After celebrating our ‘3 Months of Dating Bliss’ anniversary, I had reached the conclusion that this particular dating ship had sailed its course. Despite the fact that both of us had been fully invested I realized that this fastidious liaison definitely wasn’t going to be heading down the road leading to marital bliss...you know the road I'm talking about...the one with the princess colored pink and silver fireworks exploding overhead, spelling out the falsehood that we read about as little girls and essentially begin to believe that states we’re all gonna live…”HAPPILY EVER AFTER!” I figured it was time to have the ever brutal, but ambiguously necessary, it’s-not-you-it’s-me, break up colloquy.
I began my schpill by tooting his horn, rambling on about how great our relationship had been, stroking his ego, yada, yada, yada. Just as I was about to utter the inevitable, I noticed that his lower lip had started to quiver. He stopped me mid-sentence and without so much as skipping a beat, he blurted out the 4 most dreaded words I’d ever heard materialized…”Ge, I have cancer.”
Instantly I jumped into what my therapist refers to as “FIX IT MODE!” The approach that most women take, the one that says: “I-have-the-ability-to-fix-any-situation-I’m-placed-in-and-despite-not-really-having-any-control-I-feel-this-overwhelming-sick-innate-need-to-fix-the-guy-I’m-with” mode!
6.75 hours later I finally dragged myself to my car and started to head home. To say that I was legitimately and officially emotionally spent would be the understatement of the century. I had just sat through 360.45 minutes of explanation regarding the Stage Three Testicular Cancer that Mr. CancerRidden McSobsALot had randomly discovered a week earlier. He told me he was slated to start chemotherapy the following day and asked if I’d be available to take him to his appointment. The Mrs. Fix-It in me wholeheartedly agreed and as I called my boss with the heartbreaking news, she promptly told me that I needn’t fret about a thing, of course I could take all the time off that I needed too, to help him through this devastating time. The next morning I arrived at his apartment with his favorite breakfast sandwich from Einstein’s Bagel complete with juice and a side of fruit. Naturally I wanted him to have enough strength to survive these next torturous, rigorous, physically draining 6 weeks that lay ahead of him.
When we arrived at the hospital I stopped at the front entrance to let him out, I mean, I wanted him to conserve as much energy as humanly possible. I ran around my SUV to open his car door for him and as I helped him out he looked at me and asked in a very soft, almost pitiful voice, “Is it alright if you just drop me off here and I’ll call you when I’m finished? I think I’d be too embarrassed to have you sit there watching me.” I was quick to reassure him that I’d be here just as soon as he was finished and that he didn’t need to worry about a thing. This precise scenario took place every single time I took him for any of his chemo and/or doctor's appointments. Which ultimately just made me feel all the more guilty that he wasn’t "comfortable enough to have me there."
About 3 weeks later I arrived to once again take him to the hospital and when he answered the door I noticed that he had shaved his head. Tears started streaming down my face as I wrapped my arms around him I could hear him say through his own muffled tears, “I don’t want you to cry! I decided to get a jump start on my hair because I don’t want the cancer to think it’s won!” I couldn’t help but think what a brave, optimistic approach he was taking which I found to be courageous and heroic.
A few weeks later, after speaking to several friends of mine who ranged anywhere from RN’s, to PA’s to MD’s I had slowly started to gather a plethora amount of information regarding this horrible, appalling disease. The more time that went on and the more questions I asked, the more I started to realize that Sir VonLanceArmstrong McBraveFace’s story wasn’t adding up. For several reasons:
1) He told me that due to a new homeopathic remedy he had concocted at home, his doctor's said that he didn’t need to have the inexorable surgery that automatically goes along with having stage 3 testicular cancer.
2) Despite having an abnormally close relationship with his Mom, he had opted not to tell her about his latest cancer scare.
And last but certainly not least---
3) Anytime we discussed his on-going battle with this disease, it was overly apparent that I knew a lot more about it from the few hours of research I had spent doing, than he did…regardless of the countless hours that he had spent with some of the country’s “greatest medical minds alive” all of whom were reinforcing to him, as well as everyone else, that he was some type of “medical marvel!”
I once again opted to take the high road by choosing neither to doubt, nor second guess the things I was being told. Mostly because if word got out that I was questioning the cancer-ridden guy whom I had just devoted the last 110 days to, I would officially become the #1 unofficial member of my own undatable blog! That is, until late one evening whilst I was in the midst of hosting a ‘Testicular Cancer Awareness Support Group’ at my home, my cell phone began ringing. Concerned that it was a medical emergency vis-à-vis of my significant other, I rushed to answer it. On the other line was the Mother of Lord McLiarLiar informing me that her son didn’t in actuality have cancer at all. In fact, the only thing he was currently suffering from was the: “I-Didn’t-Want-Her-To-Break-Up-With-Me-So-I-Invented-This-Out-Of-Control-Narcissistic-Lie” postpartum blues.
If your date pretends to have cancer so that you won’t break up with him…