Randy and Nicole were married in September of 1998. In November of that year they got the wonderful news that Nicole was pregnant with their first child! In January of 1999, Nicole had begun to have some discomfort in one of her breasts. At first she thought it was normal breast pain associated with pregnancy. However, the pain was so intense at one point that she and Randy decided the best thing to do was to go to the doctor and have it checked out. In early March of 1999, Nicole underwent several tests, and was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. She was five months pregnant at that time.
Nicole was given the option of starting chemotherapy while pregnant or waiting to get to a point in which the baby would be safe and healthy, and then induce labor. To Nicole and Randy, there was no real option. They would wait to give birth and then start treatments. In late May 1999, Nicole and Randy gave birth to Riley Marie Wilcox, just five weeks early.
In June of 1999, Nicole had a double mastectomy and started Chemotherapy. After many rounds of Chemotherapy, she also received radiation treatments. From there everything was steady until a doctor appointment in early July 2000, where the doctor gave Nicole and Randy the best news…
the doctor said Nicole was Cancer free.
Unfortunately, that good news was not to last. In late September of 2000, Nicole’s cancer had metastasized to her lungs & bones, and from there Nicole declined quickly. She was admitted to the hospital in early December of 2000 and passed away on December 22, 2000. Nicole was only 36 years old.
To truly understand Nicole, all one needs to know is this next part of the story. Randy had recognized after the birth of Riley that Nicole was having difficulty when Riley was around. Nicole seemed to get anxious or did not feel well each time Riley was nearby. Randy thought it was a little odd, but knowing all that Nicole was battling, it did not seem too out of the ordinary. It all came to light though a few months after Nicole’s passing.
One of Nicole’s closest friends had disclosed truly heart-breaking information to Randy. Many of the times when Randy tried to bring Riley to Nicole, it was not sickness or anxiousness that Nicole was experiencing. Nicole had confided to her best friend that she didn’t want Riley to get too attached or close to her Mother as she did not want her baby to hurt or grieve if or when Nicole passed away. Nicole had been resisting her own motherly instincts and suppressing her own love just to protect her child.
That was Nicole…
Selfless to the core.
Loving to the end.
A beautiful person, inside and out.