Dear World, I Have Chronic Cancer, and I Would Like to Date Again

I was in a relationship for the first two and a half years of my disease. My partner was with me through the dire diagnosis of metastatic adrenal cancer, radiation rounds and surgeries, and titration of medications. She knows my health history way better than I do. She was even there during the treatment and death of my younger brother.

That relationship has since ended, and I am embarking on another stage of my life, now recovering from my fourth recurrence and biggest surgery yet, as well as starting graduate school.

So I figured: why not online dating? Why not meet people at bars?

And herein lies a problem: I have a history that is not particularly conducive to dating.

Here is what I would like to say on my dating profile:

You must be open to spending time in the oncology ward and not be squeamish about medications or side effects. You must be open to a lot of baggage — and not the usual kind. Also I cannot physically have children. Love you, mean it!

That does not work. Here is what I say instead:

I love to adventure, laugh, and love. Looking for someone who shares the same passions.

Also true. Misleading? Not really, but maybe a little bit! But can I really describe in detail the scar that goes from my sternum to my pubic bone, or tell someone my body has crashed and I am resting when they ask what I am doing? No.

Here is what I can do. I can have trust in people and believe they are more accepting than I could ever imagine. And that I must give them the opportunity to have empathy, to put themselves in positions they may never be comfortable with. The most recent guy I dated was wonderful about it. When all is said and done, people deserve faith and belief right back at them. I must give some sort of chance by putting myself out there with hope.

So come and say hi, ladies and gentleman. I am lovely, kind, adventurous, fun, and I have cancer. But I am a person too, just like you. It is spectacularly wonderful to meet you.

The Mighty, in partnership with Fuck Cancer, is asking the following: What do you wish you had found on Google when you were first diagnosed? Find out how to email us a story submission here.

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