Single with stage IV


Leaving the security of a long marriage has recast me into the land of the single people. And I have already stuck my toe in the dating pool. It’s a good way to keep busy, meet new people, figure out what kind of person I want to be with, if any. I also have this drive to live and fit in all the things I’ve ever wanted to do into a short period of time. Because who knows when the last grain of sand will make it through my hour glass.

Needless, to say, it’s been wonderful but exhausting.

I’ve gone on a few dates and the question always comes up about when do I mention my situation. I tend to be an honest person and so when I get questions about my restrictive diet or the fact that I have a  handicapped placard, I’m inclined to answer with the truth. And I did that on two occasions.

The first time, the response was great. I was out with someone much like me who cuts to the chase and tends to be very straight forward. I wound up in a matter-of-fact conversation that had a nice give and take.

The second time was last night. Things got physical, one thing led to another and before I knew it he was asking me about my hip surgery. I’m not a terrific liar so I told him what was going on. I included an out, saying I knew this was a bit much but his response was that he wasn’t going anywhere. He even offered to take me to my scan next week. I was a little surprised but pleasantly so.

And then fast forward a day and he has disappeared. In many ways I don’t blame him. I don’t even want to take this stuff on so I can’t imagine someone else wanting to get involved with it all. But I am also terribly hurt. I am also angry. Angry at myself.

Having someone tell me they won’t go anywhere, no matter how unrealistic and silly that is to say on a first date, touched a very deep button for me. And I let that sink in. I let myself and my body believe it.

In a way, I feel like I let myself down and didn’t protect me the way I should have. And now someone I liked is gone. But of course the hurt from his absence has more to do with my voids than with him because I don’t know him at all.

It does make me nervous about my man picker. It makes me wish there were a formula for divulging the cancer thing with dating. But I know there really isn’t one. It also makes me angry that I have to deal with this at all. This is something most people don’t have hiding in their back pockets. And the risk of pulling it out too late is that someone will feel duped. The risk of mentioning it too early is abandonment.

But maybe on some level the Universe is taking care of me. If last night’s guy pushed such a button so early on, he probably wasn’t the healthiest choice for me.

So while I’m a little down, I’m resilient. I already feel a bit better having written about it. And I am going to continue taking the dating and cancer equation on a case by case basis. I am going to listen to my gut about when to mention it and trust that the right person or people wont disappear. As for the ones that do go away, I will just choose to believe they’ve done me a great service.

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