Karen Syrjala, co-director of Fred Hutch’s Survivorship Program.
"That said, cancer can add a new layer to the complexities of explaining who we are to a new person, and it can introduce a few new insecurities about body image, feeling desirable, feeling vulnerable and wondering if a new person will want to take a chance with someone who’s had cancer." This Valentine’s Day, we decided to look at three couples touched by cancer who’ve been able to divorce themselves from the challenges of the disease and its treatment — and find true love.
Fear; financial devastation; the loss of body parts and/or sexual function; the stress of watching someone you care about grow weaker and possibly die: that's a lot for any partner to take on.
But getting dumped after diagnosis isn’t the only storyline when it comes to love in the time of cancer.
“He was definitely a ‘no-help helper.’” He was also unfaithful, she learned, after a single girlfriend stumbled onto his profile while surfing an online dating site.
Campbell asked her son to move in, asked the “philandering fiancé” to move out and focused on getting through treatment.
"When I told him I was hesitant to tell him about the cancer because I wasn’t sure if he would want to see me anymore, his answer was, ‘Can I see you again?
’” Photo courtesy of Jeff Salmore Photography Six years ago, I spent Valentine’s weekend lurching around Seattle trying to come to terms with the fact that I was now a cancer patient.
Unlike me, the 66-year-old advertising and marketing consultant from Grass Valley, California, was engaged — and the guy immediately offered to move in and help her weather the surgery, chemo and radiation.Joan Campbell and her new fiance, Larry, met while she was going through treatment for breast cancer; they shared the same massage therapist who suggested they connect."My advice to others is it can work out," she said.Susan, a stage 4 breast cancer patient, and her brand new husband Jeff, shortly after their wedding in July 2016.The pair met via an online dating site while Susan was going through treatment.Sadly, she lost her battle and is no longer with us. Mine has helped me get through this whole cancer thing! I just realize I have to live in the present moment, live in the now, become the best me right now, and not worry about what will happen in six months, or a year. I'm so lonely, I just want someone to talk to who will understand what I'm going through. I feel so sorry and sad that I’m so far away from you.I am 30, from GA, and looking for the love of my life. Check out 'C is for Cupid' - I think the url is cisforcupid.org, but it's specifically a 'dating site for cancer survivors.' I'm on there, have had some great discussions and sharing. I know if I do my best right now, I'll be where I want to be in six months. I know about being broken into pieces, I just live in the present moment now. I'm in NYC if there's any women out there from my location, I could really use a friend, it would be nice to have someone to talk too, someone to encourage, and for them to be an encouragement to me. I live in uk but if you want you can text me anytime you want.I would love to meet other girls to strategize with, too! Broke my heart and I wonder if I will ever be "normal" enough for someone to want to love me or if I will be able to open myself up to that again. I know it is a lot to handle and I think that dating someone who is going through the same will be a better option. I met an amazing guy off the cancer website while I was going through chemo but as soon as I got done and found out my counts were normal he decided not fair for me to be ok and him still sick. I've had a lot of relationships not work out mostly because of my cancer.