Online dating for cancer survivors

Once upon a time, women who have survived cancer will tell you, the fact that you’d been through the horror of a diagnosis and surgery was not public information—not at work and certainly not on a first date.

Flash forward to 2016 and, experts say, there’s a very different attitude.

I got an MRI as a precaution, and it revealed a stage I tumor.

In two insane years I’ve had a double mastectomy; harvested my eggs; been through chemo and tamoxifen and in and out of depression and menopause; had my hair fall out and grow back; and had reconstruction that resulted in perfect, hard breasts with no nipples and amazing side boob. My body doesn’t function the way it did, but I’m more patient with it.

“I’m a breast cancer survivor…so my body is not so perfect,” wrote one woman on recently.

“If you can’t handle that, keep it moving.” (And plenty of dates can handle it: “One ofthe top things singles say they are looking for is the ability to learn from a partner,” says Laurie Davis Edwards, founder of the online dating-coaching service e Flirt.

' I’ve found that guys ask really smart, sensitive questions.

Women often ask, ' How did you deal when you lost your hair?

I say in my profile that I’m involved with the breast cancer charity The Pink Agenda, but I don’t mention my diagnosis or link to my Instagram, which has pictures of me doing things as a survivor. Let them see that I’m young and healthy, and go from there.I’m happy with my body, and the next guy will like it if you don’t.' That’s really how I feel."Kristina Schermer, 28, an investor relations associate (also a Model of Courage) living in Denver; diagnosed two years ago"I know digital dating is the new normal.But it’s not the way I dreamed of meeting somebody, not the ideal way. In my early twenties I was bulimic, emotionally fragile, and too proud to put myself out there on a dating site. I was diagnosed at 26, after testing positive for BRCA2, one of the breast cancer genes.It’s my way of saying, ' If you don’t want to know, you’re probably not my match.' That picture has encouraged beautiful first-date conversations about how life doesn’t go the way we want but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. I’ve started to gravitate to people who haven’t had such easy roads.Only one guy I dated didn’t want to talk about my cancer history. I just met someone on the app; he’s my age but has been through divorce.

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