I read these words in an old Guidepost:

“There are times in all our lives when we seem to be looking down from the mountaintop, our hearts overflowing with joy: when we realize for the first time how much God loves us; when we step onstage to receive a diploma; when we set off to work on our first job; when we hold a newborn baby in our arms. Those are the times when praise and thanksgiving seem as natural to us as breathing.

There are other times, too when we seem to be looking up from the floor of a very dark valley: when we face illness; when we lose a loved one; when we’ve lost a job or failed a test; when we can’t find any good news in our daily papers. Those are times when we feel powerless, when prayer can be an effort and God seems far away.

But we know a marvelous truth: whether we’re up on the mountaintop or down in the valley, we are always in the hands of God.”

The day before my 60th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The call came just before my lunch hour and with tears streaming down my face; I left the office and headed home to my safe haven. It has been years since I have cried from the depths of my being. I sobbed for my children, for my grandchildren, for my sister and all those people who love me knowing how painful this news would be for them; and yes I sobbed for myself.

My thoughts went to my husband, who has been gone for 11 years. I recalled the day the doctor gave us the news of his cancer. I remember Lolly saying, “This cancer may take me but it will take me kicking and screaming because I am not done raising my family.” I echo his sentiments only I say: “I want to watch my grandsons graduate. I want them to escort me down the aisle at their weddings  and seat me in that honored place next to their mother.” Those young boys are my four reasons for fighting. I covet your prayers as I prepare to do battle against this disease.



25 responses »

  1. Nicki, you are a strong, strong person, and you will get through this, with all of us, your neighbors and friends and your daughter your grandschildren, and God – in front of and behind you, holding you up. You will be on that mountain top before you know it. Marj

  2. Best wishes to you Aunt Nicki! We prayed for you in church today and will continue throughout your treatments and healing. I am so impressed with your strength, faithfulness and deep love for the Lord. You are such an inspiration! Thank you to you and Paige for this blog site to keep us in the loop. With love, Dawn, Dion, Clayton, and Grace

  3. Ed and I and the congregation of our church prayed for you this morning. As a breast cancer survivor I remember all too well the tears and finally the determination to survive. For me it was a journey, from one test to another, from one procedure to the next, climbing that mountain you mention. Please know we are taking those steps with you but up we WILL GO.

  4. As we work on your new garden, a place to gather strength and peace, we hope this space will help you to find strength to keep fighting. It will be the spot you can be private and to connect with God and mother nature. To find your bliss when all the clouds are gathered and the sun is faint. We are honored to give you this special place.

    Nancy & John

  5. Dear Niki,
    Thank you for doing this blog. I can’t imagine what you are going through but my heart cries for you. You are in my prayers and I know God will give you the strength to get through this. When you get treatments scheduled I will gladly take off work to take you anytime. Johnny and I can come take care of your yard for you if you like. I want you to be able to focus on taking care of yourself and staying strong. You have a large wonderful family and I know that we will all do whatever we can to help in anyway.
    With all of our love,
    Johnny and Leah

  6. I will pray for you and your family daily. If you want to talk, call me at 970-690-0014. My biggest regret was that I didn’t have a double mastectomy.

  7. Nicki
    I had to reread this to relaize what you were saying! I ma so sorry to hear this news-but I know you of all people will get through this – Breast cancer is curable! I will pray for you- God listen no matter where we are. If there is anything you need, please call me. I can’t cook, but Chirs can and I have a strong shoulder if you need one!

  8. Nicki, It is a bit of a long journey that many of us are still walking. We have a group of us, we joke, support and learn from us. You’ve just become another of our “C Sisters!” You can figure out what the C stands for! Dianne’s got something that will come in for you next week.

    Walk this one in are arms, C’sister. This is not a trip we take alone! All my love and prayers.

    Al Murphy – C Brother

  9. Dear Nicki,

    When you feel up to it, I would love to get together for that visit we have been planning on for so long. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. I know you will make it through. You are such a strong and positive person with a wonderful family and many great friends to help you. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

    Much love,


  10. Nicki, that was such a wonderful letter you wrote. I was especially happy to read what you wrote about Lolly’s remark. It’s so wonderful to see you having such a possitive attitude concerning your condition. I also knew you were a fighter. Thanks for confirming it. We love you and are praying for you. Thanks for sending the lovely picture too. Sen is doing so so, but we both caught a bad throat problem, but Sen is already well from it.

  11. Nicki – My love, friendship and prayers are with you, Nicki. Your faith and your letter are truly inspiring and I know that you will beat this and be stronger than ever for your family and especially for those darling little boys! My mom has had breast cancer twice now and beat it both times. She will be 92 in a couple of weeks. There are many survivor stories out there and I know you’ll be one of them. Whatever I can do to help, I’m willing to do.

  12. Dear Nicki- My heart goes out to you and your family. Brenda had called me and told me the news and I thought about the day my husband and I ran into you in the elevator at the Hospital. Your smile and hug was so warm and your sweet spirit came over me at a time where we too had received bad news about my husband having Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer..

    As I read all these blogs you are truly a BLESSING and I pray to God that he watches over you and guides the Doctors during these next months of treatment. We have been going to Chemo every other Monday down town St. Lukes for the past 3 years and the staff are just wonderful..

    If we can do ANYTHING for you please call. I was going through my cell phone about a month ago deleting old numbers and ran across yours and I told my husband I will not delete Nicki’s number for I need to call her she is such a sweet person. Not to many times you meet someone that touches your heart but when we met I knew that God had put you in my life.

    May GOD BLESS YOU… and know we will continue to pray..

    Rhonda Butson

  13. Nikki,
    You have been in our prayers ever since we heard and Jean and I have been praying for you on our walks in the morning. You are a fighter and we have every confidence that God will not only be with you but will bring you through this with much peace and grace. You have such a strong faith, a strong desire to beat this, and a strong will that we will just pray that in the midst of pain and suffering, you will be greatly and richly blessed.

    Larry and Pam Haddock

  14. Nikki…It was so nice to see you again with Vicky. I knew what an amazing person you were when I sat at my niece, Tricia Haddock’s high school graduation and Paige gave the salutatorian speech. What a strong faith you and your family have. I will keep you in my prayers and may the healing Christ be with you throughtout this ordeal.

  15. Wanda sent me your blog and I am so glad she did. Tears swelled in my eyes reading all of the pre surgery messages. Ed & I are sending our prayers and may you be feeling better soon. Those 4 reasons for fighting are adorable. Will stay in touch and know this journey is going to be favorable with all the prayers and concerns coming your way.
    Ed & Nancy

  16. Niki:

    Just sitting here watching TV thinking of how you are doing.. I hope that you are home with your family there.. God Bless You… If I can do ANYTHING please call… GOD BLESS!!

  17. Niki: Just want you to know that you have been on my mind all week since we spoke on Sunday.. Good Luck on your Chemo tomorrow. And Dick and I are hear for you so if we can do anything please let me know…WE are ONE phone call away.. GOD BE WITH YOU!!! HE IS GOOD….

  18. Nicki,
    I have been a bad neighbor and friend and have not touched in with you in quite a while. I sat here this morning reading your entire blog and have been touched seeing how strong you are during these times. I am happy to see you “fight like a girl”. If there is anything I can do for you at anytime, please let me know!

    Dave’s house is almost totally complete. (he had to finish it before the first BSU game, so he could have a “tailgate” party at his house this Friday.) you are invited! That being said, now I can spend some daytime hours at my house now and not remodeling a stinking house. I have missed not seeing you out pulling weeds and planting hours.

    Hope all is well, and KEEP FIGHTING


    • Nick my heart is right there with, prayers and tears flow like out of a stream I wish there was someing I could do to make you feel better. “Faith is not believing that God can-it is knowing that he will, so don’t worry about tommorrow….God is already their!
      Much love & lots of Prayers to and your and your kids.

      Love Theresa

  19. We are following your courageous amazing fight. You are amazing in your strength and faith, You have made it through the worst and now the end is in sight. We also fought life threatening cancer 10 years ago this month and won. Our thought and prayers have gone with you this summer and will as you regain your health and strength.
    .. .

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