Coping With Emotions

Planning a Wedding During Cancer Treatment: Staying Healthy, Hopeful and Joyful

Planning a wedding is the perfect time to showcase your style and your hope for the future. Your cancer treatment doesn't have to get in the way of the day you want.

Cancer never picks the perfect time to attack, and if you find yourself in the middle of planning a wedding when a diagnosis occurs (or when treatment is scheduled), you know this better than anyone. Fortunately, your wedding planning can continue amid cancer’s inconveniences. You can look to the future with your partner with eyes of hope and joy, though you may need a bit of extra thought for items that other brides or grooms don’t have to consider. Thankfully you can handle it because you’re strong and smart and you’re getting married!

Your Attire

Every bride dreams of the perfect dress, and you shouldn’t let cancer side effects rob you of your dream outfit. Be open with your seamstress, letting her know you might need to plan more fittings than the typical bride due to any weight loss from chemo or weight gain from steroids or other treatments. Work with your seamstress, scheduling fittings near the big day as well as adapting your dress design to hide any scars or equipment, such as ports or pumps, you want to cover. Grooms, take note as your tux may require extra fittings or adaptations as well.

You may also be concerned about your hair or baldness. A personal account on A Practical Wedding shares this stress. For women, you can start researching hairstyles for short hair, invest in a solid wig or intricate veil or embrace your new look entirely. It’s your day, and you determine what’s beautiful.

As you gain or lose weight due to treatment side effects, you may also find your engagement or wedding ring isn’t fitting well. Consider ditching extra sizing appointments for a new way to exchange rings. Try stringing your ring on a necklace or bracelet, along with meaningful charms or stones, during and after your ceremony.

Your Menu

Looking towards your happy hour and reception, assure there are menu options that sound good to you. If the smell of chicken makes your chemo tummy turn, eliminate it from the menu. Do Popsicles hit the spot and tame your mouth sores during treatment? Pass them out during the reception instead of a typical dessert table. This is your day, and your menu should reflect your tastes and preferences. Your guests will certainly understand and won’t mind a nontraditional menu at all.

Your Honeymoon

While your honeymoon may be a bit different than you imagined (remember to pack your medications!), your trip together can still include plenty of memory-making experiences. Be sure to book your travel and activities with any accommodations your body requires. Arrange for plenty of time to rest, opting for planning your activities for the time of day when you feel most energetic. When it comes to the — ahem — bedroom, give yourself and your partner plenty of grace and patience as you enjoy your time as a married couple. If your type of cancer or treatment comes with sexual complications, talk to your doctor about precautions, as the American Cancer Society advises. This way you know if you need to pack extra birth control or wait a few days.

Your Forever

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and lovely future together! While your wedding comes at a time when you’re living with unexpected side effects and difficulties, your wedding will be the perfect time to look confidently to your future with the partner of your dreams. Planning a wedding will be stressful, but while cancer makes your life hectic, this is a magical moment amidst all the chaos.

Finding the right doctor for you is like finding the perfect wedding dress. Find your treatment team today.

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Haley Burress
Haley Burress