A candid look at dating … with breast cancer

After a breast cancer diagnosis, she was given just six months to live. That was six years ago.

Pam Cromwell’s life changed forever when, at 29, her doctor told her that the recently found lump in her breast was indeed cancer.

Her diagnosis came with a six-month life expectancy.

Six years later, Cromwell stands tall. Her job as a business analyst is thriving, she kickboxes, aspires to travel, and loves spending time with her boyfriend.

She also has metastatic breast cancer.

“Cancer does not define me,” said Cromwell, 35, who lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. “It’s just a part of who I am.”

The self-described “new face of cancer,” Cromwell is redefining what it means to be a young person living with a potentially terminal diagnosis. In fact, she’s out to eliminate the notion that cancer patients can’t have a full life.

Cromwell embraced this point wholeheartedly when it came to her dating life. At one time, she was navigating through a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and the dating scene.

Cromwell was met with a mix of reactions from potential suitors, many of whom shied away after learning her diagnosis early on. That all changed in June when she started dating James Boykin. This time, she chose to wait until the third date to share her diagnosis.

“We’d gone out a few times and I’d already seen what a cool, healthy, fun person she was. She seemed totally normal to me,” said Boykin, 34, adding that their relationship is no different than anyone else’s. “It’s not the end of the world for her. It’s just a condition we live with,” he said. “When I look at Pam, I don’t see breast cancer.”

How to date with cancer

Dating is hard enough. Here are Pam’s tips for navigating the dating scene with breast cancer:
   
Take it slow: Get to know the person without rushing the relationship.
   
Know what you want: Don’t let your diagnosis lower your expectations.
   
Communicate: Try to be as open and honest as you can.
   
Don’t over analyze: If a relationship doesn’t work out, don’t fixate over why. Instead try to learn from it.
   
Be confident and patient: Have faith that the right person will come along when the timing is right.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.