Perspective: What It Is Really Like to Date Someone With Advanced Breast Cancer
Dating for anyone brings a myriad of challenges, but what about when you are dating someone with an incurable disease, such as advanced breast cancer?
I have been dating for a year since my stage IV diagnosis and, surprisingly, it never seemed to be an issue with anyone. Or...was it? I wanted to really know what it was like from the other perspective in the form of honest, authentic thoughts on the matter.
Dating someone with advanced breast cancer
In my quest, I decided to interview my dear friend, Christian, whom I had dated. Our romantic endeavor was not meant to be, but we grew to love each other immensely. He has become a daily friend, a close confidant, and also doesn’t hold back. I knew I could discuss this very sensitive topic with him and be given the truth. My objective was to gain a true perspective on dating someone with advanced breast cancer.
Here is a summary of the interview:
Danielle: When I first told you I had stage IV breast cancer, how did it make you feel?
Christian: Empathetic. Determined to act with sensitivity without compromising my integrity in terms of treating you in a way I wouldn’t want to be treated had the circumstances been reversed.
Danielle: Did learning about my diagnosis make you look at me any differently?
Christian: I gained a tremendous amount of respect for you as a person and a friend knowing how difficult I would have found it personally to not feel sorry for myself and stay in bed all day.
Danielle: How did my unknown prognosis make you feel? Did you feel deterred about potentially planning a future with someone living with an incurable disease?
Christian: It certainly gave me pause for thought. And to be honest, I had a lot of trepidation about this. But you melted this tough guy’s heart and even though it is now moot, I was incredibly excited about planning a possible future by your side.
Understanding metastatic breast cancer
And there I had it, what I sought. I learned what it was really like to date someone with advanced breast cancer. Like me. I felt relieved to know he did have pause, trepidation, for that meant he understood the true gravity of my situation. Yet, he still wanted to be with me anyway.
There are a lot of happily ever stories for people with advanced breast cancer. Perhaps my own romantic version will elude me, but as I figure it all out I am surrounded by the love of family, friends, of Christian, in a happy home with stable health. Maybe that is happily ever after all.
Have you been dating as a person with advanced breast cancer, or dating someone living with it? What has your experience been? Would you like to share your story with ABC to be potentially shared in a future article series on dating with advanced breast cancer? Comment below!
Caregivers: Do you practice self-care?