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November 12

Cancer and divorce: who leaves?

Filed under: issues,News — posted by Paula @ 11:05 pm

In a depressing new study—about an already sad topic—oncologists Dr. Marc Chamberlain and Dr. Michael J. Glantz and their colleagues found that women given a dire health diagnosis were more likely to be abandoned by their (male) mates than in the reverse scenario.

If couples are happy before the diagnosis, it appears that men are more likely to abandon wives who become seriously ill. If couples are already troubled before a partner becomes ill, the finding suggests that women in unhappy marriages are less likely to proceed with a divorce if their husbands become ill.

(Same-sex couples were apparently not a part of the study.)

While this plays into many of our society’s worst stereotypes–and women’s worst fears–about non-committal males, perhaps being aware of this research ahead of time will help doctors help couples facing a grim diagnosis and long treatment. Who knows? Maybe men and women who are more conscious of the marriage-challenging stress that lies ahead may be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.


February 17

Terminally single

Filed under: News — posted by Mia @ 9:59 am

Via Boing Boing: A new dating site for the terminally ill called Till Death Do Us Part. Though there’s a bit of gallows humor, it does not appear to be a hoax; also does not appear to have tons of members (yet?).

As marketing director Joseph DiAngelo said in a press release, “This site is designed to cut through the superficiality and embrace issues we think are most meaningful — the desire and need for understanding, compassion, empathy and comfort between human beings facing their greatest challenge.”

My immediate response: “Wow, what a wonderful idea, compassionate and… pragmatic. No one should feel like they can’t meet a mate. No one should feel like they have to be alone.” It reminded me of my dear, terminally ill friend who said her first thoughts when she heard the doctor’s bad news were: “Who will want me now? Who can love me? Will I have to die alone?”

So I think this service is a good thing. I mean … right?

Then again …

What about all the nasty ways scammers can get to these vulnerable people who brave putting themselves out there?

What about death groupies and fakers? (Two words: Fight Club.)

What about gold diggers who aspire to be merry widow(ers)?

What about the terminally ill being ghettoized into “their own website”? It’s not necessarily as if “no one else will have them.”

The truth is, my terminally ill friend is far braver than I. She’d probably say hey, nothing good comes without risk (and: hey, people like me already know all about scammers and weirdos). Perhaps at very least — regardless of what one thinks of this site — it might remind the hale and hearty among us to joke a little less flippantly about “dying alone.”


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