A woman puts her hand up to a bouquet of flowers in refusal.

Dating After Diagnosis

Last updated: October 2023

When I was younger, it wasn't hard to date. By the time I turned 33 and had been diagnosed with lung cancer, my life had been a blur. 

Suddenly, my daughter, Karley, went to college, and I realized how alone I was. Ten years go by so quickly, and it is amazing how much harder it is to meet others.

Navigating loneliness

It seems like the guys get way older or are married. Maybe I'm too picky, I don't know. But dating after 40, especially with cancer, is beyond ridiculous. 

Maybe I'm just one of those people who likes her space. I've never been the best at socializing since my diagnosis. 

Prior to cancer, I was a social butterfly. But this butterfly is now becoming a recluse.

So, I'm somewhat worried about living alone with lung cancer, but I feel happier. I even moved into new housing and absolutely love it. 

I used to drive so far and spend so much money and time on the island. It feels like I'm back in the city a little. There are so many more places to shop and aren't nearly as expensive.

Dating with a terminal illness

Where do you meet someone who's not afraid you'll die besides at church? In my opinion, it requires a significant amount of faith and love for Christ to be in a relationship with someone who is considered to be terminally ill. 

As we get older, others are just living their life, and either doesn't want to get attached or are attached and don't want the pain. Pain is a result of love. 

It takes someone brave to know they could suffer that kind of unimaginable loss. Not all are up to it.

I can't tell you how many dates I've been on, but I have been disappointed every time.  My apologies if you're one of those and reading this. 

I feel like I'm channeling my inner Linnea Quigley. If you don't know her, she's a legend. Just give her a quick Google search.

Life's unexpected turns

So why am I living in low-income housing after earning a bachelor's and working since 16? Well, to start, I get approximately $2,000 a month. Does that even cover rent anymore? 

I wanted a roommate, but I'm so up for moving because I never realized I had no friends. Some of it is my fault. I'm bad at keeping up. 

But the people I desperately reach out to have somewhat shunned me. The loss of my lung cancer friends proved more than I could bear. I had such a solid plan.

First, my best friend and I decided to live together when our kids graduated high school. I am unsure of the reasons, but after more than 20 years of friendship, she abruptly stopped communicating with me. We didn't get in a fight. She ghosted me after over 20 years of being my very best friend. You can't count on anyone, I have learned.

I always try to have another plan for everything. Since I didn't have that best friend any longer, and she only left right before we lived together, I got a pit in my stomach. She was someone I thought I could count on her more than some family. 

It's been over a year, but the pain is still there. Once I realized she had left, a friend (ex-boyfriend for like 2 minutes) offered me a room to rent for $600, all-inclusive. I paid $800 so Karley could have a room. How could anything go wrong?

Well, let's just say even though we made an agreement not to date or be involved in any way, someone couldn't handle it. So after two months, I'm looking for somewhere to live. The other friends I had here were busy with their lives, and I never could find a roommate, 

So here I am, in my cozy low-income housing apartment, happily alone because dating after 40 just isn't worth it.

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