Dealing with cancer as a single woman

A cancer diagnosis comes with a LOT of things to worry about. Will I be ok? How will it affect me? What about my job? Oh, and “Who will ever want to date me after this?”

As I type that out, I realize how silly it probably sounds, but it was something that I actually struggled with quite a bit at first. It’s tough. Cancer has a way of playing some serious mind games and this was a hard one to get past.

I spent the first couple months of chemo feeling so insecure. Without hair, I hardly recognized myself when I looked in the mirror. I remember being surprised almost every time I saw my reflection. It was a strange feeling.

I eventually started to get used to that just in time for my eyebrows and eyelashes to fall out. I know there are so many nice people out there who will say a variation of, “I’m sure you look fine without eyebrows!” I know this because you all are amazing and always try to make me feel better no matter what. However, NOBODY looks good without eyebrows! Don’t believe me? Let’s ask Google:

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Hopefully you got a good laugh out of that like I did! THANK YOU to whoever invented eyebrow pencils lol! I quickly learned how to draw my eyebrows on and apply false lashes to make myself look like a human again.

Hair loss wasn’t the only physical change that cancer brought on. I’ve lost a lot of muscle that I worked really hard to gain over the past few years. Even months before my official diagnosis, I rarely had the energy to get myself to the gym. I actually really enjoy working out and used to go to the gym about 4-5 times a week so it was tough when my doc said I needed to stay away from gyms during treatment. I’ve tried to stay active in other ways , but most days I’m ecstatic just to finish a 20 minute walk without needing to take a break. I’ve accepted it now and am looking forward to getting back in shape once this is over, but early on in this journey it was just one more thing to add to my dwindling self confidence.

I also want to point out that, hypothetically speaking, if I was married or at least in a serious relationship, I would hopefully be able to depend on my partner to help  me through my treatment. In that situation, I wouldn’t have had to uproot my life and move back in with my parents. I probably would’ve been able to work on the days that I didn’t feel too bad and my life would’ve somewhat carried on.

With all that said, I’m actually really happy to be single now that I’ve come to terms with it all and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Why?  Because chemo is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through and I did it as a single woman. I now know that I can deal with anything life throws my way… BY MYSELF! (Well, not including the support of my family and friends and thousands of amazing people who I’ve never even met… but besides that, by myself lol). Same goes for anyone reading this who may be in a similar situation. It’s a good feeling, especially when I lacked this confidence not too long ago. Let me elaborate, but just a warning: this is going to get a little personal…

Earlier this year I was in the worst relationship I have ever been in. This guy treated me so poorly and I put up with it because he made me feel like I was nothing. I knew it was bad when my coworkers were able to see that something was seriously wrong after only knowing me for a few months. I never told anyone too many details of what the relationship was like and instead, I was always defending him to my new friends. Even still, I had more than one coworker tell me that he seemed very controlling and probably even a little emotionally abusive toward me. He ended up breaking up with me on the day of my first doctor’s appointment when I was already an emotional wreck. Since then, I’ve had a lot of time to focus on myself and rebuild my self esteem. The only thing I regret is that it took cancer to make me realize I never should’ve put up with that. For the record, I have also dated some really great guys. Actually, almost all of my ex-boyfriends reached out to me after learning about my diagnosis to wish me well and send words of encouragement. Dating is so low on my priority list right now, but when I decide I’m ready, I’ve set the bar pretty high for my future boyfriend.

I also have to say that guys don’t seem to mind my diagnosis at all. There I was thinking I’m damaged goods while nobody else cares. I took a poll with some of my male friends and asked if they would choose not to date someone because of a previous cancer diagnosis. The results were unanimous- none of them said it would be a deal breaker. By the way, I’m sure there are some men out there who do care, but guess what? I’m really not looking to be with that kind of person anyway so it’s all good!

Also, I had the chance to meet Jake Owen at a concert (my celebrity crush!) and he said I was beautiful! I’m going to brag about this forever so I apologize in advance, but if JAKE OWEN can call me beautiful at a time like this, then all is right in the world 🙂

 

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25 thoughts on “Dealing with cancer as a single woman

  1. As ususl, Crystal, you have given us all so much to think about and reflect on. Always, it seems, some other terrible incident makes our own troubles just a bit smaller. For instance today, another terrible shooting in Tx. and in a church; and I just heard on the news nearly an entire family with very young children, most of them gone in an instant. Your “cancer sentence” although, horrible for you, is being handled so well by you. You are reflective and always looking for the good to surpass the bad. Keep up the great attitude and know you are blessed and a much stronger person in spite of it all. Attitude is the hope and belief you need.
    Emily
    God Bless.

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    1. what an inspiration you are!! as for the guy who didn’t treat you well,he didn’t realize what a prize he had .you are strong,perky,inspiring and BEAUTIFUL! that is inside and out.if i were 30 or so years younger,i would show you how special you are.keep your hopes high and I am sure you’ll have your job when you are ready.God bless you Crystal and I can’t imagine a man with any sense mistreating you.

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  2. Crystal, I know you have a lot on you and a lot going through your head right now but please try to take everything in turn and your first priority should be to beat this and after that take things as they come and don’t try to take on too much or too quickly. There is a line from one of my favorite movies, Contact where the man who plays Jodi Foster’s Dad says 2 words to help her try and put things in perspective, “baby steps”. I am sorry that your most recent relationship was so horrible for you but you need to do some soul searching and ask yourself how did I get there and why did I allow myself to get there? I know that your career places soul crushing demands on you to where you may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel but you should never be in a hurry to make a mistake. There should be a balance between being open to the possibilities and being in too much of a hurry to get there and this applies to all aspects of life. As for your physical appearance a friend of mine went through cancer a while ago and found herself where you are and one solution she used was to have eyebrows tattooed on so you do have options. For now focus on getting better and on you and the rest of it will take care of itself. Best of luck to you and we look forward to seeing you back on the air very soon.

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  3. Crystal, you nor anybody else needs to put up with someone that doesn’t treat you like a lady. I may be old school but that is how I feel. As far as damaged goods goes, my wife is a cancer survivor. I did not know her when she went through her ordeal but she told me about it when we were still only friends. It made no difference to me and I asked her to marry me anyway. Keep the faith and don’t rush anything and all will workout for the best. As you have stated, you are one strong young lady and capable of handling whatever life throws at you. You seem to have a great support network and there are many people out here pulling for you.

    DDD

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  4. PTL! I love your post!! Your attitude!! And your sass!! I know you’re probably tired of me telling you that me and God loves you just the way you are, but Crystal, He so does! He doesn’t want you settling for less when He has the BEST waiting for you! Someone He has set aside just for you! And you just for him! It will be worth the wait! ❤
    I love that He gave you your family and friends to get through this. Controlling boyfriends hate family and friends being so connected. The husband God has for you will cherish them as much as you do!! He will want them involved in the lives of y'alls children. 😉

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  5. Dear Crystal, it’s amazing to read all the pain and sorrow you had gone though when you look so beautiful in you pictures. What gaillovesgod tells you, is exactly what I tell my son, God has set aside someone very special for you. Don’t worry about it, just thank God from taking you away from that bad boyfriend. It was his loss, not yours. At this time you are like in a cocoon, when the time is right, you will come out like a beautiful butterfly 🦋 stronger, and more beautiful than before! Don’t look for love, let it come to you, I am sure it’s already on his way. Hang in there dear, you are almost there! God bless! ❤️🦋🙏🏻

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  6. Crystal, I know this has been a hard journey for you to take. However, you are doing such a great job getting through it. Never lose your determination and resolve to kick cancer’s butt. I have learned from all the things I have had to go through in my life, that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes that tunnel is a little longer or darker but there is always a light at the end of it. I also live by that old adage that when one door closes, another one opens. And when the door closes, don’t stand there and beat on it. There’s nothing there for you. Oh, and sometimes you just have to say f*** it and move on. The jerk that let you go and didn’t really treat you right, he’s not worth your time. You are too kind and sweet to let him bring you down. Continue to get better every day. Miss you on the tv. Take care!!

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  7. I can relate to the eyebrows and lashes. Never did get the eyelashes down but did alright with drawing in eyebrows. I would forget and end up rubbing one of them off from time to time. Chemo can take you to such dark and fearful places in your mind. You are so right about becoming stronger from it. I mean come on…..what’s the worst that can happen to you? You’Re already going through it. I no longer fear things I used to and dare to try new things I never would have tried before. The big thing that helped me when I was done with chemo was to find a nutritionist who was knowledgeable in rebuilding the body and immune system (I had no immunity at all after chemo). He helped me to detox and regain strength and energy again. Like one of the other followers said – baby steps. I found a trainer who helped me do workouts in the pool so it didn’t take so much effort to strengthen and tone again. For now concentrate on getting through your last treatments and being rid of that wicked cancer. You will be normal again. Love and prayers. Mary King

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  8. Hey crystal you’re a beautiful special person what you are going through i would be proud to be that special supportive guy you are looking for a had a friend back in NYC who had what you got her boyfriend broke up before her first treatment so i stepped in and became her boyfriend up until her last treatment through thick wnd thin (good and bad days) we were engaged to get married then cancer came back after two years of almost wonderful time were spent together she passed away before we got married haven’t had a serious relationship with someone i would be honored to be your special guy?

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  9. Don’t let it get ya down. You ARE beautiful. You always have been. Hair isn’t going to change that. Can’t wait for you to get back to work. You always make me smile.
    Love ya Gorgeous.

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story. Thankful that this boyfriend is out of your life. You deserve someone as special as you are. Remember not to look back when your flying forward.

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  11. Good Morning Crystal. I just finished reading your blog. I’m right there w/yah. Cancer can definitely make you take a look at yourself and how you deal w/life and relationships.(it’s empowering ). You are a beautiful young woman with so much love to give. I miss seeing your smiling face on the news. GOD bless.

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  12. Always an Inspiration and enlightenment to read your blog, as a father with 4 daughters who are strong young women themselves I share your comments and hope you realize that in the midst of a storm I can not begin to understand you are the rainbow that shines with hope and strength. God Bless you Crystal.

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  13. Hi Crystal!
    Reading your blog I’m reminded of some of the concern I had about my own journey 30 years ago. Before my diagnosis, my wife and I split, and like you I thought I would never have anyone want me. Needless to say, not long after I was told of my remission, I met the woman who would give me 2 beautiful kids. They said I probably would never have any. Now I’m a proud grandpa and a 29 year survivor. Like you I had the support of so many people in my life, when we didn’t have social media. The prayer warriors were in full force! Lol. I was fortunate to not lose my hair, until I got older! . Though I’m alone now, I will be going to my first Relay for Life to celebrate 30 years cancer free and to join others, like yourself and a few of my friends, that are going through the fight. Hope to see you at one of the Relays! Continued love and best wishes to you through the last few sessions. In the words of Jimmy V. “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up “

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  14. Sometimes things happen for a reason, unknown to us. You are a great inspiration to others. Looking forward to seeing you back in January.

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