Sex with a random Tinder match saved my life
“You have stage III breast cancer ”are not the words one would expect to hear at 29 years old. I heard them five days after a date with Tinder told me he felt a lump in my left breast, four days after having a biopsy on said breast, and a day after my friends and I joked about the odds of me Actually have cancer in a year like 2020.
Apparently, for me, going through a global pandemic could be a lot worse.
But let me step back a bit. Before my diagnosis, I had just ended a six-year relationship and did what any newly single person would do: walked into dating apps. Sam had written “coffee guy” in his bio, so he was an obvious Swipe Right.
For our first date, we went to a bunch of breweries and shared a little kiss at the end of the night. Neither of us wanted anything serious, but I had no fuckboi vibes; it made me feel safe, comfortable, confident, all things. We decided to meet again.
One night, while we were lying on the bed, Sam started rubbing his hands over my breasts just for the fun of it. (For all of you who’ve dated guys with boobs, you know it’s something that just happens whether or not it leads to something sexual.)
“Have you ever had this lump examined?” ” He asked. I immediately went into full defense mode. “No, it’s just my breast,” I said, feeling the place for myself. I mean, breasts are supposed to be lumpy at my age … aren’t they? We continued, but I still went to the doctor the next day.
I was scheduled for an ultrasound (fun fact: mammograms are not really effective at detecting breast cancer in women under 40, since we tend to have denser breast tissue), and that’s how they found the mass to be five centimeters wide.
When the test came back I literally thought, Well, damn. How was I going to tell people? Talking about it would make it real, and I wasn’t ready to do it.
I decided my first move would be to break up with Sam. I didn’t want to burden him with a bald chick who would be tired, sick and losing her nails. When I tried, however, he basically said, “Hi, no, this is not happening.” His exact words: “If I didn’t think I could do this, I would. But let’s try; let’s try to fight this together. So that’s what we did.
Since cancer treatment can totally screw up your fertility, I started IVF treatment in June, then from July to November I had chemotherapy.
Sam, the guy who was supposed to be there for “WYD?” Texts only, was with me through it all. He patted my bald head before I went to bed so I could sleep at night, and when I threw up all over my walls because I couldn’t go to the bathroom in time, he cleaned it up without saying a word.
When the chemo was finally over, I said RIP to my left breast before the people at the PPE cut it off. (Yes, it was a mastectomy, not a conspiracy in american horror story.) They also had the lymph nodes completely removed.
I said to Sam, “Of course I had breast cancer and had to get rid of a tit when I date a breasty guy.” His response: “Don’t worry, I’m a breasted guy, not a breasts guy.”
The radiation therapy started at the end of March 2021, and I did it every day for five weeks in a row until I was finally cancer free. Now I am awaiting reconstructive surgery and will also be on hormone therapy for the next 10 years.
Meanwhile… Sam and I just moved in together – and I realize that if he hadn’t had the courage to say anything about the size he felt, I might not be. not be here today.
In a way, what he did should be the bare minimum (because if you feel something in a breast, a testicle, really anywhere on someone’s body, you have to tell it to this person), but it probably saved my life. Mainly because I probably wouldn’t have found the lump myself: I had never done a proper breast self-exam before and didn’t know how to do it.
So yeah, the man who always affectionately calls me “Lumpy” and gives me monthly “Sammograms” to check things out is pretty amazing. He literally became my lifeline. And maybe our history proves that there is more to dating apps than just fishing photos and Office the references. Like, a lot more.
Sources: Ob-gyns Kimberly Langdon, MD, and Heather Irobunda, MD.
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