Somers Has Been Open About Her Relationship & Cancer Battles
- Suzanne Somers recently gave fans a deeper look into her loving relationship with Alan Hamel. She says her successful 55-year marriage is “about honoring and respecting one another and giving your partner what they need.”
- Somers is a skin and breast cancer survivor. Her unconventional treatment path for breast cancer was controversial, but she is still happy and healthy today.
- Facing cancer or any sort of health battle can be a very vulnerable and emotionally exhausting experience, so it can help to have a strong relationship to lean on for support. That being said, it’s important to notice what you have strength for and what is feeling like too much during your health battle — and that includes your relationships.
The Three’s Company star has been married to entertainer Alan Hamel, 86, for 55 years. But time certainly hasn’t snuffed out the spark between the two lovebirds.Read More
Her latest comments come a year after she confessed they sometimes have sex two or three times a day. “At this stage of life, most people think that’s over the hill. What time is it, noon? I had sex with him three times so far today,” she said.
Thankfully, the two have a happy relationship that’s withstood the test of time. But that doesn’t mean life has always been easy.
Suzanne Somers’ Cancer Journey
Suzanne Somers first encountered cancer in her 30s when she battle skin cancer. Two decades later, she received a stage two breast cancer diagnosis in her 50s.
“Cancer has chased me most of my life,” Somers said in a previous interview with SurvivorNet. “[But] cancer has not changed my life since it’s been my life for decades.”
It’s unclear exactly what type of breast cancer Somers had, but she did undergo some controversial treatments.
For starters, she refused chemotherapy. But she did have a lumpectomy and radiation. Then, she waited 11 years to undergo reconstruction after rejecting doctors’ advice to go through a mastectomy. In fact, she became the first woman in the U.S. to legally undergo a process called “cell-assisted lipotransfer” to reconstruct her breast.
“What I wanted to do was less controversial than implants,” Somers told SurvivorNet. “I was restoring my breast exactly as it was prior to the surgery.”
Currently, Somers is cancer-free and living her best life, regardless of her controversial treatment path. Still, she did struggle throughout her journey.
Relationships and Cancer
Like many people faced with cancer, Suzanne Somers was worried about how her disease would affect her relationship with her partner — especially right after surgery.
“Having a breast half its size after surgery was difficult for me for awhile. I worried how Alan would respond and respond he did. He said, ‘Now I have one for every mood!’ That was his way of saying nothing is changed,” she told SurvivorNet. “We are way past in our relationship [to check] out our physical selves. Alan tells me everyday how much he loves me and that’s after 54 years.”
Somers’ advice to other survivors struggling with their confidence after a breast cancer battle? Find a good therapist.
“A good therapist can help you reconnect with your body and grow to love your body,” she said. “If you have a partner you are totally committed to and in love with, they will love you no matter what.”
Dealing with cancer — or any sort of health battle for that matter — can be overwhelming, so having physical and emotional support is crucial. That being said, it’s very important to know your limits on what you can handle as you undergo treatment and recover from your cancer, and that includes relationships.
“Going through [cancer] treatment is a very vulnerable and emotionally exhausting experience,” licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Marianna Strongin wrote in a column for SurvivorNet. “Noticing what you have strength for and what is feeling like too much … [is] extremely important to pay attention to as you navigate treatment.”
Dr. Strongin does note, however, that having people by your side during this “arduous chapter” of your life can be hugely beneficial.
“Studies have found consistently that loneliness is a significant risk factor for physical and mental illnesses and the trajectory of recovery,” she wrote. “Therefore, it will be important that you surround yourself with individuals who care and support you throughout your treatment.”
For actress and melanoma survivor Jill Kargman, cancer was a true test of the strength for her relationship. In an earlier interview with SurvivorNet, Kargman said the disease “is a great way to find out if you’re with the love of your life or a shithead.”
“I think it presses the fast forward button on getting to the bottom of that answer, because a lot of people in middle age are kind of at a crossroads, waiting for their kids to fly the coop,” Kargman said. “I think if you’re with someone who is not supportive and kind of emotionally checked out or doesn’t tell you you’re still beautiful with that, this might not be your person.”