Let’s rewind to last year, I was working out with my sister at the gym to being called into the ENT office 6 hours earlier than my scheduled appointment. “Caitlyn, this is bad. I know it is cancer.” She tried to reassure me that because my appointment was at the end of the day, maybe the doctor wanted to leave early that day. My gut feeling told me differently.
We headed to the doctor’s office. Caitlyn, Jake, and Levi stayed in the waiting area, while Dr. Chetan revealed the biopsy news. It was stage 4 Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma caused by the EBV Virus other wise known as Mono the “kissing virus”. Even he was shocked at the results. I immediately started crying. That feeling…that moment…I will never forget for the rest of my life.
I still can recall the room I was sitting in. Looking out the window through the shades, I called Craig in Vancouver. My whole body rushed with emotions. They felt warm and tingly. I could feel the tears just forming in my eyes. Every muscles started trembling, and I never felt so alone in my life. It was me against the death card. The staff immediately got my sister. I remember looking at my boys and started bawling harder. The thought of them not having their mother devastated me. Jake looked deep into my eyes concerned. Then I remember thinking to myself, “Nicholle stop crying now. You can’t show your kids fear.” At that moment, I knew I had to be strong and get ready for the fight of my life.
I remember calling the hotel in Vancouver. I had trouble getting in touch with Craig due to the time change. It came to me to text, Cait Neil, to see if Chris could bang on his door. Thankfully, Jordan was around to wake Craig up from a dead sleep to hear my news. He immediately flew home. The next morning we headed into surgery. Since nose scopes are so uncomfortable for me, Dr. Chetan scheduled surgery the following day for me. He performed a surgical procedure to biopsy the tumor in my nasopharynx area while under anesthesia. From there, a pet scan was scheduled to see if it metastasized in my body.
Here and Now
Looking back to this exact day last year, I am reliving all of these emotions and seeing how I made it to today. I don’t think this feeling will ever go away. Today is a great reminder, how each day is truly a blessing. In a blink of an eye, everyone’s life can change. If that is a message I can relay to everyone, enjoy today. These are three things I have learned; create moments that bring happiness, find the positive in each and everyday, and eliminate stress and negativity.
It brings a smile to my face, that I am truly blessed and grateful to be here. This journey has taught me so many lessons, and it has not just made me a better person, but also created a tighter bond with God. It’s truly an eye opener.
It is times like this that makes you realize what truly matters in life.