Surviving Brain Cancer in a Precarious World

in #brain6 years ago

Part 25: The Wedding Reception...

In the run-up to our wedding, Christchurch offered us a short marriage preparation course. At first, we were sceptical because we didn’t know if it was something offered because I had a previous marriage but in the end, it turned out to be a very worthwhile experience.

It gave us time to talk to each other in greater detail about our feelings on getting married and what our expectations are. The family that accommodated the course on behalf of Christchurch were also great people who were very supportive of our story.

This is why it was so good to have them there when we were offered our blessing. On the way out we were careful to walk as slowly as Nicky’s sister had directed in the rehearsal. We then got to have our classic church archway photo, just as the sun came back out!

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After this, we finally had time to greet all the people that came to the ceremony. Again it was wonderful to see all the family that had come over from Canada and this time know that we wouldn’t have to be distracted by any trouble from my sister.

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On the way to Crabwell Manor, we rode in some wedding Mercedes owned by a friend of my father in law who took us on a beautiful ride through Chester with my wife drinking champagne and myself drinking sparkling water. This was a lifesaver that day because I was able to fill my glasses it with it for toasts and not have to consume any alcohol which I decided to avoid fully without exception after I was first diagnosed.

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When we got to the venue, we were directed around for more photo shoots. This was when we got to have a brilliant shot of everyone together on the lawn. I felt very protective of my mother because I was so relieved she had recovered in time to make it to the main day and she was still very tired from this persistent bug that had prevented my Nan and Grandad from attending.

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Once the photos were done I had time to relax while waiting for the wedding “breakfast” to start. Rather than relax though, I felt my nerves kick in again because of the anticipation of doing my speech regardless of it being very short. I snuck off for a quick vape which had kept me relaxed through most of the ceremony.

I thought to myself how stupid it was that in the UK I was having to hide what gave me relief from any anxiety, while everyone could just go to the bar and order enough alcohol to put them over the limit or give a groom making a speech plenty of Dutch Courage, yet no social stigma. Now if my wedding was in Colorado, It may be just as common for both to be ordered.

When it came to the meal, I was perfectly relaxed now and able to just enjoy the celebration with my wife and admire her sat next to me at our table named St Michael.

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Another thing that helped me to stay relaxed and feeling good was having my exogenous ketones with me which always seem to work well for me by keeping me feeling alert and able to just get on with life without any neurological problems like radiotherapy-induced fatigue which can last for years after and come on randomly.

When it was time for our speeches, My father in law started first and gave a speech that had both me and my wife in tears as he briefly recounted the experiences from early on in the previous year. True to form he used his brilliant sense of humour to entertain the room far better than I could manage.

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When it came to my speech, I stood up and struggled to slow down my words as I didn’t want to have the focus on me for too long but I made sure to thank everyone, especially those that had travelled from overseas for us like the Canadians and my Uncle Ste. I also made sure to thank all our parents as they had contributed so generously to the event and we simply wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.

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Next, it was my best man’s turn. I had been looking forward to this because my best man Dave also has an amazing sense of humour. I honestly believe he could have had a brilliant career as a stand-up comedian if he had wanted to.
In the run-up to the wedding, I had visions in my head of the Rowen Atkinson “Sloshed best man sketch”. Instead, he provided a true friend's best man speech, recounting good times from our childhood together when we both lived in Northamptonshire.

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When the meals were all finished, we had a few more wedding photos done with the rings and the cake before we got to go mingle with everyone in the room. My boss and his wife had to say goodbye to us then as their pups were waiting at their home in North Wales. We then went off to check out the wedding suite which blew us away with how luxurious it looked.

At this point, I felt it would be best to take a nap so that I could stay up a bit later than usual to enjoy the wedding disco which would be DJ’ed by none other than “Disco Bob” who was my driver to Clatterbridge when I was getting treatment there the previous year.

His set was brilliant and kept a good balance of wedding essentials and some of our requested favourites. It also really impressed us how many professional lights and sound setups he had so I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for an events DJ. He is listed as “The Royal Entertainer” due to his OBE.

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To kick things off, Bob introduced us onto the dance floor for our first dance, Nicky and I had chosen A Perfect Year by Dina Carroll for our wedding song. For me, this was one of the most special moments from our wedding day because I can remember how beautiful she looked when we were both holding back tears thinking how we had finally made it to that moment.

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After the rest of the wedding party joined us on the dance floor, I had another moment of mindfulness like I had back in the church where I tried to take in every moment of the celebration and just bask in how good it made me feel to be married to Nicky and to have all our family and friends there to celebrate with us.

Just as Depeche Mode finally got played with “I just can’t get enough” I was pulled away for photo shoots outside, lucky Disco Bob made sure I had enough opportunity to dance to it after. But this shoot did produce one of our favourite wedding photos.

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Back on the dancefloor, it was great to see even my Mum had recovered enough to have a dance with us. At this point, I started to see my wife less because she was constantly being dragged away by children who wanted the attention of the Bride to play with them.

Finally, it was time for the evening buffet which I had made sure had plenty of ketogenic options for me. I then sat down to catch up with my Uncle Ste, my Mother and Auntie Di from Canada. It was then that my mother started receiving the usual abusive text messages from my sister and continued threats that they will “never see their grandson again”.
We were all impressed to see my Mother had become so strong now by simply ignoring it and not letting it stop her enjoy the celebration.

My Uncle Ste was also keeping me up to date about his life in Greece where his work was for a hotel and in Germany where his partner Simon was working. For me, it was just brilliant to hear how settled and happy he was with Simon who we would eventually meet later in the year.

Things got a lot busier when the evening guests arrived. I was happy to see my Friend Sean from work arrived and to meet his wife Kathryn for the first time. Then many of my other workmates showed up who were all together by the bar area as I expected!

It was then past 10 pm which for me at that time was still quite late as early nights were still a crucial part of my recovery. I went up to the suite after saying goodnight to as many people as possible.

The shower in our wedding room was a room in itself so by the time I was resting in bed I felt another burst of energy but rather than go back downstairs for more dancing, I decided to wind down to more meditation and mindfulness. This was good for me because it allowed me to cement in my mind as much of the day as possible.

In the end, it was a good idea for me to keep my circadian rhythm in check because it wouldn’t be too long the next day before we would be on a long drive to go to Cornwall for our honeymoon.

To Be Continued…

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Great story. I’m recovering from cancer myself (non-hodgekins) and I’m glad you are doing well. It really changes who you are and you start looking at life more differently. I love that Depech Mode song. One of my favorites!

Hi Sunnyego, thanks for your support. Glad to hear you're recovering, long may it continue!

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