My name is Nicole Body, and in July 2017, I was diagnosed with stage 3 undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma cancer at the age of 27. It was the size of a racquetball resting on my pancreas and was described as “angry,” “high grade,” and “aggressive.”
There were no signs or symptoms to reveal that the cancer was there. I had battled with stomach issues for years and had my gallbladder checked often, except this time, they found something that they did not expect to find on the scan nearby.
We ended up finding out that my gallbladder was failing, so that was removed along with part of the tumor. Due to the rarity of sarcoma and the complexity of the final surgery I would need (The Whipple Procedure), it was highly recommended that I relocate to Houston, Texas from Colorado to be seen at a cancer center that specializes in both that type of cancer and procedure.
My husband and I packed up our car and drove down to Houston. My parents had just moved there after living in Colorado for almost a decade just weeks prior for my dad’s job. It was a total God-thing and we were so grateful that we had a place to stay during treatment.
I was scheduled to have 6 rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and then surgery. But after cycle 4, my liver levels were spiking and my tumor was no longer shrinking.
News only became harder to swallow as we learned that radiation was not canceled due to the location of my tumor. So, it was time for surgery much quicker than we had anticipated.
The Whipple Procedure is a 4-6-hour procedure where the gallbladder, second quadrant of the small intestine, and head of the pancreas are removed with an intestinal reroute to make sure all the cancer is gone. I would need part of my stomach and part of my colon removed, as well.
But on December 13, 2017, a 9-inch incision was made in my abdomen to begin the procedure and no cancer was to be found anywhere. It was nothing short of a miracle! The surgeon took a sample of the area where the cancer had shown just weeks prior on a scan and closed me back up. It has been almost 2 years since that day, and I am so grateful to be cancer free and living a life filled with abounding faith and unconditional love!
I learned a lot from my experience with cancer. It reignited my faith, encouraged me to live and love intentionally, and to find joy even amidst the most trying times. Miracles do still happen today, and I am so thankful to be alive to share this story of hope with you! Keep going, one day at a time, you are amazing!
May God bless you today and always!