CURE

FALL / 2011

Comments from Readers

Dating During Cancer

While I read your article, “Dating After Cancer,” with interest, I and many others like me have a different kind of dating problem which was not addressed.  What about those of us who are still constantly battling cancer with periodic treatments, surgery, hospital stays for severe side effects, etc., and who never know if we will be feeling well enough to even keep the first or next scheduled date? A new guy may not mind dating someone whose cancer is “in the past,” but may not feel that it is worth getting into a relationship with a chronically sick woman and may not want to even get to know someone whose current and future life will most likely always be cancer. I’d really like to know some ways to deal with this problem.  

Eileen Sheiman
Flushing, N.Y.

I got a lot out of the article on dating after cancer. After a bi-lateral mastectomy and scarring, I was a bit wary of when to lay it out there. Luckily, I'm very transparent, and it came out on our first date, and we did a toast to celebrate me being a survivor. I never expected someone to take it so well. I’m not sure if I could myself; after all, cancer is the word no one wants to hear.

Cancer doesn’t define who I am; it’s just a part of my history now.

Amy Witt
via Facebook

I am grateful for “Dating after Cancer.” After 10 months of multiple tests, pancreatic cancer was diagnosed. I underwent major surgery and am in my fourth week of chemotherapy. Dr. Sueann Mark is right about a positive attitude. Because we are energetic beings, another can pick up our feeling “timid, ashamed or nervous.”

There are enough surprises in the anatomy of a 68-year-old woman without springing an 8-inch scar, a conspicuous medication port bump, and a gloomy prognosis upon a younger lover. (Old guys are not able to keep up with me!)

Dolores Eckles
Charlotte, N.C.

Trust Your Instincts

Renée Twombly’s report on node surgery in the summer issue ("Node Removal Not Necessary in Some Patients") was so encouraging! In 2003, I was faced with the choice of getting an axillary lymph node dissection. Ironically, I viewed the cancerous lymph nodes as good...they had done their job to catch the stray cancer cells that were shedding from the tumor, and I could not see the benefit of removing the rest of the nodes. Seven years later, I have never regretted my decision. Thank you for bringing to light these mysterious little successes that continue to prove that gut instinct can be a good helmsman in these murky waters.  

Elizabeth Sylvia
Keene, N.H.

Art's Healing Power

Thank you for the “Doorway to Healing” article. I battled leukemia during high school, and acting was my escape from the world. Art really does provide a creative outlet and time to forget current medical issues. 

Katie Vandrilla
Berlin, Conn.

When Does One Become a Survivor?

While I appreciate the research and information that CURE provides for patients and families, I was a bit frustrated by the article “Speak for Yourself” on advance directives, describing Michelle Soto and her battle with uterine cancer. A quote from the article stated, “‘We thought she was going to be a survivor, too,’ a family member mentioned.” I have no issue with Michelle’s family, but Michelle was a cancer survivor—just like any of us who have been told they have cancer. By implying that those who live to a point where they no longer have cancer and have ended treatment are the only “survivors,” you minimize the lives of us who must continue to fight the disease.

Christina Horrmann
Plymouth, Minn.

Kudos

Your magazine is an invaluable resource for me! Thank for all of the information and inspiration. Ten-plus years as a breast cancer survivor, four-plus years with mets and doing great!

Kathie Falls Guerrero
via Facebook

Corrections

Our summer issue’s “Conference Report” incorrectly stated that vemurafenib was expected to be submitted for FDA approval later this year. Vemurafenib was submitted for approval in May 2011.

In “Too Much of a Good Thing,” Grace Lu-Yao’s name was misspelled twice as Yu-Lao.

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