The partner of a brave man battling cancer has shared the emotional rollercoaster they have been through following his diagnosis just before Christmas last year.

Nigel Cheesebrough, 58, who lives in Horwich, was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer – a form of skin cancer - which is in his tonsils, tongue, and thyroid gland.

He knew something was not right when he first started experiencing severe headaches, felt more tired, and was being sick.

During this time his partner of eight years Sue Miller, 55 was also taking care of her mum Mary who has Alzheimer’s, and her dad David who was  recovering from bladder and prostate cancer.

The Bolton News: The first time Nigel was in hospital after week 1 of chemotherapy and radiotherapyThe first time Nigel was in hospital after week 1 of chemotherapy and radiotherapy (Image: Public)Read our top stories below:

Nigel and Sue had just offered to take her parents in when the devastating news broke.

Sue said: “It has been emotionally draining from the start of looking after my mum and dad and then this.

“It was going to be tough with them both being ill and looking after our puppy, and going to work, but when we got hit with what was happening to Nigel, and it was the same week my mum and dad moved in, we were up and down with emotions.”

Despite Nigel’s symptoms he still continued to try and look after Sue’s parents.

The Bolton News: Sue's parents Mary and DavidSue's parents Mary and David (Image: Public)

Nigel started to get more poorly.

Doctors were concerned that Nigel had an infection, and he was given antibiotics.

Sue added: “He is feeling better than he did a week ago, and the hospital stay has helped to build him up a little and his infection is clearing up.

“His headaches became horrendous at the start, and everything snowballed from there.

“He had a lump on his neck, and they took some fluid and did an ultrasound scan around his neck.

“We went back home, and they told us that the samples showed that it was cancer.

“Luckily it hadn’t spread any further, but I wasn’t processing it.

“There were so many emotions when we were waiting to find out if it was cancer.

“And taking it in was hard, and you just go blank and think what did the doctors say?”

Although the cancer is treatable, Nigel has been undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the Christie’s hospital, which has really taken its toll on him, and the family.

The Bolton News: And Sue says that “nothing is guaranteed”, but the prognosis is good, and they are monitoring him as they go along.

Sue said: “It has been an eye opener, especially with all the forms you have to fill in whilst being at work, sorting the dogs out, and checking on my mum and dad.

“Nothing is guaranteed, and they can’t give us a definite at the moment.

“But the nurses have been absolutely amazing, and the staff are fantastic.

“The nurses calm you down if you need any support.

“It’s taken its toll on me and everyone emotionally.”

After discussing the best treatment options, it was decided that radiotherapy and chemotherapy were the best options, which he needs to have for six weeks, five days a week.

One of the options might have meant that Nigel would have needed part of his cheek removed and would have to have skin grafts made, as well as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The Bolton News: At home over the Christmas period before starting his treatmentAt home over the Christmas period before starting his treatment (Image: Public)Sue added: “It’s just been a rollercoaster of things, but you sort of get used to the ‘turbulence’ at the moment.”

Some of the affects from the radiotherapy meant that Nigel struggled to eat and his voice was also affected.

But he continued his radiotherapy so that his cancer did not continue to grow.

The chemotherapy didn’t have many side effects, but it did make him dehydrated, which affected his kidneys, made worse by his eating difficulties, and made his ears ring.

Sue said: “It can take about three weeks for the chemotherapy to work inside your body, but it can vary from person to person.

“The first week he was really poorly from the treatment and the medication.

The Bolton News: Sue and Nigel MillerSue and Nigel Miller (Image: Public)“The more radiotherapy he has the less he eats, but if you stop that the cancer is going to grow anyway.

“He really struggled to eat, and it was really hard.

“Last week he should have had his next chemotherapy, but he had to cancel due to the strain on his kidneys.”

Nigel has since been given a feeding tube to make sure that he is able to get the nutrition he needs, and it will be removed once he is at a weight that doctors are happy with.

During everything, Nigel also had to miss one of his best friend's funeral - Mark Wilson - due to being so ill.

He talked to Mark every day, before he sadly died from cancer, after only being diagnosed between Christmas and New Year, after falling ill just before Christmas.

The Bolton News: Nigel with some of his family during ChristmasNigel with some of his family during Christmas (Image: Public)Whilst Sue is working at the moment, a friend has set up a GoFundMe to help relieve some of the financial burden on the couple.

Nigel still has a week of treatment left, and Sue will see what the future holds then.

Nigel’s work has said that he can go back to work when he feels up to it and they are keeping his job open for him.

Sue added: “It’s hit him hard that he’s not able to provide and he just wants to get back to work.

“We really appreciate anything anyone can do to help.”

Click here ( to help support the couple.

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