"Survivor" winner Ethan Zohn's cancer has returned after 20 months of remission, and although he intends to keep living as normally as possible, his long-time girlfriend and fellow "Survivor" champion Jenna Morasca tells People she's taking the news hard.
"This time was a lot more devastating for me because we'd already been through so much,"says Morasca, who has been with Zohn since 2003. The couple just competed in "The Amazing Race" this year. "We really had moved on with our life and we had a lot of stuff we wanted to do that didn't involve cancer. I didn't think we'd have to do this again."
The sixth season "Survivor" victor hasn't let her fears affect their relationship, though. "For him, I'm strong and I put my armor on," Morasca said. "I told him, 'We're going to put things in our calendar. We're going to make plans forever and cancer is going to have to work around our schedule.' "
Zohn certainly hasn't let the news—or the resumed chemotherapy—slow him down. The third season "Survivor" champ still intends to run a marathon this Sunday in New York. "The doctors think I'm crazy but they gave me the okay," Zohn says.
His decision to tackle 26.2 miles shocked his girlfriend as well, but she's standing by his choice.
His indefatigable determination aside, part of the reason Zohn is able to continue living a relatively normal life is the new "smart" chemo he's being treated with. SGN-35 specifically targets the cancerous cells, which in his case are localized in his lungs.
"It's weird because he doesn't look sick and he doesn't act sick but inside he still is," says Morasca. "He feels great and he can travel."
If all goes well, after three months of chemo Zohn will undergo a stem-cell transplant (thanks to one of his brothers) for a second time.
"Cancer isn't going to slow me down," Zohn promises. "I want people to know that you can still live a fulfilled life and move forward."
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