She had no way to find help as a single woman looking for a relationship, wanting to know when and how to tell about her mastectomy and her disease.
Gradually she got to a point where she was able to wait till the third or fourth meeting, and discuss it without upsetting herself or her companion.
And she learned to protect herself during the initial phase of a sexual encounter, by wearing a silky cover-up, gradually working up to full exposure.
Renee told Burt about her cancer history on their first date, including the fact that it was unlikely she could have children. "I worked through my fears with him—and they disappeared from my head when we had sex.
Sexy lingerie helped me feel confident and attractive," she says. You don't have to wear a sign that says "I've had breast cancer," and you don't have to bring it up until you are ready and feel you have some stake in a relationship.
He stayed by her side through chemotherapy, hair loss, early menopause, a 25-pound weight gain, the return of her period (a terrific day, as they desperately want children together), and much more. This is a tough time, and you've had to do a lot of soul-searching with this disease.
Maybe the same soul-searching can help you learn how to handle relationships better.
Maybe you tend to go after the wrong partner, or send the wrong message.
If you've had problems with relationships before breast cancer, those problems are not going to go away.
Here are some suggestions on how to ease into the dating world again after your diagnosis and treatment: Finding a suitable and available companion is always a challenge, but there are enough success stories to keep up hope, to take action and make things happen.