I had let Best Boy know that we needed to take the “benefits” out of our “friends with benefits” arrangement. It surprised me that he cared more about me than he had led on, but my energy – in and out of the bedroom – was focused on my new relationship with Mr. Agency.
Mr. Agency and I continued to see each other two or three times a week. His schedule typically precluded us from going out on dates, but we had found a good balance.
My mood in mid-September was less lighthearted, when I learned that I needed chemotherapy. I was worried how the drugs would change me — and us.
Me: You realize that this is going to get a lot worse, right?
Mr. Agency: Yes, and I'll be here for you.
Me: I just feel really vulnerable now. Like I don't want cancer to be the reason why we don't work out.
Mr. Agency: That's not going to happen.
Me: If I'm bald?
Mr. Agency: I'll help you find a hot wig. Some look that you've always wanted to try. You are going to look sexy no matter what!
Me [smiling as I bury my head in his chest]: Maybe…what if I lose my sex drive?
Mr. Agency: That's not going to happen with you.
Me [laughing out loud]: Misty joked that if I lose my sex drive, I would still have a normal person's drive.
Mr. Agency: Exactly. And, if you lose your drive, then it just means that I have to work harder.
I kissed him, as I fought back tears of happiness. That feeling only increased after I had my port* installed. I hadn’t expected the procedure to install the port to be so painful and was surprised at how rough I felt.
My friend, Tricia, was over helping me out that evening, when Mr. Agency texted me to see how I was doing. He offered to come over after his event.
Tricia: Are you sure you want him to see you like this?
Me; Since I’m hurting so much? [She nods.] I think so. Chemo is going to be much tougher. If he can’t handle this, then at least I’ll know.
Tricia: I can see that. [Pause.] Are you going to be okay if he can’t handle it?
Me: I hope so. I’m sure it would hurt a bit, but better to find out now than later.
There was a knock on the door, and Tricia went to answer it. (She had met Mr. Agency once before when we all went for a dog walk together.)
Mr. Agency [to Tricia]: How’s she doing?
Tricia: Not so good. She’s in a lot of pain. Will you be able to help her out tonight?
Mr. Agency: Definitely.
And, he did just that. He held me close, brought me water, walked my dog, and kissed me sweetly. He understood that I wasn’t up for having sex and didn’t push me. He reminded me that he would be there for me and that I’d get through this.
In the midst of the pain, I smiled. I felt very, very lucky.
* A port is a tiny device that is surgically inserted under the skin in your chest and provides access to a vein. It makes receiving chemotherapy much, much easier, and eliminates the pain associated with not finding a vein. If you or a loved one needs to get chemo, I highly recommend getting a port!