Friday, January 6, 2012

Overwhelmed!

  I honestly think I stressed more about revealing my cancer news than I have about having cancer!  Great people stepped up to help edit, produce, fix, blog, laugh, shoot, and call, so things would go the way I wanted them to.  I hated the shots of me tearing up, and I hate being the center of attention, but other than that, things went well, and I'm glad it's over! I'm visiting oncologists today and Monday, so hope to know more about my treatment soon.  
  The best news is that my doctor told me their screening center had tons of calls for women scheduling mammograms!  That's what we were all hoping for.  I don't want anyone to play favorites though... Everyone needs some kind of screening, not just for breast cancer.  Men, don't put off your blood pressure, cholesterol, and prostate screenings.  Men and women, don't put off your colonoscopies and annual exams.  One doctor told me that people take better care of their car check-ups than they do for their bodies, and he's right!  You don't want your body to break down on the side of the road, do you? (Okay- off my soapbox now!)
  While I mentioned that I haven't cried much, I really did sit at my computer at home last night, and cried while reading so many heartfelt emails, facebook posts, and blog comments.  The kids were busy doing homework and didn't notice, but the outpouring of support touched me, and gave me what felt like more power.  I know the fight is mine, but it boosted my spirits and confidence to find out I have a lot of friends in my corner with guidance, advice, and moral support.  I apologize if I don't respond directly to everyone, because I did read every one of them!  And I have no way to express the good feelings I have about old friends and new friends sending sincere thoughts and prayers- Thanks so much!!!
  The death of the Ogden Police Officer was so much more horrible than anything in my life, and it reminds us all to hug a little tighter, and keep our loved ones closer.  Enjoy your weekend!  

24 comments:

  1. You are going to inspire millions of people Mary, and I am one of them! You are one of my favorite newsanchors and I love Channel 2 news. You guys are great and so fun! My continued thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless you!

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  2. Ms Nichols,

    We have never formally met but as a retired law enforcement officer there have been a few times fate has brought us to the same place. We were both standing in the SLC landfill one October and I very much appreciated the grace and humility you demonstrated that day.

    You are a tough broad Mary and I mean that as an absolute compliment. I have seen you do brave things on TV hundreds of times - I mean you work with Ron every day right? - you can do this.

    Don't be embarassed about your emotions, they just show that you recognize and appreciate how much you have to be thankful for.

    Let your family help you through this. It will be a gift to you the same way your love and support have always been a gift to them.

    And for pete's sake Mary don't worry about your hair!!!!!! You will look amazing bald!!!! Strong, determined and confident - just like always.

    You mentioned the Ogden Officers in your blog as they are in your thoughts at even this difficult time for you. It means a great deal to the "family" Utah Law Enforcement is. Thank you for that. My thoughts are with you and your family now.

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  3. I hope you have much success with your treatments. My first wife passed away 24 years ago now, of breast cancer. We didn't even detect it until one day she was taking a shower and she screamed for me to come to her aid. There were lumps, so we called our doctor and he immediately sent us to LDS Hostipal to see a cancer specialist. The results were cancerous at the level of 41/2 out of 5. She went through cemo and radiation treatments for over a year, until her body could not take it anymore. She passed away on Mother's Day 1988. Our family wishes you much good health and success.

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  4. Mary, I am so sorry that you have to go through this ordeal. I did 4 years ago. It is tough, it's hell and yet it is do-able. It's ok to depend on others for help IF needed. I learned that it helps others when they help you. It's ok to cry, it's alright to be "human". Prayers and Hugs!

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  5. Mary, I watch the channel 2 news every morning because of you and Ron. I've watched you cover the news for years (including the birth of your twins) and almost feel you're family.

    You're strong and I've no doubt that you will beat this thing. I've always been impressed by your passion for fitness, which will certainly play a strong part in your recovery. Please know that many people are including you in our thoughts and prayers. In addition, I'm sure many viewers will be prompted to get their annual screenings as a result of your cancer story.

    God bless you.

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  6. Mary, I hope you feel the prayers in your behalf. You are loved and admired greatly.

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  7. Mary, sometimes you are the angel someone else needs to know. Tears are good and being strong enough to let someone see those tears is even better! May you be blessed as you have blessed all of us by being in our lives!

    My prayers and thoughts are with you. May you be blessed!

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  8. Your story is almost identical to mine. Routine mammo found a suspicios spot, biopsy, lympectomy, chemo and radiation. It has been 5 years since my lympectomy and feeling good. My only real complication what the medication they gave me after my treatments were all done. It was called Famara. It cause me to throw blood clots in my lungs and I had to go to San Diego for a special surgery called PTE. It was a very scary decision, but I am so glad I went through it to get my life back and the ability to breath easy. Good luck to you, you are lucky to have a wonderful support system. Just be careful about the medicine after you are done. Watch for any coughing and pain in your back symptons. Wish that all goes well for you. Linda Smith, Grantsville, Utah

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  9. Mary.

    I know it was difficult for you to decide to go public with your cancer story. But like you said in your blog, you make people aware and to get their mammogram. You have don a lot just in making to decision to go public.

    I too had a hard time with my decision of going public or not with my cancer.

    First of all, I had my entire colon removed at age 17, which was 32 years ago. It was the summer before my senior year in high school. The colon was full of polyps. Only option was to remove the colon. Luckily it had not turned to cancer yet.

    About 6 years ago I had a mammogram (and I'm a guy), after a lump was discovered on one of my breast. Mammogram was not clear as to what it was. Radiologist said she had never seen anything like it before. So I had surgery a few days later. Luckily it was benign. But it was close to the surface so that's how I discovered it.

    Then 2 years ago my brother was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. He passed away 6 weeks after diagnosis.

    Then this year a large tumor was discovered in my stomach. After several attempts to remove via upper scope, it was determined that it wasn't going to work. I had surgery on Aug 11 to have my entire stomach removed. At that time the understanding was that it was in the process of turning to cancer. But when they biopsied my stomach, they found just a small piece of stage 1A cancer, about the size of my fingernail. I choose to not go public with this cancer. Then late October, I noticed a pain in my side. Consulted with my surgeon. Did ultrasound, and then CT scan. My stage 1A stomach cancer had spread to my liver. Even though the stomach was completely gone, it had turned to cancer and then spread in 8 weeks time (time between CT scan and surgery). Doctors were all blown away that stage 1A stomach cancer had spread. I was also told it's terminal. So I decided I needed to go public with this, as I needed all the help from friends to pray for me, to pray for a miracle. That I can beat this terminal cancer. I now have very little energy, taking 2 different types of pain meds. And the pain continues to get worse.

    I try to stay positive, and continue to pray for a miracle.

    I wish the best of luck on you as you start your battle against cancer journey.

    Brent Manwill.

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    1. I am Brent Manwill's sister. Brent is my hero. He suffered tremendously but never complained. I could just see the pain in his eyes. His big loving smile never left his face until he slipped into a coma just a day before he died, extactly 2 years and 1 month after my only other brother had died of the very same cancer. Brent was a volunteer for 3 1/2 years at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in the infusion room. He loved the people he met there. He loved being a volunteer and it was a very difficult day for him when he had to turn in his volunteer badge as he was too weak to continue. He was named "Volunteer of the Year 2012" in January, instead of in April, as they knew he would not last long enough to receive it at their annual volunteer dinner. He cherished that certificate. Last week his sweet wife and our wonderful mother attended the dinner to accept the award in his place. I just thought I'd add to his post, to let you know that this wonderful, humble man, who took a moment to wish you "the best of luck", truly was one of the very best...a kind, loving father and husband, a volunteer who loved to serve others, a man who took on the challenge of cancer with humor, courage and faith. Brent, my hero, was finally was taken from his family on February 12, 2012. He did indeed remain positive, right up to the end. We sure do miss his smile. From, Louise Price, his sister.

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  10. Mary, your a great person! Jody and Bill Kearney used to live next door to me here in Draper and they raved about the wonderful gal you are. Of course I know you are but that's from the television! Thanks again for sharing your story and My heart is with you as you go through the roller coaster of emotions etc. I wanted to ask a question, why did they decide a lumpectomy over a mastectomy? My 2nd Mom had just the lumpectomy but it ended up coming back.. They said the mastectomy would have saved her life! I am just curious when it said that it was an aggressive type cancer! I only know a little bit about breast cancer from when my grandmother and my Aunt had it! I know with your positive attitude you can get through this! Hang in there and know of your support, your AMAZING!!!

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  11. Thanks for the warm thoughts and prayers! Brent- Good luck in your treatments. Goes to show how every cancer and every person is different. SSBenjamins- The lumpectomy was because the tumor was quite small. And after chemo, we'll get radiation back at the tumor area to make sure they zap any cancerous cells that might have been nearby and survived the chemo.
    -Mary

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  12. Miraculous Mary! That is what I have always considered you as. While working at the station I always admired your thirst for education, life, inspiring attitude, and care of those around you. These attributes will get you through this, I just know it. My husband just told me your news and so I have been watching the videos and now following your blog. I look forward to hearing your progress reports, your inspiring words and to be able to wish you well, even if you don't feel like responding. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I am so proud of your amazing attitude. You have such an amazing personality and it will be an adventure, one that will make you and those around you even stronger than you already are! Much love and best wishes to you. Keep up that beautiful smile along the journey. - Marshelle

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    1. Hey Sweet Marchelle! I got the facebook post from your son, and thought it was so cute! Thanks for the nice words, and for thinking of me! I'm blown away by how many old friends are getting back in touch, and I do consider you a friend!!!

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  13. Mary, as a strong willed independant woman, one of the hardest things you will do is to have to surrender your independance some times and rely on others for help. You will find that you are so blessed by this service and that those that serve you will be blessed. My Mother-in-law had pancreatic cancer and as an RN for over 50 years, she was the one who always helped others including me as I raised two sons as a working mother. The 6 months I was able to help her blessed me more than anyone can ever know. Your children will be blessed as they are able to help you overcome and beat this monster. Thankyou again for being such an example to us all for so many years.

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  14. Mary, you are an inspiration to all! I am also fighting cancer. My cancer is rare (carcinoid), and although we caught it very early, I have many years ahead of me fighting and treating this disease. One of the main quotes from the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation is perfect for any situation, and I would like to share it with you: "If you don't suspect it, you can't detect it!" I truly believe that everyone needs to be screened if they have family history, or just feel that something is not right. I knew something was wrong, and it took a few years, many tests and wrong medications, but it saved my life in many ways. You will have good days, and not so good of days, but you are strong and surrounded by love and support. Hang in there! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Erica Cain

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  15. Saw your story in the news. I went through chemo for Colon Cancer over three years ago. My blogspot.com blog exists at: http://chemofun.blogspot.com/, in case you want to see what other do in their blog.

    Good luck, it sounds like you are in good hands. It isn't fun, but you can meet amazing people along the way and learn a ton about yourself. Keep looking for the bright side and push through the hard events.

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  16. Mary thank you for your courage in sharing your story, I am certain that was a difficult decision. After seeing your story I realized its been a few years since I had my last mamagram. I will not wait any longer. Mary I will be praying for you and your family. I will pray that you will recover from your treatment so you can go to your children's activities and be able to feel love and comfort from Heavenly Father. Thank for your strength and courage. You truly are amazing, I have watched you every morning while getting my son ready for school. Even today, you have a smile on face. I don't know if I could be that brave. Big Hugs and always know we all care about you.

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  17. Mary,
    I just finished 4 treatments of Taxotere/Cytoxan for early stage breast cancer in December. I lost my hair, but didn't lose MOST of my eyelashes or eyebrows!!! So - you may get lucky, too! Also, I had good energy throughout chemo and didn't miss out on much with my kids (ages 6 and 3). I've entered my second of six weeks of radiation - and it's an early morning, but nice to be done before breakfast!!! It's all totally worth it - you're going to get through this!!!

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  18. Thank you for using your story to help others--as a reminder as well as a source of information and encouragement.

    Last spring my routine mammo led to a diagnosis of DCIS (stage 0, high nuclear grade). Through the process of diagnosis and treatment, I realized just how little I'd known about breast cancer, because no one talks about what it's really like. Thanks for doing that!

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  19. Mary,
    I have been watching you and Ron since before KUTV was on channel 2. I love to wake up every morning to see you, Ron, Sterling and Casey. You make my mornings so much more enjoyable. My greatest memory of you guys is when you were pregnant with your twins and your "other children"did their best attempt to build your stroller. I laughed so hard.
    My aunt passed away from complications due to breast cancer about 6 years ago. At her funeral, I saw her in her casket and I broke down completely. My grandma, god rest her soul, gave me a hug and held me tightly. I said "You probably think I'm a big baby for crying like this." She then said "Don't you ever be afraid to cry, you just let it out."
    So, Mary, don't you ever be afraid to cry. You are a fighter. You need to remember that this world is tough and you need to look it straight in the eye, give it the finger, and give it a hay maker right hook. Don't let it get you down. And in the words of Mary Jean Kuhn Johnston, my aunt, BALD IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  20. WATER WATER WATER

    Dear Mary

    Ever since I caught your story on an early morning edition of the KUTV News I felt compelled to share with you THIS INFORMATION ON WATER INTAKE and its CONNECTION TO CHEMO:

    DRINKING EXTRA WATER HELPS MINIMIZE CHEMO SIDE EFFECTS. As you know, Chemotherapy is really POISON therapy. So, the moment this poison is pumped in, the body senses it is being poisoned and counters by pulling (=stealing) water from other systems in the body to dilute the poison. So, it is not hard to understand why things like "NAUSEA, VOMIT, CONSTIPATION and DIARRHEA" are common side effects to chemo. By the way, this "water connection" was not mentioned on any of the literature I was handed nor at the PRE-CHEMO class I was required to take at the hospital. However, I took upon myself to test this *water theory and IT WORKED FOR ME.

    Beginning a few days BEFORE MY FIRST CHEMO:
    I began drinking 3 liters of water a day (other drinks included). And I will tell you: chemo for the most part was actually some I looked forward to. I did my chemo upstairs from Dr Whisenant's office at the IHC Infusion Center & those nurses up there are amazing. I love everyone there. Btw, I did not begin therapy under the care of Dr. Whisenant but when I heard how amazing he is I transferred there. This was after my

    second chemo session.
    My chemo was also every three weeks. I did taxol and another med I can't recall at the moment. I used to call this bag of prescription meds my "just in case meds" for they were prescribed in case I had this or that side effect. However, I never had to use them thru the four and a half months that it took to do the 6 sessions of chemo. As expected I had to do a few transfusions & grew tired & weak but it was a gradual process. Eventually, I felt weak (not too much until after the 5TH session ---I had six chemo sessions all together _the last one in Nov) BTW, I opted to buzz off my hair & though I did not lose it, I do not regret it it. I decided I rather lose it on my own terms than to watch it fall in clamps. But if you chose to shave your head (which makes wig wearing much easier) ASK THEM NOT TO BUZZ IT TOO CLOSE TO THE
    SCALP. During chemo hair STOPS GROWING COMPLETELY and I had a
    RAZOR BURN (=too short) in a spot in the back of the scalp. This
    caused hyper sensitivity & stang w/ friction. I lost all my lashes & brows but have great tricks to share about that next time. Plus now I am growing the lashes and brows of my dreams they are coming in so much nicer and plentiful than they were. So see there are perks to going thru this rough stuff. Also EAT before chemo & take snacks to eat there. This makes the stomach steady. I will post again about beauty tricks. Good luck & all prayers, from a lady that is now "C" free.

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  21. our prayers are with you.
    Good Luck.

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  22. What a privilege it was to join IMC in the Breast Cancer Awareness Breakfast this morning. I am an RN at Intermountain Medical Center and was able to attend. Thank you Mary Nickels for sharing your story to inspire and Pay it Forward. Thanks again to Tiffany Berg for representing God's Love and Hope at this event as a Chaplain and support to cancer conquerors and those battling with cancer. I was honored to be apart of this event. I am 32 years old, and I have had 2 surgeries this year for invasive skin cancer. I also have been told I have many benign tissue cysts in my breast but I "can get a mammogram if i want to but its probably nothing to worry about." I went to get a mammogram done anyways, but just a day before was told insurance would not pay for it bc I was under 40. I canceled that appointment that day, and that was a year ago. I am thankful that decision did not cost me my life, and now, bc of today I am going to have the mammogram done anyways. I am embarassed to say I didnt go, but until this years battle with skin cancer (2- 3 hour surgeries on my head)and after hearing your stories, I am inspired to spend the money to have one done. I have 3 kids under 11 and they are worth the money. Thank you!

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