‘A Life Turned UPSIDE DOWN’ by Nikki Hastings

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ISBN: 978-0-9927220-3-6 Paperback with 164 pages and 35 colour and black & white photo illustrations. P&p on this book (£2.80 – Royal Mail Large Letter) will be added at checkout. ‘A Life Turned UPSIDE DOWN’ is the story of young mum, Nikki Hastings, who went to her doctor with a painful hip and several days later was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer with only months to live. Due to her willingness to try new treatments and determination to make the best of her remaining time, Nikki’s life was extended by years. This is her story. The author’s royalty and all profit from sales of this book will be donated to Lewis-Manning Hospice.

‘A life turned UPSIDE DOWN’ by Nikki Hastings

ISBN: 978-0-9927220-3-6

Nikki in garden at Lewis-Manning 5cmW 200ppi

Nikki Hastings in the garden at Lewis-Manning Hospice

Foreword by Debra Stephenson

I had the privilege of meeting Nikki in 2013 at a fundraising ladies’ lunch in aid of Lewis-Manning Hospice. I say privilege because it is always a privilege to meet someone who is courageous, determined and inspirational, especially someone who has the ability to touch your life through meeting them for the first time. I sat next to Nikki at the table and she told me she had been a patient at the hospice. She seemed fine to me. More than fine – she was bubbly, enthusiastic, giggly even, and I felt we were instantly friends. This was a woman who was very positive about life and therefore was great fun to be with.

During the event Nikki gave a poignant yet uplifting speech about her experience of cancer, as a sufferer of the disease, and as a fighter of the disease. She made the whole room cry and she made the whole room laugh – and she made a whole room full of friends. I was in awe.

How does someone who knows, as Nikki did, that their illness is terminal, find the necessary amount of strength and courage to look cancer in the eye and accept that it’s got the better of them? Surely Nikki was one of these rare individuals that possess the knack of being able to look on the bright side no matter what life throws at them. Most people would be in a mess emotionally – devastated, depressed, angry or at least despondent – especially as a mother of two children, with so much to lose. How do you find the strength to cope in those circumstances? Surely it would take someone special to find the strength that Nikki displayed that day.

Nikki was certainly special, but in her speech she revealed that she had not always been so positive. She had been through shock, devastation and despair, and somehow found her way along a path to becoming the strong and courageous, positive lady who was standing before us.

Nikki elaborates on this theme in this book. The words ‘searingly honest’, sometimes overused in describing autobiographies, are nonetheless fitting for Nikki’s account of her cancer ordeal. For the sake of others in need of catharsis, if not guidance on living through terminal cancer, Nikki has done a brave and courageous thing by sharing her own very personal experience. I am glad that readers will have the opportunity to get to know her through her boldly written and honest documentation of her difficult journey, so that they may be encouraged to move forward in life positively, despite cancer. Moreover, to see that it’s even possible to have fun on the way, incredible as that may sound. Nikki’s book is evidence that there is life after the diagnosis of terminal cancer and however much or little there is left, it’s possible to live that life to the full.

If anyone was ever in any doubt as to why cancer sufferers need so much support outside of their treatment, this book provides necessary enlightenment. Nikki credits the people in her life that helped her – her family and friends – but her book also highlights just how essential the work is of organisations such as Lewis-Manning Hospice, Macmillan and Breast Cancer Care.

In A life turned Upside Down Nikki shares how she navigated her way through cancer from a state of shock, depression, torment and struggle, to acceptance and becoming the happy, strong, brave and positive lady whom it was my privilege to meet.

Debra Stephenson

Patron of Lewis-Manning Hospice

 

Click her to see the Bournemouth Daily Echo article about Nikki’s book.

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