Lyn Taylor Photography of Mobile Alabama | Nicole's Legacy Session

Created 26-Nov-13
Modified 26-Nov-13
Visitors 158
11 photos
terminal stage IIIc platinum-resistant ovarian cancer
Diagnosed at age 34

Hi, I’m Nicole. I’m a mother of two beautiful girls, Molly and Evangeline, and married to the man of my dreams, Matthew.

In September 2012, I was having trouble going to the bathroom. I went to my doctor who passed me on to a specialist “just in case.” The specialist decided to perform a colonoscopy “just in case.” Their thoroughness lead to an unbelievable discovery-a large tumor had invaded my colon. The following day I had surgery to remove it. I awoke in a haze to the most terrifying and heart-breaking news: the surgeon had discovered that my abdomen was full of cancer and my uterus, ovaries, appendix, omentum and part of my colon had been removed. It was stage IIIc ovarian cancer.
The year that has followed has been a whirlwind. I began chemotherapy in October and in preparation for losing my hair, I cut it extremely short. I would’ve never had the guts to try it on my own, but it was surprisingly cool! When it started to fall out, my husband shaved it into a mohawk-so much fun!!

In January I had another major surgery and the chemotherapy that followed was the hardest time of my entire life. When you have ovarian cancer, the best chemo treatment isn’t only injected into your veins, but pumped directly into your abdomen. This is extremely painful and makes you incredibly sick. Along with expected things like intense weakness and nausea, came numb hands and feet, loss of hearing and vision at times and a feeling that my body was on fire. I told my husband that I didn’t know a person could be in this much pain and live. It was awful. I would cry before every treatment, not wanting to endure it, but knowing that it was my best shot at life-it was for my family.
A shimmer of light appeared in late April. My cancer marker was in the normal range. It was remission. We celebrated with a massive “No more chemo” party. I started to recover from the assault chemo had brought against my body. We rejoiced, but it was short-lived.

As May began to fade into June, I had another major surgery. That’s when it was discovered: the cancer was back and probably had never left. This meant that it was “platinum-resistant,” meaning that the most successful chemotherapies had not worked. The doctor lovingly told us that he didn’t expect me to be here in two years. I was terminal. I was completely devastated.
The following weeks were a chaos of depression, medicines and doctor visits, but a glimmer of joy shown through. People pulled close. Friends and family upheld us all around. As they had when this all started, we we loved through food, help with chores and our girls, cards and other words of encouragement. To say that our church family has blessed us would be understating the immense amount of love we have been given.

I look back at the last year of strife and hardship and know what got me through-the care of those who love us, my incredible love for my girls and my strong faith in God. I may not understand it, but I believe He has a purpose in all this, and that’s a freeing thing. Knowing your life has a deadline has given me a gift: to love fully and make the most of every moment that I’m blessed with.

To that note, here’s a bucket list I’m working on-it grows every day:

Bucket List items that are finished:
Jump in the town fountain (with about 100 friends)-check
Have red hair-check
Learn cello-working on it
Visit Big Sur-check
Jump off something into water-check
Skinny dip-check (lol)
Paint graffiti bridge in Pensacola-Check

Still to do:
Visit Machu Picchu
Participate in a flash mob
Ride in a cop car
Take a ride on Panini Pete’s segway in Fairhope
Do the Flugtag
Visit Spain for the tomato throwing festival
Own an orange muscle car that honks “Dixie” like the General Lee
Record a cd
Sing with a favorite band

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:Women
Keywords:Biloxi Mississippi, Daphne Alabama, Fairhope Alabama, Gulfshores, Mobile Alabama, Pensacola Florida, art, beach, children, childrens, classic, family portraits, fine, infant, infants, kids, maternity, mobile, mommy and me, motherhood, portraiture, sunset, teepee, traditional, wedding, weddings


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