It’s a topic I’ve been avoiding writing about, but a pretty significant part of my story and where I am today. I was in the middle of chemo and about to start a new experimental treatment when my boyfriend of 6 years broke up with me at the start of the year.
There’s been more adjusting than I thought to being chronically ill and single. I see so many devoted husbands, wives with their partner during chemo, and I think back to the times when he was there for me, and really supportive during my surgeries and my hospital stays and part of me wishes for that connection again with someone, but know that it’s also a daunting situation to go into with all of my extra baggage. (*disclaimer, I am VERY lucky to have amazing family and friends who more than make up for the support of a boyfriend, I guess just in a different way).
For me, my diagnosis of FAP is tied to my relationship as it was 4 years into it that I finally found out what was wrong with me, and it was actually him who encouraged me to find a GP who would listen to me. I didn’t have to explain it, he was with me when I found out so it was just something we had to incorporate into the relationship, for better or worse.
It was a lot for two 25 year olds to come across in a relationship and we were faced with things we weren’t ready for yet like fertility, frequent doctor appointments and chemotherapy, and that can take a big toll on a relationship. I hope that down the track there is someone who can be there for me despite all the complications and that I will find the right person for me.
For now though, I have come out the other side of my break up and can now appreciate the goodness of a bit of ‘me only’ time and can admit it actually feels good after being in a long relationship. I’ve achieved a lot since the breakup – I started writing this blog which I’d been too nervous to do before, I’ve published some of my blog posts on ‘The Mighty’, I launched my new short hair with confidence, courtesy of my good friend chemotherapy, and I’ve gone on my first trip overseas in 2 years (since my health fiasco began) and have another trip in the works for early next year.
Moving on and dating is an idea that I’m nervous about still. I’ll need to explain to someone down the track for the first time what’s going on with me, why I have scars, and doubts over whether I am able to have children – all things you want to bring to the table as a 28-year-old. It makes it all that much harder to put myself out there, but I know I need to, and I know I want to.