Too Upbeat for Cancer - Detailing A Rubbish Year And A Bit

Epilogue - The Amazing Mr Nicky B


Mrs Nicky here again. Sorry for such a long time between posts. I think the title might tell you where this one is headed…. Nicky always said he hated blogs that suddenly stopped, only for a grieving relative to put a final post, so for a long time I’ve resisted…. but it’s been nagging away at me and I feel that I owe you an ending…. I’ll pick up where the amazing Nicky B left off in Jan….

After “Vesuvius” erupted, things calmed down for a bit. We got to know the district nurses well, as they came in for regular dressing changes as Vesuvius was still pouring, though with less of a head of pressure behind it – initially daily, with me picking up the second change of the day, then gradually down to weekly as it eased off and started to heal up over the next few months. Not that it was all plain sailing. There were frequent stays in both Basingstoke and our local hospital with sepsis; renal failure (you’ve never seen me move so fast to grab a nurse and get a cardiac monitor as when Nicky casually mentioned, while sitting in a side room waiting for the medical team to review his worsening renal function, than the out-of-hours GP had told him that his potassium was 7.2 – that’s I’m-about-to-have-a-cardiac-arrest high, for any non-medics reading!!); more sepsis; another Vesuvius, which erupted from the same site just as the old one was finally healing; more surgery to place a new drain, remove and replace ureteric stents, put in nephrostomies, take out nephrostomies, replace nephrostomies, change nephrostomies; more sepsis…. you get the idea! The staff in the Premier Inn near the hospital in Basingstoke got to know me well and always asked after Nicky.

We did manage a weekend away in Suffolk with Nicky’s side of the family and a week away at CenterParcs with my side of the family, both of which were very special. Unfortunately, Nicky was in hospital when we were due to go to Disneyland Paris, and again for the rescheduled dates… so I ended up taking Ethan with his Godmother – a truly fantastic friend.

The run up to Christmas was marred by another hospital admission and another eruption – this time a more serious one, which turned out to be a fistula between a bit of small bowel and Nicky’s scar, so he ended up with a second, more challenging “stoma” to manage in addition to the first. We got so proficient at managing them, that I ended up running an ad hoc teaching session for some ward nurses on stoma care!

We managed to patch Nicky up sufficiently to allow him to spend Christmas at home – a quiet day for the three of us, which was perfect. From January, he was back in and out of hospital, getting increasingly unwell and frail…. culminating in a bad fall in February, which left him bed bound. Then his kidneys packed up again. He was transferred to the local hospice from Basingstoke on 4th March and died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of 8th March, with both his mum and me holding his hands.

Ethan and I, and the rest of the family, are trying to carry on as Nicky would have wanted – enjoying life as fully as possible and refusing to let his cancer beat us. We just had another lovely holiday to Disneyland Paris, have been busy catching up with friends and are doing lots of fundraising for charities close to Nicky’s heart. Some days are harder than others – my birthday, and what would have been our tenth wedding anniversary both fell in the month following Nicky’s death. His birthday is in four days’ time and father’s day is rapidly approaching. But there are two choices when a loved one dies – allow your life to falter too, or celebrate the time you had with them, keep the memories strong and carry on…. Too upbeat for cancer.

If Nicky’s story has moved you and you would like to do something in his memory, there are several different things you can do. We are supporting two charities that helped us – Ellenor hospices in Kent and Willow Foundation. Links to our JustGiving pages are here:

Willow Foundation:

Ellenor Hospices:

You can also donate blood. Nicky had numerous transfusions during his illness and was passionate about trying to raise awareness of the need for blood donations. Please consider registering as a donor. You will save lives.

Thank you for reading. The support here meant so much to Nicky. Now, go away and do something fun in his memory… particularly if it involves watching a superhero film!

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