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I am in remission from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I am finally in a place where I would like to date. I have been a widow for 11 years. How and when do and I tell him about my cancer? I don’t even know if I would ever want to get married again.


  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 1,285 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Marilyn53 @KarinSieger

    Good morning,

    Welcome to the community.

    I have just seen your other post too, thought I would reply here first.

    I think it takes courage to step out again into the world of dating and meeting someone new. You have experienced great loss twice, with the recent loss of your mother too, and going through cancer as well. I am very sorry for your loss.

    It is great you are now in remission, and feel in a place where you would like to move on in your life, after spending many years looking after your mother.

    I don't know what I would do, if it were me. I don't necessarily think there is a right or wrong way to approach this. When you feel you are comfortable in sharing personal experience in a deeper way, is more important than 'when' you share it.

    There is no stigma or shame or embarrassment attached to having had cancer. So many people's lives are touched by it.

    Karin, I hope you don't mind me tagging you in this conversation, perhaps you have some insight for @Marilyn53 ?

    Karin is a Wellbeing cancer specialist counsellor available here in the community for our members.

    I also know there are other members who have been widowed and those who have gone on to new relationships, I am hoping they will have some insight to share with you.

    Please keep in touch with how you are doing. Feel free to join in with any other discussion too. Everyone is very friendly here.

    Hope to chat again,

    Lou x

  • KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 98 Emotional Wellbeing Advisor

    Hi @Marilyn53

    I think Lou @sunshinedaff has put it well. There is no right or wrong. Be guided by your intuition, and do not feel pressurised by yourself or others. It will be a new chapter in your life.

    With best wishes.


    Karin Sieger
    Psychotherapist | Cancer Counsellor  | Reg. MBACP (Accred)

  • Marilyn53Marilyn53 Posts: 5

    I appreciate both of your comments. I am afraid no one really wants to be tied down to a cancer patient. I don’t want to scare them off, but don’t want to keep a secret either.

    i know I am in remission now. But I’ve been in remission before. I am a little down about it right now, sorry.

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 678 mod



    I am not sure which time zone you are in, so apologies if it is the middle of the night for you and this disturbs you!

    I am really sorry to hear you are feeling low about this. Please do not apologise about how you are feeling. It is never necessary here.

    It must be so difficult to find someone who is genuinely interested in sharing life with you.

    The only thing I can say is that if there have been others who have 'run a mile' due to your cancer history, then I would think they were not worth it. It sounds very shallow to use that as a reason for not wanting to pursue a relationship. You deserve better! Much better! You are worth more than that.

    Any of us could develop any health issues as we get older, not just cancer ones.

    I think it does still happen today, that often people connect through the things they do in their everyday life, for example, meeting someone at work, or some activity/interest that they do. Obviously I have no idea how you live your life, but I do encourage you not to become despondent, as you never know who is going to walk round the corner into your life, often when you least expect it.

    Please feel free to come and chat here at anytime, there is always a listening ear here. I hope you find happier days soon.

    Chat soon,

    Lou x😊

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,173 Community Admin


    Good evening Marilyn

    I agree with everything that Lou @LouiseJ has said. I think that any person who is put off by your cancer history cannot be worthy of you.

    You sound like a kind and loving lady. You have had to cope with cancer, losing your husband and looking after your Mum for 11 years and you deserve some happiness.

    There will be a lot of people out there who would feel very lucky to have someone like you in their life. Don’t be too shy, you are special.

    Rob x

  • Marilyn53Marilyn53 Posts: 5

    Thank you all for your encouragement. I live in Texas, but it won’t bother me at anytime you send a message.

  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 346 Community Admin

    Hi @Marilyn53,

    I just wanted to welcome you to the community as well. I'm Blanka and I'm the Community Admin of this lovely group - nice to 'meet' you! :)

    I will never be able to understand what you've been and are going through, but I completely agree with Lou and Rob. I do want to encourage you as well and say you are worthy and anyone who thinks otherwise simply doesn't deserve you.

    To be hundred percent honest with you, I don't have experience with cancer personally, but I can somehow relate to everything you described. I have mental health issues ('anxiety with depression'), and even though I do understand this is not and will never be something so overwhelming and difficult to deal with as the cancer journey, I want to share my story with you.

    I always found making friends and trusting people challenging in my entire life, but when I was 'officially' diagnosed with the above, I simply thought no one wants to meet and eventually be friends with a young lady with so many 'issues'. I cannot tell you how many people I turned away, just because I thought they don't have the energy for or want the 'trouble' that comes with me. Then I met someone who opened my eyes and explained to me that 'you are beautiful and unique because of YOU' and it all starts with 'accepting, understanding and embracing' that (his exact words). We've been best friends ever since.

    Over the years I learnt to open up. Again, I don't like or want to 'scare' people as you said, so I just kind of follow my instincts and let the person know what I'm going through as and when I feel it's time (if I think they should know). I agree with Lou, I don't think there's a right approach or a specific moment that you need to look out for, I just trust I will know and feel it in my bones.

    There will always be people who are not receptive to your story and that's when you know they're not worthy of you. :)

    I also wanted to share the following story with you, it's about a lady who had hysterectomy & how she found dating after cancer. It's an interesting read, I hope it will encourage you too:

    Finally, please do remember the following:

    All the best,

    Blanka x

    (sorry for writing an essay, haha!)

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 678 mod


    Hi Blanka,

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your personal story and this article.

    You have said it so succinctly, and your friend, who encouraged you to just be you, because being you is enough, and you don't need to be 'anything' particular for anyone else. I remember being so ashamed for having gone through a long period of depression too, my family history isn't great with it, and we had a lot of trauma as kids. Only yesterday, when we had a video appointment with a psychologist did I mention in front of the girls did I say, I had had depression when I was younger. Mark knew, they didn't. The stigma attached to mental health issues is still a struggle for many, even though society is becoming more enlightened.

    I agree completely with what you have said, and Lydia's blog article is written so well, with open honesty about how she tackled dating and life with her medical history. It is very encouraging, and let's hope others reading that and this will feel more encouraged to feel able to live more comfortably in their own situations, not having to bend or mold to social expectations.


    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,173 Community Admin


    Hi Marilyn

    I was excited to read that you live in Texas. My eldest sister lives in Austin as does her daughter Margaret who is married to a Texan.

    I know that Texas is a huge State and you probably live miles away from Austin, a city which my wife Mary and I absolutely love. We have always found Texans to be so friendly and as soon as they hear our British accent, they really want to chat which is so much fun. and then, of course, there is the brilliant music.

    I have a couple of Texas car registration plates which I keep on a wall. Where else?🤣

    Here they are.

    Rob x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,173 Community Admin

    @Blanka_C @LouiseJ

    Hi Blanka

    Thank you for posting your story. It is heartwarming and engaging and what a wonderful friend you have.

    In truth, I think that coping with and managing depression and anxiety are every bit as challenging and overwhelming as living with cancer and we are fortunate to have you looking after us.

    Good afternoon Lou

    It is great to hear that you felt able to tell the girls about your depression. You are so supportive of your lovely family and I imagine it was a surprise to them. As you said, society is more enlightened now and celebrities and sports stars are now telling their stories in public which is a great thing.

    Looking forward to pasta and wine tonight.

    Rob xx

  • Marilyn53Marilyn53 Posts: 5


    i live about 3 hours from Austin. People say here in Texas we describe how far someplace is in hours rather than miles. We get the same reaction to our accent when we travel that you do. Lol

    I also have depression and anxiety. I take meds and get by.

    each of you has been so kind. I decided to give dating a try. I live out in the country, so I went online. It was a little scary to try it. I have 3 new friends. I am writing, meeting for lunch and really having a good time. I have told each one about my cancer and remission. Each one reacted with understanding and thoughtfulness. According to one man, it’s no different than him having diabetes.as we get older, we all have to deal with something. Thank you for your encouragement. I will keep y’all informed.

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 1,173 Community Admin
    edited June 16


    Hi Marilyn

    Do you know, I never noticed before, but now you mention it, my sister and niece do describe distances in hours.

    I am so pleased to hear that you decided to try online dating as it must have taken real courage to take the plunge. It is even better to hear how well it is going for you and heartening to know that you have already been in touch with such kind and thoughtful people. Hopefully, you will soon find that your new life will help you to manage your depression and anxiety too.

    Good luck

    Rob x

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