Saturday, July 9, 2011

Race for the Cure 2011

Team Nicole 2011

Bryan and I

The boys and I

Sea of Pink 2011

Another year for Team Nicole at the Twin Cities Race for the Cure. It was a wonderful Mother's Day weekend, spending time with family and feel so blessed to have all of them in our life. June came and went and that consisted of another PET scan, doctor visit and labs drawn. The report came back that I was still in remission. All my blood work was in normal range. I also had an echo on my heart to make sure its not getting damage from the chemo that I'm still taking. The refraction rate was a little lower than it has been in the past, but still okay to continue the treatments of Herceptin. I will have another in August. Even if my heart does get damaged it's able to recover by taking a break from the Herceptin, so that is a plus. Many ask me how long will you be on this drug as I still continue to go in to get the infusion every 3 weeks. I think that I'm at cycle #49. I say as long as it keeps the cancer away and my body can handle it. I don't think there are alot of studies of women who go off of it and are doing well. Most women who are stage 4 continue Herceptin for life. I have read some are still getting it for 10 years or more and have no side effects and are doing well. I'm also taking a daily pill, Femera too that will continue to be part of my treatment as long as it keeps doing its job.

We are enjoying the summer as much as possible. It seems to fly by. June consisted of the boys and I attending some local parades, We enjoyed the 4th of July weekend in Iowa visiting with family and are looking forward to a trip to the MN North Shore with my mom. We are hoping that the MN state government can get the budget figured out, so we can go to the state parks while we are up there. August will be here soon too and it marks so many milestones in my family's lives. The boys will have their 6th and 3rd birthdays, Bryan and I will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary and also my 3 year cancer anniversary. I think that I enjoy celebrating the cancer anniversary more than my own birthday as its nicer outside than when my actual birthday is and its a reflection of looking back at what I have gained from all this. I know saying that its a gift to have cancer is not what you wish for, but the experience makes you realize what is important in life and it makes you see life in a different way than you did before. So year 3 of surviving breast cancer will soon be in the books. I will keep Fighting Like a Girl and like my new shirt says that my cousin Heidi gave to me after she completed the Avon Breast Cancer Run/Walk, I will continue to Get My Pink On! Have a wonderful summer everyone and love you all!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Long Overdue........

I am long overdue with an update again. No news is always good news!! I have met with my oncologist three times since my last entry. I am seeing him every 3 months. I had a PET scan in December and all was clear, so I still continue to be in REMISSION. My blood work has also been coming back normal and no other issues have occurred. I am still getting an infusion of Herceptin every 3 weeks and taking orally a daily hormonal pill, Femera. I had some bothersome side effects with the Femera related to joint pain in my hips and legs, so my oncologist suggested to take fish oil and that has worked wonders. I feel the joint pain here and there, but overall it’s gone. YEAH!! Another yeah is having the ability to get my infusions closer to my house at the Princeton hospital. Due to Bryan taking a management job and my job moving its corporate office further south it was very unfeasible to be going to St. Cloud to get a simple infusion that I could go elsewhere to get. I will continue to see my oncologist in St. cloud as the St. Cloud Coborn Cancer Center has done an excellent job with my treatment plan and I enjoy going there. Although due to having to go Princeton, I have to meet with the oncologist there so she feels comfortable signing off on my orders, which I don’t blame her. I would want to at least meet with the patient once if I was signing off on an order, so we will see what she has to offer. I feel very fortunate to have such excellent healthcare where I live and I also feel confident in my doctors and nurses that provide this care. They have continued to keep my cancer in remission and that is their goal. Although I’m sure they would like to cure me, but my opinion is no matter what stage of cancer you have, you are never cured. I hope that this new year continues to bring good news and that I continue to keep making lots of memories with my boys (husband and sons) and everyone else I care about. Thanks again to all of you who continue to support myself and family through this journey that we call life.

Brock and Griffin Halloween 2010



My Brother Tom, mom Linda and I

Christmas 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nicole's Num Num's

I’m long overdue with an update. Life has been so busy and I would not want it any other way. Team Nicole’s Num Nums had another successful year at the Twin Cities Race for the Cure on Mother’s Day. It was an absolutely beautiful day and I am so proud of all of you who were a part of my team and also who donated under my team name. I’m also very proud of my husband for running in the 5K. He was a little leery of doing it last fall, but he was determined and I’m thinking that he will not hesitate when approached with another one in the future. It was exciting to be a part of the survivor ceremony/circle this year as I missed out on this last year since we really did not know what the events were all about. It was inspiring to be among survivors who were many years out with survivorship. We all enjoyed our weekend and even went on some rides at the amusement park in the Mall of America. Griffin showed us that he has absolutely no fear of rides and Brock was brave enough to go on the log ride again this year, but I think that he wishes he didn’t. Last year he went on it with Bryan and said that he would never go on it again as it was very scary, but he must have forgot. LOL.

In regards to my health, all is going well. I met with my oncologist in March and had lab work done. Everything came out within normal ranges. I have “graduated” to seeing him every 3 months instead of 2. I guess that one would call this a milestone in the cancer journey. I will see him again at the end of June and we will do another round of lab work then too. Anxiety will soon hit again during this time as I await my lab results. Crossing my fingers all will continue to go good as I have had an awesome response so far to the drugs that I am currently taking and cannot complain too much about the side effects. I have also recently followed up with some tests for the mass that was found on my pituitary gland since diagnosis. I will have an appointment with the endocrinologist this week to go over the MRI and lab work results. Thinking nothing but good thoughts of it not changing and all lab work on this comes back normal as well. She did not think it was of a concern last year, but wanted to do a follow up to make sure.

Our family made some memories a couple of weeks ago, as we went to visit my grandparents in south Texas. This was the first time the boys flew on an airplane and also seeing the Gulf of Mexico or ocean, I call it, while we stayed at South Padre Island for a couple of days. My mom and Aunt Sandy joined us on our trip and we all had fun and enjoyed our visit. Griffin was sick the last two days we were there, but not sick enough to go on the golf cart that my grandparents have to ride around in the mobile home park they live in. I think that was more of a hit then seeing the ocean. Summer is already upon us and looking forward to enjoying it and making every moment last. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

My wonderful sister in law Stacie and I

Bryan and Nephew Taylor

My cousins Paige, Anaya and I

My Mom and I

Sea of Pink

Bryan and I on beach (Brock took this picture, I think he did a pretty good job)

Griffin having a ball on the beach and in the ocean

Brock and Great Grandma Homewood at zoo

Brock searching for the perfect seashell

Griffin and I enjoying the ocean (actually I was chasing him most of the time)

Brock feeding the hungry seagulls crackers

The boys and I

My Grandparents, Aunt Sandy and I

Bryan and Griffin on beach

Brock and Griffin

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Race for the Cure

Bryan, Griffin, Nicole and Brock at Christmas 2009

Hey everybody! It's Stacie. After Nicole sees that I put up a photo without prior approval, I may be banned so I better fit everything in today;)

It's time to sign-up for this year's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. We had a great team last year and are excited to add to it this year! So sign-up and show Nicole how much we love and support her!

Here's the info:

When? Mother's Day-Sunday May 9th, 2010. The 5K run is at 7:30am and the 5K walk begins at 9am. A few are doing the run then joining us for the 5K walk also. If you choose to do both, just sign-up for one or the other. There are thousands of people there and they don't know who signed-up for what so don't pay for both. There is also a 1k walk inside the mall at 9:30.
If you can't make it but still want to be on our team (and get a t-shirt), choose Sleep in for the Cure when you register.

Where? Mall of America in Bloomington, MN

Cost? By April 17th, adults are $25 and children are $12. April 18th-May 8th, adults are $30 and children are $15.

When you're ready to register click here.
Choose Team Member Registration, scroll down and complete the form.
On the next page make sure you choose our team in the drop down box. We are Nicole's Num-nums. The rest should be easy to follow.

If you have any problems or questions email me at I'll update as we get closer with more details. Hope you can all join us!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Perfect 2010 so Far

I have started the New Year with an excellent report. I had a PET scan in January and there was no evidence of disease, or the way I word it is that NED is still my BFF (best friend forever). In addition to my great PET scan, I also had my best tumor marker result yet, which was 13. I could not ask for a better way to start off 2010, except if the Minnesota Vikings would have gone to the Super Bowl, but oh well. I had to throw that one in. The rest of my labs were good as well. Now I can rest and not worry until my next round of labs, which will be at the end of March. I’m suspecting that my next scan will be in May unless something is of a concern between now and then. I get very anxious and irritable each time I have to have labs and scans as reality sets in for me that yes I do have an incurable disease, but I must think nothing but positive and that my outcome will be nothing but the best news. It’s like a rollercoaster ride; I have my ups and downs. But of course who doesn’t have those moments in life. But thanks to my awesome support system, they see me through those going down times and that helps me get back to the top again:-) What would I ever do without all of you?
The boys are growing like crazy. Griffin is almost 18 months and still not talking much but is a master at nonverbal communication. At least he can communicate with us one way or the other and we can meet his needs for the most part. Brock is starting to be a great helper with caring for his little brother when needed and becoming still so inquisitive every day. He enjoyed a day ice fishing with dad on the big Mille Lacs Lake, his choice. He enjoys watching the fish on the camera and of course reeling them in. We all enjoyed a nice weekend with my side of the family in Minneapolis last weekend. We did some window shopping, eating and swimming at the pool. The boys enjoyed that part of the weekend the best. Good exercise for all. Looking forward to spring and noticing that daylight is becoming longer and longer everyday so we are getting there slowly. I’ve attached some pictures for you to enjoy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Inspirational October

It’s time to update again as I have visited my new oncologist a couple of weeks ago and had my blood work drawn for my usual tests. My blood work was all normal, tumor marker was 17.9. My liver function tests were a little higher then what they normally are, but still in the overall normal range. I was a little nervous on what my tumor marker was going to be due to that, but concluded that since I was on tamiflu for 10 days that is what contributed to my higher liver counts. The boys had influenza the first week in November and their pediatrician thought it would be smart for me to be on that for a precautionary. She’s so awesome, not only does she care for my children’s health, but mine as well.

I will not have another scan until January, which I will have a PET scan. I will be having a scan every 4 months and will alternate between the PET and CT scans, unless of course they need to have a better explanation if something looks concerning, then I may have both. But hopefully that won’t need to happen. Other than that my new oncologist will continue with the Herceptin and the Femera as prescribed by my previous oncologist. Overall I thought that he was good. He listened to my concerns, answered my questions, as I always have a lot of those each doctor visit. I requested that I have a colonoscopy done soon due to my family history with polyps and colon cancer. I was planning on having one after Griffin was born, but of course some other issues took priority. I will be having that in the middle of December.

I had some very inspirational weekends in October. Stacie, my mom, and I attended the annual Surviving with Style in St. Cloud. It is a fundraising event for the St. Cloud Breast Center. They have a nice lunch, silent action and a fashion show that has breast cancer survivors and their families model some winter fashions from the local department stores. Last year I was given free tickets to go. This year I thought that I would give back and go again. It was a lot of fun and met some breast cancer survivors that were my age, which was nice for me and also for them too. The following weekend was the breast cancer walk, Making Strides against Breast Cancer in St. Cloud. It was a cold, snowy morning, but we all had fun and I believe that there was around $35,000-$40,000 raised. A big thanks to all of you who donated to my team and we are looking forward to next year. I also attended the Woman of Faith conference in St. Paul. I recommend this to anyone who feels that they need a little push in life to attend or if you just want to bring yourself closer with your faith. I will be going again next year and I thank Stacie for inviting me to attend. It was a lot fun and to experience such a range of emotions in a short amount of time, from crying to laughing so much that you are crying, I loved every moment of it. The highlight of the weekend was seeing Steven Curtis Chapman sing and talk about how he and his family have dealt with the death of his daughter. It’s amazing how everyone deals with tragedies in their life and what they make of them. We all have struggles in life, but it is how we deal with them and what we make of them is what matters. That is my motto at least. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and thanks again for all the support you have given my family and I throughout the last year. We are truly grateful for all the wonderful, caring people that we have in our lives. We love you all and here’s to another new year of living life and living it CANCER FREE:-)!

Stacie, my mom Linda, and I at Surviving with Style

The survivors at the Making Strides against Breast Cancer Walk

Team Fight Like a Girl

Stacie, my mother-in-law Cheri and I at Women of Faith Conference

Monday, September 21, 2009

Team Fight Like a Girl

I am happy to report that everything was normal with my scans and there were no concerns this time around. My MUGA scan was a bit lower then last time with a score of 63%, but still above the 50% that we want to be at. The CT scan showed the same liver lesion that was seen before, no change in size and some air that was still in my abdominal cavity from my surgery. The surgery went well. I just have a little tenderness here and there. It seems that I am starting to get more hot flashes, but I will have to learn to deal with that. The biopsy report from my ovaries was that they were normal, functional ovaries with cysts. I am now on Femera, which is a hormonal drug that I take orally everyday. I will continue with the Hercepitn every 3 weeks. My bloodwork was good as well, platelets a little low, but nothing to be too concerned about. My tumor marker was 16.4, so that is in the normal range as well. Looks like the drugs continue to do the job on keeping the cancer away.

I would like to invite everyone to join team Fight Like a Girl for a breast cancer walk in St. Cloud on Saturday, October 10th. Here is the link to register and I require everyone who wants to walk to donate $10.00 and also to ask family and friends for donations as I have a team goal of $100.00, but I think that we should have no trouble meeting that goal. If you are unable to join us, you can donate to the team and that will go towards our goal, even if it's only $5.00 every little bit helps. Here is the link and I hope it is easy to register or donate.

Also if you would like to purchase some Fight Like a Girl apparel here is the link for that.

I couldn't get the link to copy right so just highlight the website, copy & paste it in the address bar.