella did not try to fit into the prince's shoe, she fit into her own shoe... he just happened to have it". 

Amazing. I love words (I'm a writer) and I am always amazed at the power that words have to make you feel better. Thanks for the insight. I do think that I pick the same guy over and over and I keep trying not to make that mistake. which is probably why I can't make up my mind about dating right now. I will look for that book. It sounds like a winner.

40, no kids, never been married... How is this fair? Dx 7/28/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, ER+, HER2+
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Jan 27, 2010 08:25PM Alitman wrote:

I have been posting on another thread and this one was suggested to me.  I had a bilat mx (prophy) in June 09 and my exchange 11/09 - I recently decided to get nips 'cause I don't feel like these are even boobs anymore - may as well be elbows for all I care about them.  I'm hoping the nips will help.  Anyway - I recently joined match.com and I feel as if I am being completely rejected based on a paragraph and a head shot.  I sit down once a week and write a ton of emails to a ton of different men - I check their profiles to make sure smoking and body style are a match and so far I've had only 1 response other than a "wink".  We met for a drink and he told me he and his wife were going to marriage counselling.  Needless to say, I am not thrilled with the results.  Maybe I am not ready - I don't know. 

Allison

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Jan 27, 2010 09:10PM musiclovermom wrote:

Hi Allison!

You are further along than I am at least. I have yet to even have a date. What a jerk to go out with you while he is in marriage counseling. I just have the hardest time trusting anyone right now.

Kimberly

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 27, 2010 09:14PM musiclovermom wrote:

Hey Wendy!

I was at the book store and was looking for the matchmaker book and almost spoke to a man in the same isle. ALMOST but didn't - I wondered if he was there for self help or just waiting for me to leave so he could look at the sex books on the next shelf. After he left the isle I glanced at the titles he picked up - on emotional health... Maybe not the best place to meet men - they might be more screwed up than I am! Anyway, i found the matchmaker book and one also called DEAL BREAKERS. Happy Reading!

Kimberly

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 27, 2010 09:32PM imnyc wrote:

Allison,

FYI there are a lot of creeps on match.  I have been a member there for a few years now...believe me, please don't take the rejection personally.  It has to do with 'age' for the most part I found.  I got 'winks' and emails all the time when I first joined, but once you get to the 'mid thirties' in my case, i.e. as you age, I hardly get any emails... many men on that site are out to play the field so they tend to approach the young girls... that's my opinion based on my experience... I had the same thing written in my profile in my early thirties and mid thirties, just different pictures, and the age changed of course, but the responses I received are like night and day.

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Jan 28, 2010 07:54AM Alitman wrote:

Great..... I just turned 51 - maybe I should be looking for men in their 70's.....  Actually, I have a friend in AZ (where I lived until june of 08).  He has been pursuing me for about 5 years now.   I was in a relationship when we met but that didn't deter him.  He is nice BUT he lives in AZ and he is so much older than I am.  I have trouble picturing myself being intimate with him.  I know waaaayyy to much information.

Allison

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Jan 28, 2010 08:04AM - edited Oct 21, 2010 08:44PM by Bigapple09

This Post was deleted by Bigapple09.
Dx 11/2002, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 28, 2010 08:31PM Alitman wrote:

I hope you have a great time out with the girls and on your date next week.  I have let most people around me know that I am looking but so far, I've not gotten any help.  I will be working late tomorrow and probably working most of the weekend.  I'll be in Dallas thurs and fri of next week.  I think  I'll sleep in the spring....LOL

Allison

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Jan 29, 2010 08:47PM - edited Jan 29, 2010 09:31PM by wabiwoman

Hi all,

I know some of you from other threads and it has been nice to read your stories here.  I'm concerned about confidentiality so when it comes to the dating stuff so I probably won't be chiming in too much.  Based on an incident a friend told me about losing some privacy on a community forum (she found a posting of hers repeated in the personal blog of a forum member - her name was not mentioned, but she felt very "exposed"), I got curious and looked up the BC.org forum rules - I mean how much of what I say here actually stays here?  The rules state "By using the Discussion Boards or Chat Rooms, you are granting Breastcancer.org a perpetual, exclusive, royalty-free and irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, create derivative works from, transfer, and sell any such messages, files or communications" and for some reason freaks me out just a little.  Anyway, because of this and because the community I live in is so small I'll be a lurker on this thread.  Hope you all don't mind!  I'll be dating soon, so know I'm joining you in spirit!

Geena

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Jan 30, 2010 09:39AM musiclovermom wrote:

Hi Geena!

When I have something to say that I am not comfortable posting, I usually send a PM to that person...

Kimberly

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 30, 2010 09:49AM Alitman wrote:

Geena & Kimberly -  I must have been born without that "privacy gene"  I don't have very many personal boundaries but I will watch what I say.  Actually, I can't imagine I would say anything that would even be of interest to anyone else.  I guess I kind of pays to not have much to say that is worth while.

Allison

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Jan 30, 2010 09:52AM wabiwoman wrote:

(((((Allison))))) - You ALWAYS have great stuff to say!  I love reading your posts!

Kimberly - Yes, I must use the PM option more often.... Smile

Geena

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Jan 30, 2010 10:23AM musiclovermom wrote:

Hi Allison!

I guess I have the theory that once something is in writing, expect the whole world to see it. The Internet is a perfect example! You don't even have to be a member of this site to read all our posts.

I don't have anything to hide but sensitivity on a subject is taken into consideration.

I have been helped so much by these message boards and have to think there are so many women who read but don't post that are getting help also.

Have a great weekend - we are getting snow in Virginia today...Snow was a major reason I moved away from Maine!

Kimberly

Dx 7/21/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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