Playing with her late husband's little nephew, Alex, now almost two, brings a smile to Rachel Wyke's face.
"We first saw Alex when he was only a few hours old," she said. "Gareth was having radiotherapy at the QE after the operation to remove the tumour, and his sister was at the Women's Hospital having Alex.
"Gareth loved Alex and was brilliant with him. He was starting to get broody when we got married."
The diagnosis of Gareth's cancer six months earlier had swept plans to have children from their minds. "We were devastated," she said.
Their marriage plans, after the trauma of his cancer treatment, marked the start of a tentative hope for a future together.
"When Gareth proposed in March 2002 he said, 'I love you, I want to spend the rest of my life with you and have your kids'," she said. "Before we married I went to see my GP to get a referral to see an IVF consultant at Walsall Manor Hospital. We knew we wanted children in the future."
With the hammer blow of Gareth's second diagnosis, their future was hacked to just a handful of precious weeks.
Nevertheless they were determined to make them count.
Gareth was in pain, but refused to take the quantities of morphine that would quell it.
"He had a lot of visitors and family coming to see him and he wanted to be awake to spend his last days with them," she said.
During those weeks, she lived with him at Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton, sleeping by his side. At just 23 Gareth was the youngest person there.
With the aid of the Willow Foundation, which grants wishes to terminally ill adults, Rachel got Gary out in a wheelchair to meet the Aston Villa team and dinner at the Belfry.
She relished witnessing flashes of the old sense of humour, crackling with witty sarcasm, which made her fall in love with him.
Often however, Gareth would retreat into himself, spending long hours alone on his PlayStation.
"I think it was his way of dealing with it, trying to block it out," she said. "We wanted the last bit of Gareth."
She realises now that when the referral letter for an IVF consultation first landed on her doormat, she was in no state for treatment.
But now, after more than a year of consideration, and the support and love of Gareth's family, she knows having it is the right decision.
She has given much thought to how she would explain how her child came to be born and the absence of his or her father.
"It might change, depending on the child, but I'm always going to make the child aware of his or her dad when they are old enough to know."