My joy that I'm cancer free - Newport wedding competition winner
LAST year, aged 32, Mark Scrivens was told he had cancer - but with that prognosis reversed, he and wife Sian are anticipating a brighter future, after their "dream" wedding.
The couple tied the knot last weekend, after winning the Argus Win A Wedding competition.
And Mr Scrivens said scooping that prize last autumn was "like turning a light on in the darkness."
At the time he was facing the prospect of a battle against non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, after major surgery to remove two cancerous tumours from his neck.
"They'd grown in a lymph node, a common sign of non-Hodgkins Lynphoma," said Mr Scrivens.
"To be told at 32 you have cancer, I was completely shattered.
"Everything felt like it was crashing down, so to be told we'd won the competition - the Argus sort of turned a light on for us."
The tumours tested malignant but further tests, the results of which Mr Scrivens and his then fiancee were dreading, revealed he did not as feared, have cancer. Meanwhile, a scan confirmed there were no more tumours in his neck.
"Everyone is still baffled why I had grown two cancerous tumours. We've not really had an answer and even the consultant said he was gobsmacked the tests were clear," said Mr Scrivens, who had "excellent support" from a MacMillan cancer nurse.
Then the family - the couple have three children, Cole, Chloe, and the youngest, at 16 months, Leon - had to cope with the death of their beloved German Shepherd dog, before Mr Scrivens returned to hospital last month to have polyps removed from his sinuses.
"I was well enough in time for the wedding, apart from two block eyes, but luckily they'd faded!" he said.
"Until you have a scare like that, you can't imagine it. But I'm well on the mend. Sian is going back to college (to resume hairdressing training) and I'm looking forward to going back to work when I can find it.
Mr and Mrs Scrivens were married at St Tewdric's Church, Mathern, last weekend, before enjoying a reception and overnight stay at the St Pierre Hotel, near Chepstow, won through the Argus competition.
Engaged since 2000, costs expected and unexpected conspired to eat into wedding savings, and Mr Scriven's illness was a further setback. But it all came right last weekend.
"Everything was perfect, like a fairytale," said Mr Scrivens.
"It's thanks to the Argus, and the vicar The Reverend Julian White, who conducted a beautiful service. and helped us right the way through, and family members.
"We had a stunning vintage car from C&E Wedding Cars in Langstone, from our parents, Howard and Sue Morris, and Alison Scrivens.
"My best man Nicky Silcox and Sian's maid of honour Michelle Fleet were fantastic too, and Nicky proposed to Michelle and she said yes!
"The welcome at St Pierre was second to none, Helen and Ellie, the wedding co-ordinators, were outstanding.
"After a whirlwind 12 months, we had a marvellous time, and now we're looking to the future."