A “HEALTHY” actor died just four days after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Nick Baldev had been suffering from symptoms for several months but could not find any connection to the disease.
Doctors believe his condition likely went undetected for five years.
Nick’s family now want to use his story to raise awareness of the potential warning signs of bowel cancer, which kills almost 17,000 people in the UK every year.
His sister Sheena said: “We don’t want Nick to have died in vain.”
“He was special and for us it is so sad that someone who loved life so much and who was so young is gone so quickly.”
“We want to raise awareness and make people aware of the symptoms.”
Nick had lived with ulcerative colitis – an inflammatory bowel disease – for most of his adult life, but managed his symptoms well and achieved remission in 2011.
When he experienced a bout of illness in early 2023 (whose symptoms typically include diarrhea, stomach aches and joint pain), the salesman and aspiring actor assumed there was a connection.
He continued to play golf, meet up with friends and visit his favorite bars, but the 40-year-old sought advice from a GP and was prescribed steroids.
However, these did little to improve his condition, so he pushed for a private referral in March.
On June 19, he underwent a colonoscopy which revealed a large tumor in his intestines and was sent for an urgent MRI and CT scan.
“They had found abnormal cells that they apparently thought were cancerous, but they couldn’t say for sure as they needed confirmation from the biopsy results,” said Sheena, 38.
“I went to see him the next day because he was crying and saying, ‘They think it’s cancer,’ so I just dropped everything and went to the house.
“He struggled to eat or drink anything; I made him a piece of toast and he could barely eat half of it but he was still talking up and down.”
On June 21, doctors confirmed Nick had colon cancer, but couldn’t determine the “extent” of the disease until they received the biopsy results.
Three days later his health “deteriorated”; His heart rate exceeded 160 beats per minute and doctors decided emergency surgery was necessary.
Cameras were inserted into Nick’s stomach and showed he had a 10cm tumor in his intestine and the cancer had spread.
Then the doctors delivered the news that he only had “a day or two left” to live.
Nick’s father Rajan said it was “beyond devastating and incomprehensible” and felt like the family’s “world had collapsed”.
Sheena, a forensic investigator, added: “It was just so surreal, I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
“I felt like I was in this nightmare, but then it was also very emotional.”
“Nick just said, ‘Tomorrow I’ll see my friends, but on Monday, maybe Tuesday, I’ll see how I feel,’ so even we thought he had a few more days.
“But that Sunday (June 25) he called me just after 8am and said, ‘Look, just come as quickly as possible because it’s going to be today, I’m leaving today’.”
Relatives and around 100 close friends visited him in the hospital to say their final goodbyes.
Sheena, from Twickenham, south-west London, said: “He was dying, he was tired, he was in pain, but when we toasted – he loved whisky, it was his favorite drink – he just said ‘thank you’ to everyone.”
“He was just so humble that everyone came to see him at the last minute.”
In his final hours, the Arsenal fan, who was 1.80 meters tall and affectionately known as “Big Nick”, found the strength to sing his favorite song – “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones.
He died on June 25th at around 7:30 p.m. and was buried on July 10th.
Heaven may not have gained an angel, but it sure as hell gained a rock star.
A film entitled “Rise of the Footsoldier: Vengeance” is dedicated to him, in which he appears as an extra.
Speaking about the “surreal” trip, Sheena said: “You never expect the worst thing to happen to someone you love.”
“He was just so brave. We can’t imagine ever being in this situation.”
“I don’t know anyone who loved people as much as he did – he was more than just a people person, he actually loved people and loved being around people.”
“He was so present. I always say, ‘Heaven may not have gained an angel, but it sure as hell won a rock star’.”
She added: “He was funny, witty, artistic, outgoing, intelligent and immaculately dressed.”
“He always gave everyone their time and always lived for the present.”
“I think that’s what makes him so special and really unique because as humans we don’t do that often enough.”
“Everyone loved him, there was never a bad word said about him and everyone just loved him with all their hearts.”
Nick’s family are raising money for the charity Occtopus Oxford Colon Cancer Trust.
They are also urging people to get tested if they notice any symptoms of bowel cancer – particularly those with existing bowel disease.
Sheena said: “For people suffering from colitis, when they are in remission and having flare-ups, it is important to get these tests done.”
“There’s no real way to know until you have these more extensive tests because the symptoms can be identical.”
Symptoms of colon cancer
It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer.
It is important to recognize any changes to your “normal” condition and see your doctor.
The most common symptoms include:
- Bleeding from the anus or blood in the feces
- A change to your normal toilet habits – e.g. B. walking more frequently
- Pain or a knot in your stomach
- Extreme fatigue
- lose weight
These signs are similar to those of other intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease, which include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, and constipation.
The NHS bowel cancer screening program offers DIY tests for everyone aged 60 to 74.
Thanks to The Sun’s No Time 2 Lose campaign, which launched in April 2018, these tests are now being rolled out to people from their 50th birthday.