In January 2020, 33-year-old teacher Nikki Black found out that her breast cancer had spread to her bones, making it incurable, but treatable. Nikki lives in Auckland with her partner and her two girls – Keira, age 11, and Alisha, age 8.
“In November 2019 I was busy with term four activities when I woke up one night and felt a lump. At first the news sounded OK – the cancer can be cured. But then the oncologist found areas of concern on my scan. By January, I had the diagnosis that the cancer had spread to my bones. My only option was treatment to keep the cancer at bay.
“I went from completely normal to incurable cancer in a couple of months.”
“Telling my kids was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’d told them about the initial breast cancer and that the lump could be cut out. I reassured them with information and leaflets.
And then – the heartbreak on their faces when I told them the cancer had spread.
“I explained there was no cure, but that I would still be around for a while. At first, Alisha wouldn’t leave my side. She said: ‘I can’t go out and play mummy, I have to be here in case you don’t wake up’.
“I have good days and bad days. Some days I think I can’t do this anymore. But each day when I wake up I am thankful and try to stay active. But I never plan far ahead.
“I found Sweet Louise on the internet and thought – these people know exactly what I am going through. Sweet Louise is wonderful. My Support Coordinator, Jenny, is amazing. Joining Sweet Louise is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
“I have a death sentence hanging over my head and at the meetings I can connect with people going through the same thing as me. I really enjoy that camaraderie and support. I can listen and learn from others. That helps me work out different strategies to cope and what is best for me.
“To all those who support Sweet Louise – thank you really isn’t enough. Your support eases my stress at a very tough time. Having people to talk to gives me the energy to keep going, to keep on fighting.”
“Thank you doesn’t cut it, but thank you.”