Dating for cancer survivors

dateI have written on this topic before, but here is something new! A dating agency for cancer survivors. Founded by a cancer survivor in 2007, “C is for Cupid” is one of the first, and few, online dating services designed specifically for people whose lives have been affected by cancer. The service is free, run by a handful of cancer survivors, and aimed at providing a comfortable and fun environment for members to connect with others who can “relate.” As of March 2009, there are more than 1,000 members.

I like the social networking aspect and it sounds like a great idea. However, I do feel that dating is difficult these days whether you have a history of cancer or not.  I was single myself when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and yes, I had concerns about who would want me after my surgeries, and toughest of all, who would want to marry someone who may not be able to have children. Luckily for me, my old boyfriend came back on the scene, first as a friend, and later our relationship deepened into something more.  I reckoned if someone could love you through the darkest days of chemo, see you bald and vulnerable, throwing up after each chemo session and well, let’s face it, not exactly looking your best, then that had to be someone special. The day we stood at the altar together on our wedding day last year was the happiest day of my life, one I never imagined in those long fear-filled nights of the past. If I am honest, it is me who has the problems with body image from time to time, but I know I am not alone in this. Many women feel that, without any cancer surgery scars. Loosing a breast does strike a blow at your sense of feminity, but it doesn’t make me less of a female, or less feminie in the way I dress or act.

So, yes I was lucky, but honestly, if it hadn’t worked out this way, I don’t think I would have felt stigmatized by my cancer history. I don’t think it would have been cancer that was my challenge on the dating scence, rather it would be the same challenges all 30 something women face. Sure, men are sold a fantasy of the perfect airbrushed model to aspire to, but even without cancer, I never matched that ideal.  In the end, while it may sound cliched, the man I wanted to marry was always going to be one who saw my strengths and weaknesses and loved me for  who I really am.

(Details of C is for Cupid from Cure Today)
Related Post: Dating after breast cancer