Nicky’s Story

For me, this story begins in December 2007. I was the happiest I’ve ever been. Life was good. I had a job I loved, and I had the most amazing friends.

We travelled from South Wales, where we live, up to Warrington to spend the New Year with my best friend. It was something we’d done for the past 8 years. It was something I didn’t ever think I wouldn’t do.


Now, my friends name is Chris but I’d always called her Treasure or Treas for short. It was a name that had come about when we worked together and for both of us, it stuck.


When we got to Warrington, we’d been chatting for most of the evening then as she got up to go to bed she said as more of a passing comment, “just to let you know I’ve found a lump”. “What do you mean you’ve found a lump”, was my reply. “Oh it’s probably nothing but I’ve been to the doctors and I’m booked in for tests”. She must have seen the look on my face because she tried to reassure me that it was probably nothing.

In January 2008 she got the news it was cancer and it wasn’t any ordinary cancer, it was a Grade 3 aggressive cancer. Again I remember saying “hey, hang on what do you mean aggressive?”. It was a word I didn’t like to hear and a word that would come to haunt me. Again, she tried to reassure me, “don’t worry that how it’s grown, it will be ok”.


She underwent a lumpectomy and she had all her lymph glands tested. The results said it hadn’t spread to her lymph nodes or the surrounding area around the lump. I was overjoyed and remember thinking, it’s 9 months of treatment and then back to life being normal. I even said to her “just think of it as if you’re pregnant…9 months and it’s all over with”.


To a degree, she flew through treatment. She lost her hair and sometimes she’d look awful but most of the time, she looked really good. I went up north a few times for a week at a time to do the chemo run and she was remarkably fine, considering she was having poison pumped into her body.


In August 2008 she was with me in South Wales, she had switched from injected chemo to tablet chemo and it was in my house that she took her last chemo. It also happened to be the last time she came to visit me in South Wales.


By the September of 2008 she really wasn’t getting any better. She had found a second lump and she had this chronic backache. To make matters worse, they’d given her morphine for the pain. I knew the minute she said they’d given her morphine that things weren’t good.


I travelled up to see her on a Sunday in the October, to spend the day with her with every intention of coming home on the Monday. Other friends tried to prepare me for how she looked, but not even their warning words could have prepared me for the reality. How I did not collapse with grief on seeing her, I’ll never know. It was clear to see she was dying. That night I almost broke myself in two crying.


Treas had a doctor’s appointment the next day but she actually ended up in hospital, and it was then, on the Monday, that they told her the cancer had spread to her liver, lungs and bones. It was also when they told her it was incurable.


Treas and her fiancé, Paul, had planned a wedding for the following February so we set about bringing it forward. We didn’t know how long she’d got left and it was something her husband Paul never wanted to know. She was having chemo to try to slow it down. She was due to have 12 treatments but in the end, she had about 8. That last new year was awful. As 11:30 pm rolled around, she woke and I wished her a happy new year. What else could I say?


She went downhill fast and on the 5th January 2009, she went into hospital. Her oncologist came to see her and said that the cancer had pushed on through the chemo and that it was no longer having any effect.

Thankfully, we managed to get her into a hospice but, in the early hours of January 16th 2009, Treas passed away.

Generally she never discussed her diagnosis once she became incurable, however just the once she did come close. One day I was sat on the sofa with her and I asked her was she angry? I still cannot believe of all the things I asked her it was, “was she angry?” She said she was because of all of the things she wanted to do with Paul. We both started to cry. She took 2 tissues out of the box, one for me and one for her and that was it, her illness was never discussed again. Oh how I wish I could turn the clock back and ask her something different. I made a promise that day and it was if she was going to die, then I was going to make sure she died the way she wanted to and as far as I’m aware she did. It was then in her final few months that I had the idea for the charity.


After she passed I was too bereft to even think about it, and I knew that to be able to help others I first had to fix myself, so after four years of grieving and a lack of confidence, I started to make initial moves to get Cost of Cancer up and running.


Whilst Treas was ill I noticed that she didn’t really get any help from the government. I was always under the impression that you did get help with all the unforeseen costs that having cancer has but, that seemed not to be the case. People never think about these unforeseen costs. The petrol to and from hospital, heating bills that went up due to needing the heating on more to keep warm, new clothes to fit her during treatment, a wig, parking costs and the expense of prescriptions.


Cost of Cancer has been set up to help cancer patients with all those costs ensuring that people can go through their treatment without the extra, unnecessary worries.That way, they can just concentrate on getting better.

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``Eased a great deal of anxiety when going through a devastating experience.``

``The help has helped me focus on my health rather than the worry of how to pay my bills, thank you so much``

``Cost of Cancer have eased one of the many stresses we were going through.``

``Not only were we worried about my cancer, we were worries about how we would cope financially and wanted to keep things as normal as possible for the children so not to scare them.``

``So friendly and understanding during the toughest of times.``

``Life has been difficult for us fo the last few months, but to know someone cares and willing to help in anyway made us feel we are not alone and it lightened the burden.``

``The service I received was absolutely exemplary.``

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By Nicky


By Nicky