Cancer Education Center

Welcome to the Slaggie Family Cancer Education Center page. Our goal is to empower patients and their supporters to become active partners in their health care by providing relevant information, increasing knowledge and learning from one another’s experiences. Follow the Cancer Education Center page and stay up-to-date as we post accurate and timely cancer-related information on topics such as cancer prevention, risks, treatments, clinical trials, end-of-life care and survivorship. No matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help.

 

PUBLIC PAGE
Tue, Aug 14, 2018 1:46pm

Tips for Cancer Survivors on Dating & New Relationships

By Megan Roessler M. Ed., @meganroessler

shutterstocktree coupleEntering into a new relationship can be a challenge with or without a cancer diagnosis. However, many people find that dating after a diagnosis of cancer is a much different experience than before.

A few of the challenges might be:

  • Dealing with physical changes from effects of surgery or treatment
  • Living with fear of recurrence
  • How to tell someone new that you have a cancer history
  • Fear of a negative reaction
  • Changes in fertility
  • Sexual intimacy concerns

These things can certainly be challenging, yet, at the same time you may also experience positive change such as:

  • A new sense of knowing exactly what you want and need from a relationship
  • An appreciation of time spent with others
  • A renewed interest in establishing a long-term relationship with a life partner

If you are concerned about meeting someone new, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Get involved in community activities — taking that first step is important (art and music events, festivals, sporting events, volunteer opportunities, etc.)
  • Talk to other survivors about their experiences with dating
  • If you have emotional concerns that have not been addressed, connect with a counselor or peer group for support
  • Explore ideas on how you might communicate your history of cancer to a new person — practice with a friend who knows you well

Please share additional thoughts on this topic with each other.

Important topic for certain! Great to see it posted here. Relationship building can be challenging in all times, but when you add cancer it can become ever more challenging. While I will follow this conversation with interest, it would also be an interesting conversation to have regarding dealing with the changes and challenges, which often come about when cancer joins the relationship, be it marriage, dating, and friendships.

Thanks for a great conversation starter.

@IndianaScott

Important topic for certain! Great to see it posted here. Relationship building can be challenging in all times, but when you add cancer it can become ever more challenging. While I will follow this conversation with interest, it would also be an interesting conversation to have regarding dealing with the changes and challenges, which often come about when cancer joins the relationship, be it marriage, dating, and friendships.

Thanks for a great conversation starter.

Jump to this post

@IndianaScott You bring up a very good point! I also like your wording "when cancer joins the relationship." The section in the article on challenges would apply to new and also existing relationships. People should feel free to comment whether they are looking to start a relationship or navigating a current one and how cancer has impacted them.
Megan

@IndianaScott

Important topic for certain! Great to see it posted here. Relationship building can be challenging in all times, but when you add cancer it can become ever more challenging. While I will follow this conversation with interest, it would also be an interesting conversation to have regarding dealing with the changes and challenges, which often come about when cancer joins the relationship, be it marriage, dating, and friendships.

Thanks for a great conversation starter.

Jump to this post

Thanks @meganroessler In my relationship one of the biggest challenges for my partner and me was the many relationships that fell apart when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. So many friends, many of 40+ years, ghosted on us. The feelings of abandonment by those who we believed were true friends added to the emotional burden my partner was already feeling thanks to her diagnosis. This caused us far more isolation than we ever imagined while she fought her war, but it also made us realize all we really had was each other and brought us closer and even more intense feeling of love. A friend of our daughter's said it best to me "you will be surprised by who leaves your life when cancer joins it and you will be even more surprised by who it is that sticks with you."

Additionally the day cancer joined us our roles changed in our partnership. From her being the caring leader to me being the caregiver. I always say she took care of me for the first 2/3s of our partnership, then I took care of her for the final 1/3.

Thanks for letting me do a bit of free thought on this topic from a bit of a different perspective than you probably planned.

Please login or register to post a reply.

Invite Others

Send an email to invite people you know to join the Cancer Education Center page.

We'll include this text in the user's invitation.