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Three Issues That Cancer Survivors Can Face in Relationships

Sometimes scars from being attacked by a wolf would be much cooler.
PUBLISHED February 16, 2018
Ryan Hamner is a four-time survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma, a musician and a writer. In 2011, he wrote and recorded, "Where Hope Lives" for the American Cancer Society and the song for survivors, "Survivors Survive" used in 2015 for #WorldCancerDay. Currently, he operates his website for those affected by cancer, and drinks a ridiculous amount of coffee per day.
Relationships are hard enough. Just ask, well, anyone. As a cancer survivor, though, there can be plenty of other issues added into the mix.

Below are three things that can affect the relationships of cancer survivors.

Infertility - "So, about the baby thing..."

Infertility can be an issue for many cancer survivors, and it's an issue that can be a dealbreaker in the dating world. Trust me, I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knew a guy, who had dating issues because of infertility. Hey, I get it, though, lots of people want babies. If a potential partner can't give them that little bundle of stress, bills and dirty diapers, the other person may look elsewhere. There are solutions though. For some young cancer patients, depending on age, eggs and sperm can be frozen for later in life. Adoption can also be a great option for survivors who wish to have kids, but can't have a biological child.

Rejection - "It's not you, it's me ... well maybe the cancer thing, too."

Every cancer survivor's story is undoubtedly going to be different than another survivor's. Some survivors finish treatment and never look back. Others maybe battle cancer for years, have recurrences and then residual affects of cancer treatment. Whatever the case may be, many survivors often have some element of anxiety in their lives about the future and their health. However, another big issue is the anxiety that comes with dating. Many cancer survivors worry that a potential partner may fear a future with them because of the possibility of a cancer recurrence.

Physical Insecurities - "That's just a scar from saving an elderly lady from a wolf attack."

Physically, as many know, the impacts of cancer can be brutal. I'm very fortunate. I get that. However, with my shirt off, I'll go ahead and say, at some angles I look like I survived a wolf attack. Dang it though, the story just isn't that cool. Personally, I used to worry a lot more about my scars and the effects of radiation. As I've gotten older, however, I've learned to accept myself.

In short, here's how I see it. It's simple, and kind of reads like one of those cliche instagram memes. The right person won't care about any scars that make you look like you might have been attacked by a wild animal. The right person won't care that you forget a bit too much. I mean, unless you are constantly calling the "right person" by the wrong name. That could be an issue.
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