Overcome (verb) 1) to get the better of a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat
2) to prevail over
A friend of mine named Nicole has been through quite a few trials in her life. Over 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She conquered that hardship and moved on with the help of God.
She later found and married the love of her life, Bill, on May 16, 2009. Their marriage was strong, founded on the faith in God. They soon decided to begin a family and were excited about the birth of their first child who was expected in June 2010.
As Nicole’s pregnancy progressed, she went into labor early and their sweet baby Parker was born on March 29, 2010. Bill and Nicole loved their baby boy so very much. It was soon discovered that Parker had Down Syndrome and due to complications of being born prematurely, he went to live with his heavenly Father on April 24, 2010. Nicole and Bill were devastated.
I remember sitting with Nicole that Christmas season as our church performed dramas about real life events that had transpired in people’s lives. Nicole and Bill’s story was played out in front of our congregation. As I sat crying, she reached over and held my hand. At the time I didn’t know her very well, but she allowed me to sit with her and take part in her healing. She ministered to me while she was still grieving the loss of her son.
Bill and Nicole had many family and friends around them during their time of healing. As you can imagine we hoped and prayed that they would be able to have another child. After experiencing some fertility issues, they became pregnant again with their second child who was due on November 4, 2012.
There was a lot of concern involved with this pregnancy. Would this child be born early? Would he/she be healthy? Braxton, just like his older brother, arrived into this world early on September 18, 2012. He also gave his parents quite a scare as he had some medical issues involving fluid on his brain. Braxton needed a shunt to be placed in his skull, but again Bill and Nicole made it through with the help of their family, friends and God.
Braxton is such a sweet young boy. He has such energy and has a beautiful smile. He has made their family complete. He seems to be the piece of the puzzle that continues to hold their life together.
But Nicole and Bill’s world fell apart – again. In October 2014, while performing a self-breast exam, Nicole noticed a lump in her breast. Immediately she phoned her mom who was able to help schedule an appointment with a doctor. After an ultrasound and biopsy she was given the dreaded news. Nicole was told she had breast cancer.
As the months have passed, Nicole has experienced the fight of her life. As the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, she was diagnosed stage 3. Nicole began chemotherapy in December 2014 and is still continuing with weekly treatments. With each visit to the clinic, she writes a new word on a chalk board, symbolizing her fight. Her very first word was overcomer. On Facebook, she shared the song by Mandisa and it has become her anthem.
Each week Nicole has had a friend or two come along to sit with her and keep her company during the chemotherapy. Last Friday I was able to go with her and Bill while she had her treatment. The night before, I asked her what the new “word of the day” would be. She wasn’t sure and prayed about it. A word soon came to me: Unshakeable. Nicole and Bill have been through so much in their life. The most constant thing that continues to remain is their faith in God. They have been down. They have been in pain. But their faith in their Heavenly Father is one thing unshakeable.
Nicole’s last chemo treatment is scheduled for April 24, 2015. This is the same date that her son passed away, 5 years earlier. Two very crucial moments in her life, combined in to one day.
Thank you Nicole for allowing me to share just a small piece of your life. Continue to be a true overcomer.
In July, Nicole may have an opportunity to see Mandisa sing this song LIVE in Texas at the national rally for Premier Designs Jewelry! Listen to the song below and help cheer Nicole on!
If you would like to read more from Nicole’s journey, visit her Caring Bridge Site.
With much love,