Cancer couple still pursuing 'happily ever after'

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 7:20 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- If there is one word to describe Kris Shook it is "hopeful." Why else would a guy with two forms of terminal cancer book a trip to Florida four months in advance?

"I just stick by hope the entire time," he said.

Hope is the reason Kris married his bride Heather last July, despite having no idea whether he would live to see their wedding day.

"We were determined not to let cancer take anything away from us," said Heather from their Tacoma home Thursday.

The couple says their wedding was the one day during their ordeal where they didn't worry for a moment about the cancer that was quietly killing Kris. On that one July day, at least, love truly did conquer all.

"It was perfect," said Kris.

Added Heather, "I want to do it over and over and over again."

The couple had a one day honeymoon, a brief respite from the suffocating stresses of cancer care, then it was back to chemotherapy. Incredibly, Kris's cancers - both of them - started to disappear. There was light for the newlyweds. Then, one day in September, it all went dark.

"I was so convinced I would beat it that I was completely defeated," said Kris. "I think I was more defeated than when I was first told I had cancer."

Doctors were concerned Kris's cancer was spreading. They determined he needed either more chemo or a bone marrow transplant, but weary from months of treatment, the couple decided to delay additional care until Kris's next check up in December. As they had done throughout the tribulations, they would face whatever would come together.

"Without Heather I would've been the guy curled up in the corner," said Kris. "She was my angel sent from God."

Then came the news.

"When I called her, she lost it on the phone," said Kris. "I kept asking the doctor over and over if he had the right results" 

"There was lots of crying," added Heather.  "We had worked so hard and come so far."

Kris and heather were blindsided by the doctor's report.

Kris's battle with cancer -- was won.

"It's like you're fighting a war, you're in a gun battle, and someone comes up and taps you on the shoulder and tells you the war is over," said Kris.

In retrospect it all makes sense why Kris booked that Florida trip all those months ago. He never lost the hope that he would see a new dawn, and celebrate it in a sandy sunset with the woman he loves.

"We're so blessed to be able to look back at all we've been through and realize we're healthy and we get to have a beautiful life together." 

The couple thanks all those who donated to their cause and helped them make their wedding a reality. They also urge people to get on the national bone marrow registry by visiting www.deletebloodcancer.org

Related links:

Couple won't let cancer stop their wedding

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