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Ashgate Hospice > Kimberley’s story part one: One year on from losing the love of my life

Kimberley Greaves is a young widow at 44. Her husband, Andrew, died following a diagnosis of bladder cancer three and half years before. Here, she tells of the devastating experience of losing the love of her life in her own words. We bring you her first instalment on the anniversary of Andrew’s death:

It’s one year to this day that – at 9.40pm on 26th March 2021 – my husband Andrew took his last breath, as I was sat right beside him. 

I take great comfort in remembering some of the words Andrew used in his final days. He told me he ‘’felt brave because I was there with him’’. He also told me that he wanted me with him right up until the end. I wanted the same. He reinforced this by saying ‘’it’s always been me and you babe’’.   

It was October 2017 when our world was first turned upside down, when Andrew received his bladder cancer diagnosis.  

That summer, he started to notice blood in his urine. It was never permanent; it would come and go. We had just enjoyed a family holiday to Menorca where we had celebrated Andrew’s 41st birthday. The blood had stopped whilst we were on holiday, but when we returned home the symptoms started all over again.  

I was keen for Andrew to be seen by the GP, but he was reluctant to take time off work. Andrew worked all over the country carrying out garage roof repairs and would often work long hours. I arranged for a urine sample to be sent to our GP, so Andrew didn’t have to go in. The results came back clear, and no further action was to be taken by the GP.   

Soon afterwards, Andrew took himself off to A&E because the blood in his urine had started to become very dark. He was advised to contact his GP and get a referral to urology. We did this and his urology appointment was booked for late September.  

Andrew attended the appointment by himself. I was working in South Derbyshire at the time, and I was just about to head home when I received a text message. It read: “Babe, I need you”.  (Andrew always called me ‘babe’ which I adored, and I miss hearing so much).  

Without saying anything else I arranged to meet him at the layby near the hospital. I just knew it wasn’t going to be good news. He told me there and then that the consultant had found tumours in his bladder. We were both devasted and I knew I would never miss a single appointment from this point forwards.  



It still upsets me now when I remember what he told me about the nurse holding his hand, as the consultant confirmed the news. 

Andrew was booked in for surgery in the October, this was to be followed by a six-week course of chemo bladder washes. The consultant couldn’t confirm whether it was cancer or not until they had carried out a biopsy on the tumours. 

I remember being in the ward with Andrew and feeling relieved as the nurse looked at his notes and read that all the tumours had been removed during the procedure.  

However, our happiness was short-lived as tragically we learned that Andrew had the early stages of bladder cancer. We were devastated; our world had been shaken.  

We will be releasing a new instalment of Kimberley’s story every Saturday. Keep an eye out on our website and social media for the next part of the series. 

Article | 1 April 2022

Kimberley’s story part two: When our world came crumbling down