Charlotte Drake, 34, from Oxford shire was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump while checking her breast while lying in bed, just days before her wedding. She narrates how she and her fiance came to the decision to keep her condition a secret and go through with their ceremony.
The brand manager, who had dreamed of being a wife and mother since the age of ten, decided to go through with her nuptials to Luke Drake, now 32, in May 2014 because she wanted to have a wedding, not a funeral. Despite having no family history of the disease, Charlotte was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that could have killed her within two years.
Charlotte, who was initially told by doctors that the lump was just a fatty cyst, admitted she was concerned about going through with the marriage after tests revealed the lump could be deadly. She says; “I felt like I was taking away his wedding day. But he was amazing and told me we were going ahead with it no matter what. In the days leading up to our big day, instead of sorting the last-minute details I was looking into where to have treatment.”
The stress of juggling wedding arrangements along with coping with the cancer diagnosis caused Charlotte to have a panic attack. Charlotte’s mother Elizabeth Johnson, 66, who along with her father, sister and bridesmaids was the only person aware of the diagnosis rushed her to hospital.
“I found the morning of the wedding tough. It was the day I’d been dreaming of for years and I had cancer. But I managed to shake off my sadness and told myself the day wasn’t just for me, it was for Luke and my family too. I had to suck it up and get on with it.For the rest of the day, the only thing that was hard was that people kept hugging me, which really hurt because I had just had a biopsy.”