In addition to refocusing her creative energy, a year after the movie finished after divorcing Stack, Lori met her current boyfriend and “fell madly in love.” Her new man originally came in to interview with her to be the sound designer for “Dear Talula.” But, Benson tells me, as soon as she met him the first thought she had was, “my new boyfriend is going to know I have cancer.” He got the job as sound editor and they have been together ever since. She tells me it’s important to her that other survivors know that they can still be considered sexy and desirable, even after a mastectomy.
“Tom appreciates what I’ve been through and how I’ve handled it. For him, it makes me someone really deep.”
Which is a good thing, particularly since Lori had a recurrence of the illness only a few months after meeting him. It was just a small tumor under her arm, but it needed to be treated. This time she would lose her hair. Rather than watch that happen slowly, the two decided to create a romantic ritual of cutting off her hair together. You can hear him talk about this special experience they shared at Lee Denim Day, click on “Watch Denim Day Videos” and watch “Who’s on Your Team.”
Unfortunately with breast cancer, there is no definitive happy ending. There is bi-annual monitoring, taking care of yourself, and luck. But certainly the impassioned commitment to going after what you want that comes from facing your mortality has been an invaluable by product of her illness.