Carrie Watt and Glenn Williams plan to marry in March.
A young woman who was told she was terminally ill has
extra reason to celebrate this Christmas - her doctors now say
her cancer has gone.
Carrie Watt, 28, is looking forward to marrying her fiance in
March and getting on with a life she was told she would lose
to cervical cancer.
"I haven't stopped smiling," she said. "We told people pretty
much straight away when we walked out of the appointment, and
popped some champagne that night.
"But there are definitely lots more celebrations to come -
the best Christmas present ever."
When Ms Watt, who worked for Canterbury Rugby and the
Crusaders, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in August last
year, doctors told her they were confident of a cure.
She and her partner Glenn Williams, 29, had bought a house,
and became engaged after her diagnosis.
Ms Watt had chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but in May
she was told the cancer had spread and she was terminally
"I never expected it, I was thinking worst-case scenario
might be radical surgery. I never thought they were going to
say there was nothing they could do.
"I had a complete breakdown in that hospital room. But as
soon as we got home it was like, right, it's not going to be
how they say it's going to be."
Close friends set-up a Givealittle fundraising page to raise
money for the cancer drug Avastin - which is not
government-funded - and other support and treatments.
More than 200 donations came from friends, family members and
Ms Watt's workmates organised fundraisers, and a friend's
sister in Wales held a fundraising barbecue. More than
$35,000 was raised.
"The support has been amazing, even from people that I didn't
know," she said.
Determined to do everything possible to beat the cancer, Ms
Watt started on a palliative treatment round of two
chemotherapy drugs and Avastin, and also investigated
alternative measures including diet and exercise changes.
While she never believed she would die young, Ms Watt said
there were "really tough moments".
Then, at a November 29 meeting with her oncologist, she and
Mr Williams got the news they wanted.
"We had an indicator earlier on in the week from an internal
exam that everything was looking good, so we were a little
bit prepared for it," she said.
"But nothing can really prepare you for getting such good
news, when you've been told the worst. It was absolutely