A 34-year-old woman who thought she would die when she was diagnosed with cancer refused chemotherapy and decided to travel the world with her girlfriend.
Katie Marshall, now 36, was diagnosed with skin cancer in January 2018, but doctors said she also developed breast cancer just three months later.
Katie and her girlfriend Nicola Lowbosam, 33, were on a 4,000-mile lifelong journey across the United States at the time. They had to return to Manchester for emergency surgery in May 2018 to get rid of Katie’s tumor.
However, after surgery, Katie from Hattersley, Cheshire refused chemotherapy. Than the diagnosis of cancer.
The beloved couple then decided to save money so they could quit their job and continue their trip. They also adapted their lifestyles to incorporate Katie’s chosen holistic cancer treatment.
Finally, the pair settled in Canada in March of this year and has been there ever since.
The couple met at a Newcastle house party in 2010, visited 36 countries and traveled together for over 200,000 miles since 2015.
Katie and Nicola currently live in a camper van in the wilderness of Canada for eight months without internet, WiFi or electricity.
The couple quit their jobs, sold all their belongings, and managed to enter the country just before the blockade in March.
“When I was diagnosed, the idea of chemotherapy was more scary than the diagnosis itself,” explains Katie.
“I had a very supportive oncologist who was there to answer all my concerns. I received chemotherapy because of my age and breast cancer was aggressive.
“I had surgery to remove the tumor and was in pain waiting for many results from the biopsy to last for about three months.”
A doctor found a lesion in Katie’s spine and she was tested for osteosarcoma. Fortunately, however, the results returned negative-they found “micrometastases,” a small collection of cancer cells from the original tumor.
“It was successfully removed, but it was petrified that I might die at the age of 34,” she added.
“Since the trauma of being diagnosed with cancer twice every three months, I have been suffering from anxiety and insomnia for about a year.
“I now see the trauma of the whole experience as a gentle steer to live freely on the road, hopefully for the rest of my day.”
Katie says she “has never felt alive” than she is now, and thankfully she only needs to be tested twice a year to make sure the tumor isn’t growing.
The two wanted Canada to be the first of many stops on their trip, but the pandemic had other plans.
“I had a plan to drive my camper van to Oregon and California. Eight months later, I’m still there because of the coronavirus pandemic,” says Katie.
“During this time, there was no internet access, electricity or water.”
They want to move again once travel restrictions and blockades are relaxed around the world.
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