Unlike many women who received flowers and chocolates, Liu Yanwu bought roses and facial masks for her soldier Valentine, before asking him to marry her. 'He told me several times that he wished he had better skin,' Ms Liu said with a laugh, holding hands with Bu Jianping as he lay in a Guangzhou hospital. The 30-year-old PLA soldier seemed happy and talkative despite the intravenous drips in his neck following an operation a few days earlier that removed 80 per cent of his stomach. 'I will choose a day in the first half of this year for marriage when I get my health back,' he said in a low voice. However, he is unaware of the virulence of his stomach cancer and that he is likely to die within two years. His girlfriend and relatives have kept the seriousness of his disease from him. 'It is just a small stomach cancer,' Mr Bu said. 'I will get well soon - the doctor said my operation was quite successful.' Ms Liu, also 30, cried in the corridor of the General Army Hospital, saying she dared not think about losing her boyfriend. 'I pretend to be optimistic and happy when I'm with him to keep him in a good mood,' she said. 'Making him happy is the best way to prolong his life.' She admitted she was hoping for a 'miracle recovery' but knew it was nearly impossible. Ms Liu works for a medical appliance marketing company in Guangzhou, while Mr Bu is soldier in nearby Sanshui. They both come from Hunan province and met two years ago. 'When I travelled to a place for business, he checked the weather and traffic for me every time,' Ms Liu sobbed. 'And he always circled the city I was travelling to on his map.' She said Mr Bu had secretly tidied their apartment before heading to hospital for the operation on February 5, telling her he would not be able to look after her when in hospital. The two had delayed getting married because they were 'too busy' before he was diagnosed with cancer. 'I regret very much not marrying him earlier. I could never meet another man who loves me so much,' Ms Liu said. She said she wanted to marry as soon as possible and have his child.