On March 25, 2013, life threw us a curve ball. Not just any curve ball either, this one was like, filled with rocks, wrapped in barbwire, and I’m pretty sure I remember it spitting fireballs at us. Well, turns out team Nicki is surprisingly good at ducking and dodging. Now that I cleverly disguised avoidance as our family’s greatest skill set let me bring you all up to speed on Nicki’s journey.
As of December 12, Nicki completed her final round of chemotherapy. It was an emotional 16 weeks, to say the least. Not all bad. Thanks to the ladies at Joan Karnell Cancer Center we had more than one episode of inappropriate and uncontrollable laughter. Jeremy had the home care down to a science, and I’m pretty sure He has earned at least his nursing degree. I did find it concerning when he turned and shouted "scalpel" but luckily I had one. What can I say, we just work well together.
Nick got through her final week of chemo like a superhero. She busted out of there and had more energy than anyone expected. She baked 5000 cookies on her first day of freedom and even ventured outside of the house for the first time to pick up some stocking stuffers. I think we were all so happy she seemed to be having a few good days we forgot to say "Hey, you have no immune system right now, let's just sit in a bubble and watch a movie." It must have caught up with her because a few days later she was back in the hospital for 2 blood transfusions. Determined to be home for Christmas she miraculously persuaded her blood count to reach a safe level and was back home to celebrate Christmas. Side note: literally giving her blood a pep talk. “Come on little guys. I know you can do it!” and so, on.
After receiving a clean CT scan and travel clearance in January, it was high time to hit the road and meet some of the top surgeons in the country to discuss the possibility of reconstruction. This time we were a little more experienced with the process and armed with questions we didn’t necessarily want the answers to. We always have a little huddle before we go in, just to remind each other that no matter what they say, it’s just an opinion. If we don’t like it, we keep moving until we find one we do. We found that opinion in Chicago.
She will be in the hands of Dr. Gary Burget (http://www.garyburget.com) Starting on April 3 and every 6 to 11 weeks over the next year. The first two months are crucial, so it’s essential we set up a temporary home base in Chicago. We are hoping to get settled in by April 1st and aim to reunite Nicki with Bryce two weeks after her initial surgery. Not at all familiar with Chicago, any assistance in finding affordable accommodations suitable to our situation would be welcome.
We are all affected by cancer. We have all lost someone or know someone who has experienced that heart wrenching and devastating loss. Sadly, I know now that although my sister's cancer is rare her fight is not. We're all fighting for someone we love, and yet you're taking the time to read and share Nicki's story. Thank you for helping me fight for my sister.