Dating After Breast Cancer
(Page 4 of 9)
Nine women talk about going out, looking for love, and when to bring up you-know-what
By Marion Long
RICKI MOSKOWITZ, 41
Diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in 2004
Bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction
I was in a long-term relationship just before I learned I had cancer. My ex-boyfriend is a professor, and at that time he had been teaching in Germany and was coming back to New York City. I was on the phone with him when I found the lump. I'd had other lumps in the past, but this one felt bad. I didn't tell him what was going on because I was so freaked out about it. And because I was so freaked out about it, we weren't having much sex once he got back. I just felt like he wasn't giving me what I needed—although, of course, I also wasn't communicating with him—and I broke off the relationship.
He was very supportive of me during my treatment for cancer, however, and the breakup kind of got put on hold because of what was going on. Then after I was finished with treatment there were a couple of weeks of seeing each other, kisses here and there, and then one day, when we were at my place, we started seriously messing around. And in the middle of it, he stopped. Under the best of circumstances, that's a bad feeling for anyone. But for a woman who's had breast cancer, and a mastectomy, and all these other issues, it's just incredibly horrible.
Now we're friends, but I realize that I need to be with somebody different than him. How I am going to meet that person, I have no idea.
I've been on one date through an online service. I pretty much blurted out that I'd had cancer right away.
His reaction seemed fairly neutral. He started talking about his mom, who had died from cancer. We still hung out. In fact, the date went on for another four hours, and we ended up going to another place and playing pool and having fun, and talked about going to see this exhibit, so I figured there would be a second date. Then I get this e-mail from him the next day, saying, "Although I had a really good time, I didn't feel there were fireworks, that special something. Perhaps it would be better if we were friends."
I e-mailed him back, and I said, "I'm not doing online dating to make more friends." I don't necessarily think there were these amazing fireworks, but I was willing to give it another chance.
So where do I go from here? When I was younger, even pre all this cancer crap, my experiences were not successful, and I had long breaks with men. It makes it even harder now to believe that being together with someone will ever happen.