24 to 25 & August Updates

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Hello all and happy August!

I started August literally with my birthday. I turned 25 on August 1st! This was a very special day for me not just because it was my birthday, but because it was my first birthday being cancer-free again. In the picture above, you can see me at 24 and at 25. What a difference a year can make! I remember this time last year, I was bald, weak, tired, in physical pain most of the time, and emotionally drained. However, I did have an amazing 24th birthday with my friends and family. This year, I am NED (no evidence of disease) and recovering. Am I where I want to be? Not yet, but I know I can get there. My hair is short, my body has completely changed due to my hysterectomy side effects, and I still struggle with everything I have lost since getting sick for the second time. But I have also gained so much positivity in my life, and I am very grateful for that. Life is amazing, scary, beautiful, and unpredictable. Here is to many healthy years ahead of me!

Now that my birthday has come and gone, this is my scan month, let the “scaniexty” begin! I also have some other testing I have to get done, so August is a very busy month medically for me! My scans are for my second cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma, but I also cannot forget about my first cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I was in what they call “POST Clinic” before getting diagnosed again, so I was up to yearly scans and appts., and we focused on side effects that come on later. Since the Ewing’s Sarcoma came, the Hodgkin’s check-ups was put to the side. I am now back to checking up on those side effects. I had A LOT of radiation from the waist up to my face during that cancer, so I have to check my thyroid and breasts. I have a higher risk of breast cancer from this treatment and because I am on hormone therapy. I had 2 breast fibroid tumors back in 2013-2014, but they were nothing to worry about. Meeting with a breast specialist again will help me properly monitor any changes. So it’s not like I already have enough appts., keep them coming haha! I would rather do this though than be stuck in the hospital and sick again 🙂

I also made the decision to remove my port. I chose to keep my double power port in after I finished treatment in October 2016. It was a comfort issue for me and I was too anxious to remove it so soon. It has been 10 months post-treatment and my port is quite deep under my skin. It used to be much easier to access because it was getting poked every few days, and now it is only occurring monthly. It has been extremely difficult to access lately, so I am taking that as a sign that it is time to part ways with it. I am extremely nervous about this. Even though it is an outpatient surgery, it brings back many memories of being diagnosed again. But, it is also something to look forward to as I put this behind me and keep moving in the right direction!

Here are some things coming up which I will update as they occur:

-Aug. 15: Pelvis CT

-Aug. 22nd: Port removal surgery

-Aug. 24th: Appt. with breast specialist

-Aug. 28th: Monthly clinic appt.

-Aug. 29th: Quarterly appt. with gynecological oncologist

-Sept. 9th: Thyroid ultrasound & chest x-ray

Thank you for your continued love and support!

Love,

Nicole

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