Cancer strengthened my marriage


March 2013.

It was a month before our wedding day… I remember sitting in the doctor's office with my then fiancé, Jack.
"Its cancer, Hodgkin's Lymphoma," the doctor said. 

I nodded. And he proceeded to share the next steps to take.
Before we left his office, he said to me "you look so calm." I smiled and left. 
What he did not know was I had been crying over the weekend after receiving the call from his nurse insisting that I brought along a relative to collect the report. 
Around the same time, the company that Jack worked in closed down and he was out of job. 
That was a double disaster. It felt like the whole world was crashing down but our faith kept us going. 
I suggested postponing our wedding but Jack insisted to carry on with it. I wasn't sure if I could win this battle but he did not give up on me. 
We went to a government hospital for further tests and it confirmed that I had Stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. 
And because I had to undergo six cycles (two times per cycle) of chemotherapy, the oncologist asked if I would like to freeze my eggs before the treatment as the chemo drugs may affect fertility. 
After discussion with Jack, we decided not to freeze my eggs and go ahead with the treatment and have faith that one day, we will be blessed with children.
I had one session of chemotherapy before my wedding day. I was afraid that I would be bald on my BIG day but thankfully, it did not happen. 

We were back in hospital again the following Monday after the wedding for the second treatment. 

Each treatment took the whole day which included a blood test and a doctor’s consultation. Jack was really sweet and stayed by my side for every treatment. 
He decided to take care of me throughout the treatment and returned to work after I’ve recovered. 

We were blessed to have a room at my in-laws’ place and my workplace allowed me to go on hospitalisation leave. 
Jack took care of me for the first six months of our marriage. This difficult period strengthened our marriage and deepened our love for each other. 

We often joke that even though we had to cancel our 2-week Europe honeymoon, we were blessed with a 6-month stay-home honeymoon. 
We held on to our faith and when the time came for us to receive the results of the treatment, we were overjoyed to receive the news that the cancer cells were gone after the last treatment! 
The doctor advised us not to plan for a baby for the next two to three years. We were disappointed as our original plan was to have one right after our wedding. But, we took the doctor's advice and waited for two years before trying. 
I conceived in December 2015 and went on to give birth to a healthy, chubby baby girl and I am currently pregnant with our second child. 
I hope my story can encourage you to never give up no matter how difficult the situation looks. There is always hope and a rainbow after the storm. 
Follow me on my parenthood journey on Instagram @serene.diary.

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