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Topic: Single life after a mastectomy

Forum: Singles With Breast Cancer —

Singles with breast cancer who want to connect.

Posted on: Apr 29, 2011 11:32PM

txkari wrote:

Hello --

I'm a 47 year old single, who was diagnosed with DCIS grade 3 in early March. The affected area is quite large ... 15 cm in one direction. I have had two partial mastectomies and they still don't have clear margins, so I will be getting a full mastectomy on the left side in a few weeks.

I guess I took the Dr's assurances that I would be OK, a little too much to heart. I was ready for a little surgery and radiation. I wasn't ready to be told I needed a full mastectomy. The reality of it hit me a couple of nights ago.

I haven't met with the plastic surgeon yet, so I'm not sure what my reconstruction plan is yet. My questions are ... how did you prepare yourself to see your body after the surgery? I'm rather large breasted (DD) so the difference is going to be pretty dramatic. Have you found that men can look past the changes in your body? Do they understand? I just want to know if I need to resign myself to being alone. Is there love after a mastectomy/reconstruction?

Thanks

Dx 3/4/2011, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes
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May 1, 2011 12:14PM Fearless_One wrote:

Hello,

I am single and just had my MX/TE's, but haven't started dating yet.   I will start when my recon is over.   I think the reality of it is that some men will leave, some won't.   It would be unrealistic to say it won't matter to them, because for some - it will.    It's much different than having the surgery AFTER you are already married or in a relationship that to enter the dating pool afterwards.   But I can tell you from this board, that yes - the right guy won't care and will still find you beautiful.

If you go to "Finding Love after your diagnosis" thread, you can see some of the ladies there have met some great guys after their diagnosis and reconstruction.

I DO believe there can be love after MX/recon.   But you need to be thick-skinned, as there are a lot of shallow guys out there who will leave.

lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants
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May 1, 2011 04:49PM Fearless_One wrote:

bump....maybe not a lot of singles here, I don't know.....txkari, let us know what you decide about recon.   Maybe you can get DIEP or SGAP?  

lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants
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May 8, 2011 10:33PM lauri wrote:

...and there are even some, like me, who have found love after mastectomy but WITHOUT reconstruction.  As fearless noted, it depends on the guy.

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success Dx 3/8/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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May 9, 2011 08:10AM Fearless_One wrote:

Lauri, I am very happy to read that!     Smile May I ask how you met?    How long have you been together?  

I love hearing about post-BC love......

lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants
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May 9, 2011 01:34PM sam52 wrote:

Yes, same for me.....uni - mast (no recon), and it happened for me too! It's been 6 years for us now...

dx Oct 2001 IDC 1.6cm, stage II, grade 3, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 9, 2011 06:12PM Fearless_One wrote:

Sam and Lauri, how did you meet these guys?    I am so glad you posted.   Haven't heard from OP.....

lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants
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May 12, 2011 08:26PM lauri wrote:

OK -- we met on eHarmony and corresponded (daily,then several times a day) for about six months before we were able to arrange our schedules for a face-to-face meeting ...and then we moved in together two months later.  It has been four months since then. 

And I brought up the BC in one of our first emails, so there were no surprises.  But by the time you hit 60, almost everybody has SOMETHING that doesn't work completely.

Good luck to everyone !!

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success Dx 3/8/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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May 13, 2011 07:39PM sam52 wrote:

Mine was a friend in the first instance........funny how things can change!

dx Oct 2001 IDC 1.6cm, stage II, grade 3, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 14, 2011 06:25PM Faith316 wrote:

If a man can not look past a mastectomy, then he is NOT a man you would want anyways!

DX 4/08 IDC, ER-, PR-, HER2+, IIB, Grade 3,lumpectomy,2/8 nodes,4 AC,12 wks.Taxol,Herceptin,30 rads. DX IBC 6/09 while still in treatment. Now Stage III. 6 mo. of Xeloda done, still on Tykerb. Uni-mx & another node dissection 2/4/10.
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May 15, 2011 03:01PM Fearless_One wrote:

Sam, that's true.   Some of the best romantic relationships begin is friends.   What cannot happen, is to go from romantic relationship and THEN to friends and then back to relationsip.   That just doesn't happen (when your lover tells you "let's be friends", it's over).   But the reverse can make for the best relationships (friends first).

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May 20, 2011 10:02PM Fearless_One wrote:

So few singles here....not sure why that is Undecided
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Jul 9, 2011 02:01AM Newlife44 wrote:

Don't worry I'm single if that helps and basically the partner I had saw me through the chemo etc remission then about 3 months ago I found out he had been seeing his ex for the past year.

It's really painful etc - but I'm happier without the stress he brought me that's for sure.  I don't think a guy who really cares for you would care less if you had a masectomy or not.  I saw my oncologist the other day and he agreed that he had seen many relationships break up after cancer and that people almost fear they will 'catch it' as such.  I laughed but have found that people can treat you oddly as they worry that you will not survive etc. 

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Aug 12, 2011 01:47PM voicewriter wrote:

I posted in another place about my boyfriend and I splitting a month after my bilateral mastectomy.  Granted, we had problems for a long time, but he was not great through the whole ordeal.  He would say things like, "It's not all about you.  Nobody cares about me."  He was upset that my daughter was sitting on the couch between us the week I was home after my mastectomy, that he didn't get any alone time with me, and I didn't say anything.  He said he didn't want to be number 2 to my daughter.  I could go on and on all the crap.  He was supportive in many ways, and in many ways, not.  I'm still struggling with the whole thing.  He has moved on, and I'm trying to. 

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Aug 16, 2011 09:32PM julianna51 wrote:

Hi, another single here.    I know I'm going to meet the right one and the waiting will have been worth it.    Don't know where he is right now....but he'll definitely accept me as I am after BMX and love me more for it.   Am I dreaming?   Maybe but actually just believe good things happen.

Been divorced for almost 12 years now, a few relationships but none were the right one and in a lot of ways I believe that is because I needed to know myself a bit better.   If nothing else, this BC makes you look at your life and decide to live it more fully than you ever have.  

BMX 5/24/11 T1mic Rads completed 9/22/11 Dx 4/25/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 5/24/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/12/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Aug 16, 2011 09:43PM Fearless_One wrote:

When I had told the last guy that I was scared and didn't know what was going to happen (during my treatment), he called me "self-absorbed" and told me the "world didn't revolve around me".   Guys can be incredibly cold during something like this.   

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Aug 17, 2011 10:02PM voicewriter wrote:

That's a good one, you are self-absorbed and the world doesn't revolve around you.  What an ass!  Sounds kind of like my ex -- he would say, "It's not all about you.  Nobody cares about me." 

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Aug 18, 2011 06:54PM Fearless_One wrote:

Yeah, at least BC gives us a chance for them to show their true colors before we end up with them.   I mean, anyone can be good and kind during easy times.   It's when things get tough that you find out what a guy is really like.

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Aug 20, 2011 08:25PM pitanga wrote:

I just turned 51 and am single with no children, but I usually dont check this board.

I am stage 4 and don´t have a permanent job, so there are so many other issues, besides the mastectomy, that they demand all my attention and energy. Plus, I had a bad experience during my 1st experience with cancer treatment ten years ago, since my partner refused to understand that libido problems were part of the treatment side effects. The relationship ended over that issue.

If a romance were to miraculously appear in my life it would be OK, but if not, so be it. I am an academic and had just finished my PhD when diagnosed stage 4. I had no source of income. That was two years ago and since then I have been successful in getting grants pretty regularly but they are always short term and there is the stress of looking for the next one. Also, the AIs have given me a host of arthritic side effects, frozen shoulder, etc., which has kept me busy me running from doctor to doctor and physical therapy sessions.

I do get lonely but frankly, at stage 4, the financial insecurity worries me more. My metastases are not too bad right now but I know that there will be harder times ahead and hope I can get myself ensconced in a stable job before then.

So, this post is just to say, there are more singles out there and I am one of them, but sadly I feel I have no energy to think about finding a partner. 

Lisa 

Round 1-- 1999, age 39, Stage IIA. Round 2-- 2009, local recurrence and bone mets. Dx 2/5/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 22, 2011 08:31AM - edited Aug 22, 2011 08:32AM by Fearless_One

Lisa, to finish your PHD while diagnosed - you are pretty amazing!   You sound so capable and accomplished.   Well, never say never.   But I can see why your focus is elsewhere.   I'm sorry you are struggling so.   Can you go on SSDI?  I'm glad you got some grants, at least.

What is your doctorate in?

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Aug 28, 2011 01:29PM Natee wrote:

Found love on e-harmony as well...I was on here years ago when I was still married, diagnosed in 2003, had a mastectomy, got divorced back in 2008 after 31 years of marriage...I told him of my health problems very early on in our relationship, he loves me just the way I am :)

Dx 6/13/2003, 4cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 28, 2011 02:23PM Bren-2007 wrote:

Natee .. I found love too on an internet site .. it's been six years for us so far.  I feel very lucky and blessed.

hugs,

Bren

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Aug 28, 2011 02:30PM julianna51 wrote:

natee and binva - you both give me encouragement!

BMX 5/24/11 T1mic Rads completed 9/22/11 Dx 4/25/2011, DCIS, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 5/24/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/12/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Aug 28, 2011 02:38PM hrf wrote:

It's great that so many of you have found "life" after mx. Not me. I lost the relationship I did have when dx and know of other situations that ended the same or even worse. I know you can say that a good guy will see past it but truth is there are very few of those around. I'm not prepared to trust and to be hurt again because the only experiences I know is that men run away when the woman in their life has a mx. So I guess I'm different than the rest of you. I still struggle with my losses and don't want one more. Guess I'm a pessimist but this is where I am going to stay. 

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 29, 2011 12:13AM Natee wrote:

hrf, you sound so sad, I'm sorry...did you loose your relationship because of the cancer? Where you married? You know, I never thought I'd be in love again, I met my now ex-husband when I was just 16, got divorced at 49, looses, oh I know, lost my husband to another woman....but cancer made me strong...

Dx 6/13/2003, 4cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 31, 2011 01:16PM voicewriter wrote:

hrf, you know I am going through the pain of a breakup a month after my mastectomy, so I do understand how you feel, but I have actually asked a couple of guys, one who I dated a long time ago who I had dinner with not too long ago (who actually played with my "foobs") and another guy who I went on one date with (but is involved with someone else), and asked both of them if my "foobs" would be a deterrent to dating me, and they both said absolutely not.  So while I am still healing from my breakup, and not in a great place, I will get back out there again, and I hope you do, too.  Please, don't give up on yourself or the possibility of somebody who is out there who will love you again :) 

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Sep 6, 2011 01:54AM kerinetzel wrote:

You  are totaly right about everything!! I feel the same way thankyou
Dx 11/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 24, 2011 07:31AM Hopefloats41725 wrote:

hr and I both have had about the same luck with new men.  I have a question.....haven't had you know and wondered doesn't guys hate the cold silicone\saline no tissue feeling????

Dx 12/12/2009, ILC, 2cm, Stage II, 3/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Sep 24, 2011 04:12PM hrf wrote:

I lost my relationship because of breast cancer. Despite the fact that he told me he supported what I had to do (bmx), afterwards he said he couldn't cope with bmx. 

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Sep 24, 2011 04:31PM mikita5 wrote:

Not single. I'm married, but my oncologist told me before mx that a lot of husbands break up with wives (or boyfriends break up w/girlfriends) after a mx....she said 'especially with a bilat mx'.......She was trying to talk me out of a mx. I told her if he left me because of it, I'd be better off without him and he didn't love me in the first place!

My hubby had told me BEFORE mx that we were at a point in our lives that looks weren't important - that boobs weren't a deciding factor in our relationship.  We were together because of a commitment, not a feeling. That was 2-1/2 yrs ago and he's still here.

You WILL find someone. And like someone said earlier, if they won't stay because they see one or two boobs missing, you don't need them in your life!

Good luck.. Hugs coming your way!

If God leads you TO it, he'll lead you THRU it! Dx 1/2/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+
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Sep 24, 2011 09:00PM Fearless_One wrote:

Mikita, it's much different being diagnosed when you are already married than meeting someone when you are single when they don't know you and haven't fallen in love with you (yet). 

I know my uncle would never leave my aunt - and he never left her side during her treatment.   But they've been together for years.  

It's a different animal when you are entering the dating pool after a BLMX.

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