I thought maybe I can get some insight from this board. I've recently starting seeing a wonderful man who I would like to continue seeing. It's been a long time since I found someone like this guy, and we've gotten along very well so far and even shared a first kiss. We are both looking for someone for the long term haul.
He disclosed to me that he was diagnosed with UC when he was a young child, was in remission until his mid 20's and then it had flared, and is now taking Remicade which is working for him. He sounds like he's led a very active, full life. I'd never had known if he didn't tell me- we've gone out to dinners, outdoor activities, etc. He didn't even act like it was a big deal when he mentioned it to me.
This all came as a shock to me, but I knew some stuff about UC from my educational background. It doesn't phase me too much because I had dealt with several years of GI issues (multiple doctors and tests, finally a colonoscopy that revealed a "weird" twisted colon, and discovered numerous food sensitivities....I now have my issues under control through careful diet and probiotics). My family background has IBD and I had been tested for it, as well.
Anyway, in all honesty I am a little scared about the side effects he mentioned from Remicade (possible cancer, hepatitis, etc). And I have a lot of "what ifs" floating through my mind, such as:
Will I be a caregiver rather than a romantic partner? (This happened in a previous relationship and I was completely shut out, and am afraid of that happening again).
Is he more likely to die early from UC or medication side effects?
What if we got serious and his UC got worse and changed our relationship completely, like could never do anything as a couple?
I know surgery is one route many people go and if he ever chose that I'd be completely fine with it. One of my relatives had to go that route.
Right now I am kind of going back and forth...I see him as him and the UC as not defining him. I know I can keep seeing him and see how things go, taking things slowly. I wonder if I am picturing it as worse than it really is?
Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.