The bride's big secret
Gemma was diagnosed with breast cancer and she found the lump in her breast just a WEEK before her wedding. She made the big decision not to tell her groom, and she's glad she didn't. She told her story to Tell and Sell Stories who placed it on MailOnline, followed by Woman magazine. Do you have a similar story to share?
In the summer of 2013, Gemma, 31, noticed she was more tired than usual, but put it down to working hard and planning her wedding to fiancé Andy, 30. She was arranging it all and paying for it all herself.
A week before their wedding, in September that year, Gemma stepped out of the shower and was about to try on her wedding dress when she froze – she’d found a lump in her breast. Terrified, she told her mum who told her to go to the doctors. But Gemma refused.
'There was no way I was calling off the wedding, so I decided whatever the lump was, it would have to wait,' she said.
As the days passed, Gemma constantly felt the lump to see if it was still there. But not wanting to ruin their big day, she decided to try and put it out of her mind - and not even tell Andy.
On their wedding day, Gemma walked down the aisle – her guests and groom oblivious to the secret she was hiding. The next day, the newly married couple flew to Turkey for their honeymoon. Gemma noticed the lump was getting bigger so she told her mum who arranged for her to see a medic at the holiday resort.
That’s when she finally told Andy.
‘He was stunned and asked why I hadn’t told him,' she said . 'I explained I was sure it was probably nothing and that I’d been so busy with the wedding that I’d just wanted to put it to the back of my mind.’
Gemma was referred to hospital for a scan and advised to have a biopsy as soon as they returned home.
‘Andy said we should try and enjoy the rest of our holiday and we’d sort it when we got back,’ Gemma said. ‘He told me we would get through it, no matter what happened. The next night, we hit the vodka to forget our troubles and celebrate being husband and wife.’
Back in the UK, Gemma was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. Her thoughts immediately turned to her family, particularly her 18-month-old daughter, Mollie.
Being a mum while undergoing chemotherapy wasn’t easy. She decided to get her hair cut short and couldn’t stop crying before it happened. But seeing Mollie wearing her wig soon cheered her up.
Chemo shrunk the cancer enough for it to be removed, then Gemma had radiotherapy and is currently on hormone therapy.