Two years after the worst day of my life, I had the best day of my life. The wedding was everything we dreamt of (Picture: Elizabeth Ramsey)The day my boyfriend proposed was one of my happiest.
I had met Wesley eight years before. I was working in the local shop and one day I noticed a piece of paper sitting at the till with this guy’s name and number on it.
It said to give him a text and I thought ‘why not?’ We went on our first date soon after and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
While I couldn’t wait to start planning the wedding, I had a voice in my head telling me that something wasn’t quite right and that I shouldn’t book anything. I had a nagging feeling that I was very ill.
I was working as a supervisor in a nursery at the time, and I had got so weak that I was struggling to even lift the babies out of the high chairs.
I had itchy skin, night sweats and lost a lot of weight. In the end I took myself to A&E when I began struggling to breathe – I felt like I was dying.
My suspicions were confirmed when an X-ray showed I had a 15-centimetre mass in my chest. It turned out to be Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer caused by white blood cells behaving strangely.
It goes without saying that we cancelled the wedding.
The impact of my diagnosis was hard on everyone, but Wesley and my family stayed strong and supported me throughout.
Without them I don’t know how I would have gotten through the gruelling six cycles of chemotherapy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy.
The wedding was a blessing in so many ways. It meant I had something to focus my mind on when I couldn’t leave the house (Picture: Demi Taggart)All of those feelings paled in comparison to the side effects of treatment. I wasn’t sick but felt constantly nauseous; I had achy bones and sore skin. I also had difficulty eating and was in and out of hospital with infections.
The impact of cancer isn’t just physical. My mental health was also impacted because of my diagnosis, however at the time I didn’t even have time to think about that side of things.
I just wanted to protect my family from my worries and the worst of my treatment. Wes was hit particularly hard as he felt useless in caring for me as I just wanted my mum.
When we got news of my remission back in November 2017, I couldn’t wait to get back to life as normal and plan the wedding Wes and I had always wanted.
Now we are happily married, as we always wanted (Picture: Elizabeth Ramsey)Unfortunately, no one tells you it’s very hard to go straight back to normality. After all my body had been through, I couldn’t cope physically with being back at work.
The wedding was a blessing in so many ways. It meant I had something to focus my mind on when I couldn’t leave the house.
We decided to get married on the anniversary of the day I was told I had cancer.
For me, there were so many bad memories surrounding that date – 19th December – and the Christmas period, so we decided to replace them with something good.
And so, two years after the worst day of my life, I had the best day of my life. The wedding was everything we dreamt of.
It was beautiful and all our friends and family came to share our day with us.
Now we are happily married, as we always wanted, and have just found out that we have something else we never believed would happen – we are expecting a little miracle in October this year.
We couldn’t be happier – our lives are finally looking up.
More about Hodgkin lymphoma
What is Hodgkin lymphoma?
Hodgkin lymphoma is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, is a network of glands and vessels that spread throughout your body.
The most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.
Around 2,100 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year.
The only way to confirm a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma is by carrying out a biopsy, a minor surgical procedure where a sample of affected lymph node tissue is removed and studied in a laboratory.
Teenage Cancer Trust is the only charity dedicated to making sure young people diagnosed with cancer get the expert treatment and personalised support they need.
Text NURSE to 70500 to donate £5 or visit teenagecancertrust.org/donate
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