Health

Cancer-stricken solicitor, 36, dies after 3-year battle as heartbroken family says: ‘If love could have saved you, you would have been here forever’

An ‘vibrant and courageous’ wife who beat breast cancer has died from the disease after it returned years later.

Natasha Cox, from Pembrokeshire, was diagnosed in 2016, after noticing changes to her nipple and breast but was given the all clear that year after treatment.

However, in 2021, the 36-year-old began suffering from pain in her chest and found out that the cancer had returned and spread to her bones and lungs.

In a bid to access a wider array of treatments privately, friends and family created a £100,000 fundraiser in November in the hopes of paying for alternative therapies. 

However, Natasha died last week — just days after qualifying as a solicitor — after £84,000 had been raised.

In a tribute posted on her Facebook page, her family said: ‘If love could have saved you — you would have been here forever’.

Natasha Cox, from Pembrokeshire, was diagnosed in 2016, after noticing changes to her nipple and breast but was given the all clear that year after treatment

However, in 2021, the 36-year-old (pictured with husband Martin) began suffering from pain in her chest and found out that the cancer had returned and spread to her bones and lungs

However, in 2021, the 36-year-old (pictured with husband Martin) began suffering from pain in her chest and found out that the cancer had returned and spread to her bones and lungs

Natasha noticed changes to her nipple and a hardening down the left side her breast and went to see her GP, who referred her for further tests.

Biopsies results on March 7, 2016 confirmed that she had oestrogen and progesterone positive and HER2 breast cancer.

Around 55,900 people in the UK and 297,800 in the US are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

Natasha underwent chemotherapy, surgery and 16 sessions of radiotherapy, which rid her of the cancer and she was given the all-clear later that year.

She continued to take tamoxifen, a type of hormone therapy that women are typically advised to take for five or more years after cancer surgery.

What are the signs of breast cancer? 

  • a new lump or area of thickened tissue in either breast that was not there before
  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • a discharge of fluid from either of your nipples
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • a change in the look or feel of your skin, such as puckering or dimpling, a rash or redness
  • a rash (like eczema), crusting, scaly or itchy skin or redness on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

The tablet stops oestrogen from binding to oestrogen-receptor-positive cancer cells.

After falling in love with electrician Martin, she stopped taking tamoxifen to check her fertility.

While the ovaries continue to work in women taking the drug, it causes periods to become less regular or stop altogether. 

Women are advised not to get pregnant while taking tamoxifen and warned that it may take four to five months for periods to become regular after coming off it.

It was then she suffered ‘indescribable’ pain in her sternum — the breastbone — that wouldn’t ease with painkillers. She also developed a cough.

Natasha said she knew something was ‘very wrong’ and was rushed for testing in April 2021, which revealed that she had secondary breast cancer — meaning it had returned and spread to another part of the body, in this case the sternum and lungs.

Natasha married Martin two months later, surrounded by family and friends, and the couple went to Kefalonia, Greece for their honeymoon.

However, she began to feel increasingly unwell in November and was admitted to intensive care.

Her oncologist told her that she had to start weekly chemotherapy straight away.

Loved ones created a GoFundMe page, writing: ‘We would like to raise funds to potentially access more professional opinions, private medical health care and anything that may offer Tash more options.

In a bid to access a wider array of treatments privately, friends and family created a £100,000 fundraiser in November in the hopes of paying for alternative therapies. Pictured: Natasha with husband Martin

In a bid to access a wider array of treatments privately, friends and family created a £100,000 fundraiser in November in the hopes of paying for alternative therapies. Pictured: Natasha with husband Martin

However, Natasha died last week — just days after qualifying as a solicitor — after £84,000 had been raised

However, Natasha died last week — just days after qualifying as a solicitor — after £84,000 had been raised

In a tribute posted on her Facebook page, her family said: 'If love could have saved you — you would have been here forever'

In a tribute posted on her Facebook page, her family said: ‘If love could have saved you — you would have been here forever’

‘Whilst the NHS have been an amazing resource for Tash over the recent weeks and months there are limits to what’s available to her, we would like to explore the many private and alternative treatments and therapies.’

However, her husband revealed that Natasha died last week. 

Martin said she had suffered ‘a traumatic few months dealing with the complications of stage IV cancer’ before her death.

He said: ‘There are no words to expose the intense sorrow that neither I nor her family and friends feel at her passing.

‘I burst with pride knowing that she trusted me to be by her side throughout her journey… which was fraught with rocky roads and slippery slopes both of which she handled with absolute grace, courage and dignity.

‘She was my safe place and I hers, she made me feel like I belong and her loss will leave a gap that can never be filled. Home is not a place it’s a person.

‘With her warm heart and genuine interest in people Tash had the innate ability to touch the hearts of everyone she met, she was loved and admired.

‘Her drive for self improvement and living life to the fullest knew no bounds. Even whilst dealing with her darkest days she fulfilled her long term goal of qualifying as a solicitor.

‘She was just incredible. I’ll be eternally thankful for the love, laughter and memories I get to keep forever.

Her husband revealed that Natasha died last week. Martin said she had suffered 'a traumatic few months dealing with the complications of stage IV cancer' before her death

Her husband revealed that Natasha died last week. Martin said she had suffered ‘a traumatic few months dealing with the complications of stage IV cancer’ before her death

He said: 'There are no words to expose the intense sorrow that neither I nor her family and friends feel at her passing'

He said: ‘There are no words to expose the intense sorrow that neither I nor her family and friends feel at her passing’

In a post on Natasha's Facebook page, a tribute stated: 'With heavy hearts we are absolutely devastated to have to share that in the early hours of Monday morning we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Tash'

In a post on Natasha’s Facebook page, a tribute stated: ‘With heavy hearts we are absolutely devastated to have to share that in the early hours of Monday morning we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Tash’

‘There will be a new star in the sky tonight burning bright, shining down on us.’

In a post on Natasha’s Facebook page, a tribute stated: ‘With heavy hearts we are absolutely devastated to have to share that in the early hours of Monday morning we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Tash.

‘There are no words alone that could convey the magnitude of the loss we as a family feel.

‘As anyone who had the privilege to meet her knew, she made the world special just by being in it. She really was the kindest and most wonderful soul who truly deserved the best from life.

‘For so long Tash fought with such courage, dignity and grace, always staying true to herself whilst fearlessly protecting those closest to her.

‘Even with what she had to endure daily, Tash continued to work incredibly hard striving forward and on 1st February 2024 she achieved her long term goal of becoming a qualified solicitor. We are so proud of you Tash.

‘Whilst gone her incredible light will forever shine on through the memories and experiences of all those that knew and loved her.

‘Sleep tight and rest our beautiful Tash. If love could have saved you, you would have been here forever.’

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