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Couple doesn't let cancer diagnosis spoil big day

Published: Friday, Dec. 21 2012 7:45 p.m. MST

Amanda Catano and Jason Dorais smile after getting married at the Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple in American Fork on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Catano is facing stage 4 colon cancer.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

AMERICAN FORK — On Sept. 11, a day heavy with significance, Amanda Catano underwent a colonoscopy and learned there was a mass, most likely cancerous.

On Dec. 21, a day on which some thought the world might end, Catano and fiance Jason Dorais got married.

Despite what became a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, Catano and Dorais were married Friday in the Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple, just as they had planned and hoped.

Also as hoped, Catano walked through her wedding day on her own two feet.

"It just feels normal," Catano said Friday in a telephone interview from Park City. "We've known each other for so long and have been together for so long, it just feels …"

"Natural and good," Dorais said, finishing for his new bride.

The couple got engaged Nov. 10, after Catano, 32, learned she had stage 4 colon cancer. They had been together for more than a year and a half and felt marriage was the right thing to do.

Cancer added an urgency to their plans, and they decided they would not let it delay their life together.

"It's a time to just enjoy friends and family, and just to enjoy each other," Catano said.

She started chemotherapy and radiation in November. She relied, at times, on walkers, wheelchairs and canes. She had a feeding tube for a short time. But the week of her wedding was different.

"Really, the past four weeks have been the best since September," Dorais said.

Catano said she was worried a few weeks back because she had so little energy, but the radiation helped, and the pain in her hip went away.

"It gave me the energy for today," she said.

Catano will resume chemotherapy in the coming weeks.

The part the couple said they loved most was having their close friends and family together with them to celebrate. There was a small dinner Thursday in Sugar House, and after the ceremony Friday, they went out for "burgers and tots" in American Fork.

The newlyweds then headed to Park City to stay at a friend's condo.

"Our friends dressed up and took our bags," Dorais said.

"And Jason tipped them," Catano said. "It will be an awesome honeymoon."

The couple will be moving into a home at the first of the year, and they hope to have a larger event to celebrate their marriage with more friends in the summer — "with a chocolate stand and lemonade."

But for the time being, they're enjoying this beginning.

"We did it!" Catano said.

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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