• Anyone single and had a mastectomy with reconstruction. How did you handle dating. Was socially active before but am petrified now.

    Asked by helliehere on Monday, September 10, 2012

    Anyone single and had a mastectomy with reconstruction. How did you handle dating. Was socially active before but am petrified now.

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar


      I had rectal cancer and lived with an ileostomy for a while. I couldn't get up the courage to date then and since it was temporary, I didn't worry so much. I'm not finished with treatment but not without side effects. I have a scar on my belly that looks like a gun shot wound and I went into early menopause from the radiation I received. I have managed to get back out there with my friends and my activities but I haven't been able to get up the courage to date.

      Everyone tells me it's no big deal and that I don't even have to tell anyone what I have been through unless the relationship gets serious. I know they are right but I just feel like I haven't figured out my body yet, how and the heck am I supposed to share it with someone else. I know in my heart that when I find the right guy, it won't matter but you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince and some of those frogs can be really mean!

      I wish I had an answer for you. I hope knowing that you are not alone in how you are feeling provides some comfort. I am just taking it one day at a time, getting out there without looking for a date and hoping the right guy comes along. Afterall, I couldn't find one before I was sick, what makes me think I can find one now!

      over 8 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Your experiences could help you to weed out a lot of bad eggs really quickly-- people you wouldn't want to spend your life with anyway. Rejection from the wrong people is a blessing.

      over 8 years ago
    • Lauriez's Avatar

      I am SO GLAD you asked this question! I had a lumpectomy on one side, a mastectomy/lymphectomy on the other side. Unfortunately, they didn't find all the cancer on the first try, so had to go back in and use the tissue from my lat. flap reconstruction to fill in the hole from my new surgery. Then I was rushed immediately into chemo/radiation b/c I was "upgraded" to Stage 4. I did not know, or was too shocked at the time to remember, that going into radiation before another reconstruction was going to mean I could never have reconstruction again because of internal radiation scarring.

      In short, I'm single and left with one scarred breast on the left and no breast (except for some misshapen scarring) on the right--with major scarring in my armpit and down my back. I also have chronic lymphedema in a big way (no pun intended) and often can't even fit into my size shirts b/c of the arm. I know! I sound like a nightmare.

      Anyway, I decided I would never be able to date or have a relationship again, and I was absolutely beyond devastated. Then, sort of accidentally, I met someone at a friend's house, and he and I hit it off immediately. I decided to tell him right away about my cancer--after I was sure he was very interested in me and I in him. It scared me to death to say anything! But after a lot of hemming and hawing, I blurted it out. He stared at me for a minute, put his hand to his chest, and said, "Oh, thank God. I thought you were going to say you have incurable AIDS or something." He was sad about what I've been through, but honestly, could have cared less about the breast thing. It was the most healing experience of my life.

      Unfortunately, that relationship ended after 3.5 years. Now I'm trying to date again, but I've found that I'm extremely picky about who I tell and who I don't. So I've only told one guy, and he had the same reaction as my ex-boyfriend. I still haven't found "the one," but while I'm still gun-shy about the whole thing, and sometimes get pretty depressed/lonely, I feel much more positive that a good guy really, truly will not care. It shocked me to learn that, but it's definitely true.

      Get out there and find one of those great guys. They do exist!

      over 8 years ago
    • JudyW's Avatar

      Yep, I'm single, but I am also a single mom of an almost-13-year-old, so I haven't been dating -- I haven't had time! I live in Orange County, California, where men my age are looking for "trophy wives," and I am clearly no trophy wife, so I have pretty much given up looking. I am a high school teacher by trade, a baseball umpire by avocation, and, in my own words, now, "damaged goods," so I really don't have much hope of finding a partner. Maybe someday it will happen, but I'm certainly not expecting it. I understand your fear.....I have to assume a truly wonderful man will not care that you have had a mastectomy with reconstruction....he'll simply be glad you're alive and kickin'. That said, I'm afraid there aren't many men like that in South Orange County, California.....at least not that I've found. All the men like that are already taken.

      over 8 years ago
    • jenny33's Avatar

      Hello all...I found my lump in April 2012. I had only been dating my boyfriend for 2 months. I had a double mastectomy with reconstuction/expanders. I was facing a major change going on with my body, of course, and also had to see if this guy I was interested in was going to stay with me. So, I threw plenty of "outs" for him to take if that was what he wanted to do. Not only did he stay with me, he asked me to move in with him so he could help take care of me. I had just made a move out of state to where I hadn't known many people at all when I started dating him. He has been my absolute everything. He was entered into my life just at the right time so please do not ever give up. They are out there!! And the "right" guy will not give a hoot about how it looks or feels. It's true that they will just be happy that you are alive and there with them. Best of luck and just think positive even when it gets difficult. Always keep pushing forward!!

      over 8 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I am so glad you asked this question, as I have recently tried to start dating again without much luck.
      I thought I had met a good one, he was a survivor of testicular cancer, and I thought he would understand what I was going through. Then he decided that I was too tired and busy with treatment or whatever, and maybe we should hold off until chemo was over. I sent him on his way.
      I met someone else and started dating him but when he saw my reconstructed nippleless boobs for the first time, he couldn't handle it and the evening ended with me in tears kicking him out of my house.
      So, now I am scared to try again.

      over 8 years ago

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