Left to right – Vicky Noble & Danielle Buckley.
Probation senior case manager Vicky Noble has praised her friend Danielle Buckley for promising to take on five fearsome challenges to help raise cash for cancer research.
Vicky, who is based at the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company’s Bury office, underwent her final course of chemotherapy at the beginning of September.
The 40-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in April, 2016, and has tumours in both breasts. She has now completed five months of chemo, and next month she undergoes a bilateral mastectomy followed by radiotherapy and reconstruction operation.
The mum-of-one first visited her GP after noticing a lump, and was diagnosed. Danielle, an acting community director based in Wigan, has known Vicky since the pair worked together in Bury, and along with Vicky’s mum she has attended all of the major consultation appointments.
Vicky said: “Following my mammogram the consultant advised to expect bad news. On the way home I burst into tears. I had a week to get to terms with it before I had to go back to learn what the tests and biopsies had revealed.
“I took Danielle with me because during consultation it’s very easy to miss key points. Danielle is exceptional at compartmentalising her own feelings and thinking clearly during emotional moments – I think that’s a skill working in probation can give you – and I found her support a tremendous source of strength.”
Recent scans have shown that Vicky has made good progress and should make a full recovery.
She said: “I am naturally pragmatic and was very positive about my diagnosis, but there are days I find it tough.
“Chemotherapy is horrible. It made me feel sick and exhausted, but the hardest part of chemo has been the effect on my appearance. I lost my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows and gained weight because of the medication that accompanies it.
“It sounds vain, but I now know this is common among younger women with breast cancer, the impact on your appearance and your self-esteem is very tough to deal with. I still have a double mastectomy to contend with, but I have responded well to treatment so far and my prognosis is positive right now. Not everyone is that lucky.”
Vicky has been working from home when health has allowed. She said: “Between rounds of chemo there are often times when I don’t feel ill. Work is part of who I am. I have hated the forced inactivity, and so the support I’ve had from people like Danielle, John Brimley and other managers to keep me busy has really benefited me and has been very important.”
The starting gun is fired on Danielle’s challenge with Manchester Half Marathon in October, followed by a mountainous 10k run, a marathon, Total Warrior event and quadrathon. Every penny raised will be donated to the Christie. She said: “Vicky has been an inspiration. There was a point where she was incorrectly told it had spread and treatment would move from cure to palliative, but even then she fought. She said she had to because of her son Alfie, but to see her fight has been harrowing and humbling in equal measure.
“Vicky is stunning, and her hair was simply gorgeous. She asked me to do the honours with the clippers and it was hard. But she also makes a beautiful baldy and I am so proud of her.
“I felt useless as a spectator. That’s why I’m undertaking five challenges because Vicky’s battle will be 11-months, so I wanted to do something which would be tough and span over a similar period.
“The Christie’s is so good, it’s the best cancer hospital in Europe, and the support they get from volunteers is humbling – it has to be seen to be believed.”
Vicky said: “I think Danielle is bonkers pushing herself to these limits but I’m thrilled by what she’s doing to raise money for the Christie. I cannot thank them enough for the excellent care I have received.
“October is breast cancer awareness month and I really just want to encourage everyone who reads this to check themselves, men and women. Early detection saves lives.”
Danielle’s fundraising page can be found here.