My partner Neil and I, went travelling around S America for over 4 months to celebrate his retirement as a GP. Just before we left, Neil went down on one knee and proposed, so suddenly we were planning a huge wedding as well as our great adventure. It was a wonderful trip which we labelled our ‘pre-wedding honeymoon’.
During our travels, I started getting problems swallowing food, and returning back to the UK, this became quite frequent, so we decided I should see my own doctor. She immediately referred me for an endoscopy at our local Exeter RD&E hospital, and the story begins.
Whilst taking the endoscopy examination, the physician also took a small biopsy from the base of my oesophagus which was tested and confirmed that I had oesophageal cancer. It’s a funny feeling because, in a way, I’d already guessed. My mother died of throat cancer when I was 20 and I was identifying similar problems, so the diagnosis confirmed my suspicions. I’d suffered from reflux most of my life, so I was aware that my oesophagus was being damaged in some way.
Now!! The wedding? We had 220 people, some of whom had booked flights from as far as Australia, USA, Uruguay and more. We couldn’t cancel, and we didn’t want to. No matter what state I was in, we decided the wedding would go ahead.
As the wedding day approached, I couldn’t believe how well I felt. My medical ‘team’ were all very happy with my fitness levels at the start of all this which was a great help apparently. I had chemo every Tuesday and radiotherapy 5 days a week, Mondays-Fridays.
The day of the wedding was the happiest day of my life and the most successful wedding. I was marrying this wonderful man I’d lived with for 7 years and we felt the whole world was happy for us.
I feel very lucky to have my new husband Neil holding my hand though all this. My 2 children have been wonderfully supportive, as are all our family and friends. The medical staff all through have been a fantastic and cheerful support and became so excited about our wedding. I’ve also met some lovely fellow cancer patients who may become friends when all this is over. I hope so.
Life is most definitely for LIVING!!