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What Dating Me Means

by Jennifer AnandSurvivor, Hodgkin’s LymphomaNovember 1, 2020View more posts from Jennifer Anand

Dating me means fun. Fun as we sit together in the doctor’s office, and you have to force me to drink the stupid disgusting CT contrast in the time frame. While I pout because I’m hella hangry.

Dating me means listening as I cry about the people who’ve died. Or don’t cry because this is a grief beyond tears.

Dating me means bills. Bills for additional medications, imaging, long-term side effects. Hope you’re a millionaire, because I can drain that bank fund dry.

Dating me means reading about how I feel here in this article. Because every part of my life is fair fodder for E&T articles, including you 😉

Dating me means putting me before yourself. As selfish as that sounds, some days I don’t have the strength to keep on, and I’ll need to draw on your strength.

Dating me means quarantine. No, we can’t go to church together. No, I won’t see you for 14 insanely long days after you get back from your trip to Florida. No, I can’t come to the party your friends’ are hosting.

Dating me means being my advocate. I advocate for myself at every doctor appointment I go to. But sometimes my strength is sapped, and I just angrily turn inward. It’s your job to fight on my behalf.

Dating me means uncertainty. Will the cancer come back? Will the side effects ever improve? Will we ever have kids?

Dating me means struggle. I look in the mirror and see a scarred and battered body. It struggles to function, and often I hate it for how it looks.

Dating me means community. Friends across the US, and even across the world. If you hurt me, there is an army that will come for you in my defense.

Dating me means friendship. My friends are so excited and thrilled that you’re man enough to put up with all my physical and emotional baggage, and they love you for it.

Dating me means resilience. You won’t find a woman stronger than me. I’ve been to hell and back, and punched death in the face. Multiple times. I don’t care what life throws at us, because I am up for the challenge.

Dating me means love. Because I love you, and it doesn’t matter what happens to either of us, I always will.

All of the posts written for Elephants and Tea are contributed by patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones dealing with cancer.  If you have a story or experience you would like to share with the cancer community we would love to hear from you!  Please submit your idea at

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