The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.

Dating and Relationships During Cancer

by Vikki RamdassSurvivor, Triple Negative Breast CancerMay 8, 2024View more posts from Vikki Ramdass

Hi Herd,

It’s been a while. I missed you all. I took a long break from the big “C” word and decided to live a “normal life.” Did you all think that I got very far? LOL! Oh yes, how we all struggle to deal with cancer in our lives with regard to dating and relationships. Prior to cancer, I was unsuccessful in attracting a mate or partner—so many things went wrong. I honestly thought that I was cursed at one point in my life.

I lost the love of my life at a very young age. He died in a car accident. I was traumatized and devastated. I loved him a lot. I felt so alone without him. To top it all off, he was my first—tears. It’s been an emotional battle in my heart ever since. I decided to lock off my heart to anyone who paid any attention to me. This happened in the year 2009. In 2024, fifteen years later, looking back at it now, I should have chosen a different path or at least tried to be more open about possibilities.

Even dating before cancer was challenging for me. I kept looking for excuses and just exiting the relationships. I guess I was confused. I kept reliving and remembering my ex. I just didn’t want to let go of him. It hurts every time I think about him—even writing this article pains me, but I go through it every time in order to possibly help someone else in their journey.

When I received my stage 1 triple negative breast cancer diagnosis in 2018, I was devastated. The shock, trauma, and disbelief. While I was dealing with my own emotions, I told a few guys about my diagnosis. They seemed more scared than I was. Honestly, as a female, I looked up to a male figure for emotional support during my time of crisis, and truth be told, I didn’t get it.

Maybe guys deal with trauma in a different way, but I was pretty much on my own. My family was quite scared for me but I managed to pull through my emotions. How did I do it? I spent a lot of time by myself; I basically told a lot of people that I needed some space, and they agreed. So, I spent a lot of nights outside in the dark just sitting and thinking.

It honestly helped me a lot. I began to have clearer thoughts about my cancer and began to accept it for what it is. For the first time in my life, I actually felt as though I was living in the present, the real world.

I did not have time to study or remember the past, and the future was not looking good for me at all, but I still had faith. I strongly believed that one day, my cancer would be a thing of the past and I would write about it, and guess what—here I am, writing about it. YES! A dream came true for me—SURVIVAL!

Back to the topic, after my cancer diagnosis, I made a decision to stop dating, as I needed some personal time to adjust and regroup myself and my thoughts. As I was doing chemotherapy, I was told to keep to myself, use my own bathroom, and look after my personal hygiene. So, I was a bit embarrassed about my looks and body odor, so I didn’t date for a while. After chemotherapy, I got accustomed to being all by myself, so I continued my solo journey.

Looking back at it now, I finished radiation in 2020 and after all the testing, I walked out of the hospital, with a world of happiness on my shoulders. I still remember that day in my head. It was a different type of feeling—a new beginning. I saw everything differently from that day moving forward. Life is indeed difficult at times. I prayed for a miracle, just a chance to provide hope to people out there, and here I am.

I am so grateful to Elephants and Tea for always supporting my work and myself. I honestly don’t think that I would have made it this far without their support. They provided me with a platform to vent and just be myself. I looked forward to writing and learning. Up to this day, it excites me to write for Elephants and Tea and myself at large. What a great feeling!

My advice to dating after treatment is to go for it. Too many times, I often wondered what it would have been like to have a positive partner at my side. I am happy for those people out there, who have that type of support currently. Keep it up. Your partner can be your lifeline and support system for you.

I think after five years of cancer, I am finally ready to move on and find someone special out there. For far too long, I felt alone but I have learned that it is okay to speak to someone who comforts you, makes you smile and feel special.

Life is about creating those special moments with people you love and admire. It’s a whole new beginning, dating after cancer. You should begin to look at the small, positive things that your partner does for you. Trust me, there will be fewer arguments all around.

Look at a new relationship as a chance to make things right this time around. Look at yourself, evaluate the situation, and don’t be too hard on your partner—they need a break now and then as well. When you really open up your heart, you begin to see the possibilities, but you must be willing to trust someone. It’s hard but totally worth it in the end. At this point, no one should be alone out there. Everyone deserves some form of love and happiness in this world. Do you think you are worth it? Hell yeah, you are! Love always!

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