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Marc Chamberlain. And that may well be true. Much like me, Joan Campbell, was seeing someone when she learned she had breast cancer in October Unlike me, the 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. He was also unfaithful, she learned, after a single girlfriend stumbled onto his profile while surfing an online dating site. Things took off pretty naturally. That turned out to be a non-issue. Their pair continued to see each other for the next 13 months, slowly at first since Campbell was still receiving Herceptin infusions.
We laugh sometimes that I had to go through all of that just to meet him because he lives only five miles away. My advice to others is it can work out. Just keep your chin up. But love was what he found with Penny Blume, a vivacious year-old blonde who, like him, was living with terminal lung cancer. Both single, they quickly friended each other on Dating someone who had cancer and soon were texting every day. Blume was in active treatment for her aggressive small cell lung cancer in New York and was determined to make it to her 50th birthday, several months away.
Stranathan, then 59, gamely offered to fly out and buy her dinner for the occasion. Shortly after connecting, Blume flew to California for her first date with Stranathan, who by then was responding well to a targeted drug known as Tarceva. The pair clicked and spent several days traveling around Lake Tahoe and Mendocino, falling in love.
Any opportunity we would get, we would be together. Stranathan was able to share Yosemite, Morro Bay, Las Vegas, the Mojave Desert and the California coast with Blume before her cancer progressed, her treatment options dried up and she became too weak to travel.
He then took a retirement disability from his business development job, flew Blume out to his home and cared for her there until she died in January Since then, Stranathan has become even more involved in patient advocacy, fulfilling a promise he made to his beloved. He has not yet re-entered the dating pool. In the two and a half years we were together, we never once had a disagreement — we were dealing with bigger issues. Knowing the pain I went through at the end, I would have a hard time asking someone to go through it with me.
And I know I wouldn't want to experience that heartache again. Now on an immunotherapy drug, Stranathan still wrestles with the side effects and late effects of his treatment. But he continues to hike, spin and mountain bike regularly and looks for blessings every day. And just as I thought that, I looked down and there was a penny shining up at me in the water. I reached down and it was gone. Susan, a year-old web analyst and patient from Washington, D. So like many single cancer patients present company includedshe started navigating the surreal world of dating while in treatment, doing her best to find a way to share the realities of her diagnosis, her side effects and her prognosis without chasing potential suitors away.
Susan used this approach with Jeff, a Washington, D. But he was very matter-of-fact about it. The pair continued to date — and eventually fell in love — marrying last July in a small church celebration complete with good friends, barbecued ribs and blues. Was their love match a fluke when research tells us that oftentimes, love walks out when cancer walks in?
Jeff has done three Dating someone who had cancer visits with me. If you miss one, there will be another one right along. I told him about my breast cancer, my surgeries and what it means when a body not to mention an already quirky brain go through the treatment mill. But so far, he's undaunted. A breast cancer survivor, she blogs at doublewhammied. her at dmapes fredhutch.
Donate Now. Hutch News Stories. Love in the time of cancer — three couples find romance despite disease. Susan, a stage 4 breast cancer patient, and her brand new husband Jeff, shortly after their wedding in July The pair met via an online dating site while Susan was going through treatment.
Love is good therapy Much like me, Joan Campbell, was seeing someone when she learned she had breast cancer in October 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.
Was she surprised to find love in the midst of cancer treatment? Stage 4 lung cancer patients Don Stranathan and Penny Blume met on the online patient community Inspire. They spent 26 months together before Blume succumbed to the disease in early Here, they're pictured at Lake Tahoe after Dating someone who had cancer traveled 3, miles for her first date with Don.
But neither wanted to wait. Neither had the time to wait. One last good date Susan, a year-old web analyst and patient from Washington, D. Help Us Eliminate Cancer Every dollar counts. Please support lifesaving research today. Custom Donation Amount. The Dating someone who had cancer cancer blame game The shame, blame and stigma surrounding this deadly disease affects everything from patient follow-through to research funding November 21, What's new in breast cancer research? Collaborations, combined therapies and machine learning offer promising strategies for boosting early detection, potential cures October 28, Living with Stage 4: The breast cancer no one understands In a culture focused on survivorship, those with metastatic breast cancer who will be in treatment for the rest of their lives can feel isolated and misunderstood October 13, Last Modified, October 28,Dating someone who had cancer
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