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Dating during Chemotherapy

Posted 3/14/2016

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  Although I am generally an optimist about cancer patients and the dating world, I do tend to agree that dating during chemotherapy is tough. If someone is already in a relationship, it can be hard, too, but generally simpler than getting out there and trying to meet someone.

  When I read this piece by Brianna Wellen from The Chicago Reader, I was interested and admiring. It motivated me to try hard to remember women whom I have known who did date/meet someone during chemo. I can't think of a single person. Not one. I can easily remember many women who met someone shortly after treatment, but that is somewhat different. Your thoughts?

Dating during chemotherapy isn’t easy 

So, have you been seeing anyone?" Abigail asked as we sat around a campfire in my parents' backyard last
September. She was a lifelong friend and we hadn't seen each other in a while, so it wasn't an unlikely
subject. But coming just a day after my last chemotherapy session, the question might as well have been
whether I'd gone to the moon lately.
"I've had cancer for the last six months," I replied. "What do you think?"
Maybe my response was too blunt. Perhaps it's as common in real life as it is in movies, books, and
television for cancer patients to fall in love while lying delicately in a hospital bed, losing their hair and
their appetites, and often, their will to live. Maybe it's these magical significant others, discovered in the
throes of crisis, that make the lives of those patients worth living. But as I'm a single 25-year-old more
familiar with casual dating than deep, long-lasting relationships, that ideal didn't seem like a possibility
for me.
I was diagnosed with stage-three Hodgkin's lymphoma on April 5, 2015, yet it was a few days prior, during
the biopsy, that I noticed the first sign of a shift in my romantic life. When two middle-aged nurses
learned I was single, they immediately tried to set me up with Brian, the late-20s/early-30s guy
performing the biopsy. That love affair ended about two minutes in, when he went to attach heart sensors
to my chest and got a glimpse of my uncovered body in the harsh fluorescent light of the operating room. I
was hopped up on anesthetics, so my response was to smile sloppily and drool out of the side of my

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