I am 42 years old and 6 years ago I discovered that I was suffering from bilateral breast cancer. I had dismissed most of first the symptoms because I suffer from Lupus.
I underwent a radical double mastectomy and my doctor very frankly advised me against reconstructive surgery. He explained that the results of the procedure can be unpredictable in people with connective tissue disease.
The wound might not heal, and there would be increased risks of clotting and could even lead to a stroke. I followed his advice, but my husband of 10 years couldn't stand to look at me, and six months after my operation, while I was still in chemotherapy, he left me.
I have been on my own ever since, and thank God I have wonderful friends and a supportive family and I have now made it through the 5-year cancer-free mark.
Two months ago, I was taking part in a mini-marathon held to raise money for a breast cancer organization, and I met a very lovely man who was running because his sister had breast cancer.
We hit it off straight away and started meeting for coffee, then lunch. He asked me out for dinner and told me straight out that he was having strong feelings for me and wanted me to consider it a 'real' date.
We had a wonderful time and have been inseparable for the last month. The problem is, we've started kissing and cuddling and things are moving in the direction of more intimate contact and it terrifies me.
I am afraid to tell him I had a double mastectomy and had no reconstruction. I have no breasts, though I did have medical tattoos done that give me the illusion of having nipples.
I'm afraid he will be repulsed, turn away and leave me like my husband did. But then I think there may be a small chance he will stay and love me anyway.
I must either tell him and face whatever consequences it brings, or end this relationship now. I'm so afraid to risk it and have all my fragile self-confidence shattered, but I'm afraid I will regret not taking a chance.
Anyone out there who's been through something like this, please give me some sensible advice!
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