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Kate was diagnosed with Stage IVB Hodgkin lymphoma when she was 27 years old in July 2014. Now 30, Kate is currently on an immunotherapy treatment following several rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and an allogenic (donor) stem cell transplant in June 2015.
Kate is a history teacher and has spoken at several events to raise awareness around living with cancer.
It's difficult to articulate what Mark's love and support mean to me. It's like trying to explain I love the mountains or the sea; I just do and it's right. Our relationship is a perfect counterbalance. We are different enough to challenge each other but similar enough to agree on the important things.
Mark and I have never especially celebrated Valentine's Day. Love should be shown not on one but on 365 days of the year. I love it when he buys me flowers for no special occasion. I also loved it when he bought me 'sorry you still have cancer' presents; a purse and a mountain bike. Whenever I use the purse, I think of Mark and smile. We love taking our bikes up into the South Downs. When I'm cycling up a hillside, I don't feel ill.
On down days, I say to Mark that his life would be so much simpler if he were with someone else, someone without cancer. Honestly, I'm in awe of him for choosing to stay. He says he didn't choose the cancer, but he did choose me. He tells me he wouldn't want to be with anyone else and it's the truth. It's one of the infinite reasons that I love him.
Mark makes sure that we keep living with cancer. He refuses to give me special treatment and his expectations of me have not changed. He won't let me use cancer as an excuse. Mark gives me the energy and confidence to continue being Kate.
Mark makes sure I am never alone. He is there at every medical appointment and sits by my side during scans. He hugs me, better than anyone else in the world. He pulls faces, tells jokes, sings songs and dances, all to make me laugh. And sometimes, when we are walking along a coast, climbing a mountain, sailing a sea, or snuggling on our sofa, he makes all the nonsense disappear.
Mark has always loved me for who I am and that has not changed. Every day he tells me he loves me and every day he tells me I'm beautiful, even with my port and my bizarre body, which has been scarred in so many ways by cancer.
Mark makes me feel safer and more secure. He is never afraid to listen to my greatest fears and he shares them, taking some of the burden away. He sees the best and the worst of me (and my cancer) and he still loves me. We were strong before the cancer, but it has made us even stronger.
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That is so sweet of Mark.
I am very happy for you Kate.
God bless you and may He keep you both.
Nice story x enjoy your Valentine’s Day
Great words Kate, so encouraging that through it all love wins.
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