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Beat cancer, but may have lost any chance with Ex.

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I can't believe I'm opening up about this, but I'd really love to get some feedback?


I'm 35yo and think I'm still in love with my high school sweetheart.


We were only together for our last year of high school, and first year of college (long-distance). Even though we were both only late teens, she wanted to get married and have children straight away, but I thought we should wait and try to get through college first, because I wouldn't have been able to support a family while going through college. We ended up breaking up after trying the long distance thing for a year. I was her first real boyfriend, and she wanted us to not be exclusive, so we could be certain we were the right ones for each other. I knew she was the one for me, but agreed it was only right that she be able to date others, since she had never really dated anyone else to be able to know if I was the right one for her. Being so far away from one another, and with my feelings being a little hurt at the time, we soon lost touch. A year later, she called me out of the blue, to basically say that she still thinks of me all of the time and that she will always love me. I told her I felt the same, and we talked about the notion of fate, and that we would have to see if it would one day bring us back together again.


Nearly a decade passed, and I was diagnosed with cancer and was told I didn't have long to live. I'm not entirely sure why, but I reached out to a mutual old friend and asked about my ex. Apparently, she had since had two children, but never married, wasn't in a relationship and thought of me as the one that got away. Apparently she had tried to find me several times, but had never been able to track me down. I emailed her and told her that I still thought of her often, and about my having cancer and a poor prognosis. I realized the next day that I probably shouldn't have made any contact at all, because it risked stirring up our feelings for one another again, which wouldn't have been fair on her seeing that I didn't have long left to live. I had already seen other cancer patients die and the last thing I wanted was for her to see me like that. I then stupidly thought it would be best if I just ignored her email replies, but she continued them for several months. She kept saying she missed me, that she wanted to be there for me and asked me to call her, but I was afraid if I let her into my life again, she would only end up watching me die. Shortly afterwards, I returned to my home country on the other side of the world so that I could live out my final days with family.


Fast forward 7 years, and somehow I'm still alive. I nearly died several times along the way, but now incredibly my cancer has disappeared! But now what do I do? All of my savings are gone because I couldn't work through the cancer treatment and no-one will hire me now because of the stigma of having had cancer (I might as well have axe-murderer written on my resume). When I stopped communication with my ex 7 years ago, I thought she would conclude that I died from the cancer and moved on with her life, but I just found out she is still searching for me. Before cancer I had fantasized about one day finding my ex and proposing to her out of the blue, but now I have no money, no prospects, am living on the other side of the world and she has 2 kids (not that that's necessarily an issue).


Do I contact her, telling her I have survived the cancer and try to explain why I had stopped communication? Given my circumstances, I can't see how we can ever be together again, even though I know that is what she is hoping. It seems cruel to not contact her and at least let her know that I have survived, but it would also be cruel to then explain we can never be together again too. Would it be selfish of me to contact her, explain everything, and ask if we can just essentially be long distance friends via email? I know if I email her, she will ask me to call her, and that I will melt from hearing her voice again (geez I'm pathetic), and I don't know if I can torture myself like that knowing I probably will never get to see her again.


What would you do in my situation?

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I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I would do. I'd see this as a miraculous second chance, and I'd call her. You know that she still cares about you. Since she'd asked for you to call her in the e-mails, I'd do that. You never know after all, you only live once and could get hit by a car tomorrow.

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