Going Through Cancer Together
- Breast cancer survivor Deb Merchant was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and gave her boyfriend of two years, Scott Stevens, a chance to leave if he wanted. Scott stayed, Deb’s cancer-free, and they’re still together to this day.
- Not only did Scott accompany her to treatment, but he doted her the entire time and also made sure all of the other cancer patients were comfortable.
- Cancer can often bring out the best and worst in partners. Lucky for Deb, she found her knight in shining armor, but for many, it can be a very fast way to tell a significant other’s true colors and emotional capacity.
Deb’s boyfriend Scott Stevens’ immediate response was, “No, we’re a team, we’re doing this together.”Read More
Together, they faced Deb’s journey through treatment and multiple scans, and Scott was still there by her side a few years later when her cancer unfortunately recurred. Deb needed six months of chemotherapy this time around.
“Our first visit, I thought for sure that Scott would drop me off, head back to his office to continue his work and come pick me up at the end of the day,” Merchant recalled to HiddenBrain.org‘s Unsung Heroes Series. “And instead, he stayed with me all day, making sure I had the right food and tea, being comfortable in a chair with the right pillow and warm blanket.”
Scott even checked in with Deb’s chair neighbors at the treatment center, asking them “are you comfortable? Can I get you anything? Would you like a warm blanket or a pillow? How about some hot tea?” she described of her loving other half. “Then he went to the next person and the next person and the next person.”
Scott continued these rounds during each visit. “Scott’s care and love of people comes first,” Deb said. “He has actually said to me ‘I will take love over money any day.'”
Deb has now been cancer-free for 13 years, and thankfully, still with her hero, Scott. “It’s his commitment to be present for someone he loves that made a huge difference in my life and that is why he is my unsung hero,” the appreciative survivor said.
Relationships and Cancer
While Deb has been extremely lucky with her loving and supportive partner Scott, we recognize that many patients have the stark opposite experience with their loved ones. Facing disease can truly bring out the best or sadly, sometimes the worst in our significant others who may not know how to cope with what comes along with a cancer battle.
Actress Jill Kargman discussed the topic with SurvivorNet, and put it in more blatant terms, which is completely relatable for some!
“When you get cancer, it’s a really great way to tell if your partner is the love of your life, or a s***head,” she said matter-of-factly.
Despite the pain that this experience can bring on top of the stress of fighting for your life, sometimes this enlightenment can actually be doing you a favor. This blessing in disguise could save you years off of a wasted engagement or marriage, and perhaps even lead you to your Scott. Your true life partner giving you the support you deserve.