Last night I read in the New York Times Magazine about a sugar daddy website, and decided it’s time to write about my cancer sugar daddy incident. But first, let me share with you a quote from my book by Wafa’a, a single lymphoma patient:
“Cancer makes you feel really alone, and you just want to be held and feel loved. Or maybe it is a coincidence, and I’d just really want those things right now even without cancer, and it’s just part of being twenty-four. I want to matter to someone else. I want to feel like someone is thinking about me. Since being sick, I’m just looking for a bit of stability, and I think maybe having someone to love me is it. You can’t control life so maybe you can just date and control that, but you can’t control that either.”
I’m happily married now, but Wafa’a’s words cut to the core of my four years of being single and slogging through cancer alone. Not only was I lonely, but I was seriously scrimping to pay my medical bills. I’ve never been spendy but my pasta and rice routine was a drag; I hadn’t been in a restaurant in months and was craving a little cancer luxury to quell my cancer solitude.
I met a really sweet guy who was way too old for me (50!). “Just one date,” he pleaded. He knew about my cancer and how hard it was financially, so I made a deal. “One date only: You wine and dine me. I’ll be your arm candy, and give you one kiss.” Agreed.
It felt like prom or New Year’s Eve, taking a long bath and trying on outfits before our date. He took me to a small, expensive French restaurant. We ate quail eggs, salty lardon, savory Foie Gras bread pudding (sorry PETA readers), and quince tart. He was boring and a bad kisser. But I didn’t care. It was only temporary; I knew I’d resume the world of (semi)-normal dating after that evening. Some might find it depressing or disrespectable, but to me, it felt like a glimmer of hope, a chance to get out of my garden apartment, eat decadent food, and join the living.
Have you ever been single with cancer or while managing another kind of illness? What was hardest about it for you? Did you daydream about your life being different? Lastly, cast your honest vote: On my date, was I a tramp or a princess? Would you ever consider doing the same, or have you?