My love story

Jared and I started dating in April of 2012. We spent all summer together going to concerts, working on his car, and bonding over old tv shows like Knight Rider and the Wonder Years. He became my best friend really. By winter our casual relationship was much more serious. We were in love and in March of 2013 we took a big step and moved in together. Life was so good. Even though our apartment was small, it was our home and it felt perfect. Things didn’t stay perfect though, we had our fair share of issues like most couples do and in December of 2013, we separated. It was the longest 5 months of my life. Although I was so in love with this man, I was convinced there was nothing that could be done to get past our problems, but Jared never gave up on me. He continued to reach out, encouraging me to come home. When I called him on May 27 to tell him I might have cancer, I didn’t know what to expect. I had been stubborn and unforgiving for months and now all of sudden I’m being selfish and wanting my best friend to comfort me. I wouldn’t have blamed him for turning his back, but he didn’t. Instead, he stood by me and promised we could get through anything together. His faith in us throughout the entire separation astonished me. This man that I loved so much truly did love me unconditionally, I had just refused to see it. The very next day, we got the news. I had cancer. And not just any cancer, but a rare and aggressive form called small cell cervical cancer. The prognosis was poor. 25-30% survive 5 years and for those who survive there is a 70% recurrence rate. Most doctors hear this disease and say it’s not a matter of “if” this will kill you, but “when”. Although my cancer was considered to be caught early, it had still already spread to lymph nodes. We had high hopes though. We found a team of doctors who felt confident that we caught it soon enough; we just had to be aggressive with treatment. So we were. I started treatment almost immediately. First was chemo. Lots and lots of chemo. Then it was external radiation and chemo and then internal radiation and chemo, and then more external radiation and more chemo. It felt never ending, but finally on November 6 I finished! Many celebrate the end of their treatment with a party, but I couldn’t party. The treatment had been aggressive and it took a long time before I had a “good” day, but then the good days started coming. I was finally starting to feel better from all the hell we had been put through over the months. And when I say we, I mean we. It wasn’t just hard for me to be sick. It was hard for Jared to watch it. I can only imagine how powerless he felt wanting to help me and not being able to do a thing but wait it out. I almost think that his role was much harder. Selfishly, I’m glad I’m the one that is sick. He’s much stronger than I am.

Not every day during treatment was bad though. Jared made sure any days I felt good we were out making the most if it. One of the best days that summer was on June 28, just a month after my diagnosis. Jared took me up to Moosehead Lake. It was a gorgeous day. He sat me down on a rock wall in front of the sunset on the water and told me he loved me more than anything in this world and that he wanted me to know he was not going anywhere. He was in this for the long haul and he knew that he wanted us to spend the rest of our lives together. It wasn’t about the cancer though. It was more about the time we had lost. The cancer only opened our eyes to how short life can be and how we shouldn’t waste any moments. So we decided not to. He pulled out the most perfect and beautiful ring, asked me to marry him, and I said yes!

We decided to get married on August 22, 2015 with the hopes that I would be in remission by then and no longer sick from treatment. An August wedding would be the perfect time to have an outside wedding and it would give us plenty of time to plan once treatment was over.

Plans changed though. We never got the good news we were hoping for. What we thought were complications due to radiation damage turned out to be more cancer. It was devastating news. The original tumor is gone, but the cancer has spread to my liver and without more treatment it will continue to spread. We are told treatment will only prolong my life. There is no “cure”. We don’t accept this. We will fight together for our miracle. And in the mean time… We will get married. On February 27, 2015 I get to marry my very best friend and I couldn’t be happier!

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One thought on “My love story”

  1. Hi Brittney! You and I met at Dr. Boedeker’s office last summer. I work in radiology at the hospital and also went through chemo some of the same time as you, my chemo was from 3/13/14 through 7/24/14. I had breast cancer and besides the chemo I’ve had 5 grueling surgeries. I know Jared’s mom pretty well and remember her telling me about you. I don’t know if you’ll remember me, I just friended you on Facebook, but I was so honored to meet you. You have been so strong through your ordeal and have dealt with a lot. This was a nice post and I am so sorry you got bad news recently. I am very happy you are getting married soon, you will be the most beautiful bride ever.

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