On April 14th 2020 Nicola Richardson was diagnosed with kidney cancer. A CT scan showed a 7.5cm tumour taking over practically the whole lower two thirds of her left kidney and a prognosis of it being 95% likely that it was cancerous.
The tumour and entire kidney was removed by radical laparoscopic nephrectomy on May 29th at Kingston Hospital, by which time it was measured at 9cm. Pathology results showed that it was indeed cancerous and was graded at PT3a grade 3, with some grade 4 cells.
Nicola said: “This means that although it was all hopefully removed during the surgery there is an intermediate chance that it could return elsewhere so regular scans will be required for a minimum of 12 years. Fingers crossed those scans never show anything anywhere it shouldn’t be!!’
Meanwhile, my 15 year old daughter Evie couldn’t decide whether she would have her hair cut short again or whether to grow it long again after lockdown. Both options were decided upon at one point or another. But dad Lee saw the Macmillan ‘Brave the Shave’ advert and suggested it to Evie. So, after much toing-and-froing and yesing and noing she agreed to do it, for Kidney Cancer UK!”
Evie said: “I really wanted to do something to support my mum by raising money for Kidney Cancer UK as their support has been really good for her since she got diagnosed in April. Shaving my head seemed like a crazy idea at first but once I’d agreed to it, I actually started looking forward to it. I wasn’t scared of having my head shaved at all looking back now!’
Nicola said “Evie is so brave to do this, she has grown up so much these last few months and I’m so proud of her. I don’t think she would’ve done this a year ago. It was such a shock to find out about my tumour just after Easter. I’d had red urine over the weekend and some awful flank pain Easter day. I called the doctor on Easter Monday who managed to book me a CT scan the very next day, for which I am so thankful. Considering what is happening with Covid-19, I was lucky to be seen so quickly. That afternoon my doctor called me to tell me the news (no point delaying it!) and I cried and cried!! It was such a scary time for all of us, not knowing what it truly meant. I soon discovered the Kidney Cancer UK Facebook Support Group and have found it invaluable ever since. Sharing experiences with others going through a similar situation is a life-saver, and knowing there are caring and knowledgeable counsellor’s to talk to if needed, means so much. You no longer feel so alone! Since my op, Evie has helped me so much during my recovery, together with my amazing husband Lee, we really appreciate each other so much more now, too. And I’ve discovered Evie makes a mean cup of tea!!
So once we reached £250 of our initial target Lee shaved Evie’s head whilst I filmed and photographed it and posted it to our Facebook pages 😲🤣🥰 Then I somehow decided that if we reached £1,000 I’d let Lee shave my head too! Unbelievably we quickly reached that, I didn’t expect to so soon, so I’ve now got a very cold shaved head too 🥶😂 But we don’t want to stop there so please keep the donations coming!’
Kidney Cancer UK said; “We are so please our team and the free services we provide is helping Nicola and her family through such a difficult time. Thank you to Evie and Nicola for ‘chopping the locks’ and fundraising for us, through which you’ve helped support other kidney cancer patients across the UK. Bobble hats are on the way.. What about Lee’s shave 🙂 !!”