CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - It was a day of celebration for Cameron Morgan and Marissa Greer.
Monday not only marked the end of her sixth chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, but it was also the first day of the rest of their lives together, vowing to conquer cancer and all of life’s challenges in the midst of a global pandemic.
Cameron and Marissa have been together for two years.
During that time, the couple from Long Creek in Oconee County, also had a son together, 1-year-old Kaden.
It was while Marissa was pregnant with Kaden when she noticed a small lump on her breast.
"It was no bigger than the tip of your finger," Cameron said.
The couple didn't think anything of it — "since a woman's body changes so much during pregnancy," Cameron said.
After Marissa gave birth and discovered Kaden had an allergy to her breast milk, Cameron said she stopped nursing and discovered what had been a small nuisance of a lump had turned into a lump the size of her pinky finger.
Doctors diagnosed her with triple-positive invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer.
"Five years ago, the prognosis for someone with that kind of cancer was pretty grim, Cameron said. "But these days, doctors are very optimistic about her future, and so are we."
So optimistic, in fact, that when Marissa left the Prisma Cancer Center on Monday, Cameron had assembled their closest family and friends for a surprise.
Armed with balloons, scripture passages, a ring box, Cameron asked Marissa to spend the rest of their lives together.
Of course she said yes, and said the ring fit "perfect."
She wasn't surprised by her family and friends being there-- she thought they were celebrating the completion of her sixth chemotherapy treatment. It was the proposal that really "threw me for a loop," Marissa said.
Looking back at her treatments, Marissa said she stayed optimistic.
"It was rough at times," Marissa said of her treatments. "But I looked forward to waking up each day, because I knew with every day, it was going to get better."
Marissa started chemo 18 weeks ago. In two weeks, she will have surgery to have her right breast removed, followed by 5 to 6 more weeks of radiation.
After that, she will have another surgery to remove her left breast removed, followed by more chemo.
Doctors don't expect the surgeries and treatments to be wrapped up until December 2021.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Marissa has joined others among the first generation of cancer patients who have to go through the treatments and surgeries alone, without any family by her side. But that has not deterred the couple.
"Being told you have cancer and having to do it alone has been really hard," Marissa said. "But I kept my faith. God helped me get through it and I came out on the other side."
She also said she owes a lot to the medical staff at Prisma Cancer Center for stepping in when her family could not be with her.
“The staff, doctors, and nurses have made me feel like family when I couldn’t have family with me,” Marissa said.
"COVID has forced us to stay in a tight-knit circle at our house," Cameron said. "And I wouldn't change a thing. Because we have gotten to a place that would never have been possible without being forced to stay at home together. It's made her stronger and our relationship unbreakable."
“We’re living in a world right now of uncertainty and despair,” he said. “If people can look at our story of fighting a life-threatening disease in the middle of a pandemic, with a baby and all the restrictions that come with the outbreak, and see that we can do it, it might just give people hope,” he said.