Deter­mined to say I do

Can­cer crashed our wedding, but the big day must go on…

Chat - - Contents - By Vicky Moore, 47, from Grimsby

Ar­riv­ing at the lo­cal beach, I was bub­bling with ex­cite­ment.

‘One week to go,’ I grinned at my fi­ance Adrian, 52.

It was a lovely evening in Au­gust 2016, so we’d headed to the sea­side for a stroll.

And in just six days we’d be jet­ting off to Florida for our wedding, along with 14 fam­ily mem­bers and friends.

I fol­lowed Adrian as he walked to the seafront. Only we had to climb down a steep, grassy hill.

Stand­ing on the verge, I wa­vered. ‘It’s OK, I’m here,’ Adrian said. Crouch­ing, I rested my hand on his shoul­der, took a huge step down. But as my foot hit the ground, I slipped. Went crash­ing down, land­ing hard on my left shoul­der. ‘Ouch!’ I cried. In agony, I couldn’t get up. I’d had pain in my left shoul­der for months. But this was far worse. ‘Let’s get you to hospi­tal,’ Adrian said, wor­ried. As he helped me back to the car, my arm hung life­lessly. ‘I think it’s bro­ken,’ I winced. At Diana, Princess of Wales Hospi­tal in Grimsby, I had an X-ray. It was a patho­log­i­cal frac­ture – a break caused by dis­eased bone. ‘We need to keep you in for tests,’ the doc­tor said. Con­fused, I was checked into the ward. Then… ‘I don’t want to frighten you,’ the doc­tor said. ‘But there’s a 70 per cent chance you have bone can­cer.’ Speech­less,

my head flooded with ques­tions as Adrian clutched my hand.

‘We’re getting mar­ried in Amer­ica next week,’ I blurted. ‘We’ll see,’ the doc­tor said. The news still hadn’t sunk in when Adrian had to go home.

The next morn­ing, I was told it was un­likely I’d be al­lowed to travel. I broke down. Hours ear­lier, I’d been ex­cited about my dream wedding.

Now I was in hospi­tal, prob­a­bly had can­cer. Might even be dy­ing. I called Adrian, who raced to my side, dev­as­tated.

Then I asked fam­ily to visit. Gath­ered my mum Lor­raine, 66, son Daniel, 19, and sis­ters, Jen­nifer, 38, and An­gela, 48.

‘I’m not sure I can go to Florida,’ I told them. ‘They’re talk­ing about can­cer.’ Shocked, no-one said much. A som­bre mo­ment. ‘But you all go. The hol­i­day’s paid for,’ I in­sisted. Ev­ery­one re­fused, said they wanted to be near me.

I spent five days in hospi­tal un­der­go­ing tests. Then, some good news. ‘You can travel,’ I was told. As the doc­tors had to wait for the test re­sults, the wedding was back on!

Board­ing the plane was strange. I was ex­cited, yet scared. And I still didn’t know if I had can­cer.

In Florida, I put on a brave face, knew if I showed fear, ev­ery­one would crum­ble too. Though I had to take it easy. So, as ev­ery­one en­joyed the parks, I re­laxed in the villa. Then our wedding day came. Our lake­side cer­e­mony was very emo­tional. Daniel gave me away. And tears streamed as Adrian and I promised to care for each other in sick­ness and in health.

Then we all laughed, danced and drank for hours.

Be­fore I knew it, we were back in the UK. Back to re­al­ity. That De­cem­ber, I fi­nally got some an­swers. It was can­cer. I had more tests, a biopsy.

In Jan­u­ary 2017, doc­tors found a tu­mour on my spleen and di­ag­nosed ag­gres­sive dif­fuse large B-cell lym­phoma.

It was a form of non-hodgkin lym­phoma that needed quick treat­ment. I started chemo­ther­apy. The drugs made my heart race, caused sleep­less nights, weight gain, hair loss...

Thank­fully, I had my new hubby to lean on.

Then, that May, I got some blood-test re­sults. ‘You’re in re­mis­sion,’ the nurse said.

I still had to fin­ish chemo, but I was too re­lieved to care.

Now I need reg­u­lar blood tests and check­ups – but I’m can­cer-free.

When I look at our wedding pho­tos, I feel lucky. That fall saved my life. And I still had the wedding of my dreams.

Now I plan to en­joy ev­ery mo­ment of mar­ried life.

Hours ear­lier, I was so ex­cited. Now I might be dy­ing...

A fall saved my life...

We did! Spe­cial pho­tos I look at them and feel so very lucky...

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