Doing Things Young; We’re Going to Kick the C-word’s Butt!

Nick and I have this habit of doing things young. We were the first of our friends to get married, the first to buy a home, and now… the first to begin a battle against a formidable opponent. Last week, we took Nick to the hospital with what we were sure was a ruptured appendix. He was rushed into the ER and underwent a surgery to remove his appendix as well as a mass that had formed (presumably from the infection). As if this whole situation wasn’t already scary enough, the surgeon emerged from the OR after the surgery with a little, umm… surprise.


Nick’s appendix had, in fact, ruptured but it turns out that it was not from a common infection. A tumor had formed in his appendix, causing it to eventually burst from the strain. The tumor had then leaked enough of a mucus-like substance to create a mass that had settled in his lower abdomen. They told us they were sending both masses to pathology and he would be in the hospital for at least a few more days to recover. At this point, we were definitely shaken but it seemed as though the worst had passed. Nick was healing well and healing fast. But, as the days went on, I began to worry; why was it taking so long for us to get his results back? On the morning of September 30th, just two weeks before my husband’s 25th birthday, we received a horrifying, life-altering call. Nick has been diagnosed with mucinous adenocarcinoma of the appendix, which is a very rare type of cancerous tumor that can release cells into other areas of the abdomen. We had a good cry together after recieving the news. But, since then, Nick has been ever-optimistic and I’ve been doing research, calling oncology departments, and trying to keep level-headed.


I will be by his side through every step of this (hopefully short) journey to health. He is my life, my love, and the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. I have been blessed with the privilege of being married to my best friend and I am ready to declare war to keep it that way. We are hopeful. We are confident. We will gather our resources. And, no matter what the obstacle (one being that we will more than likely have to travel to the East Coast to recieve appropriate treatment), I will find a way to get Nick the care he needs.


To take a break from the chaos yesterday, Nick and I took a walk in the clean autumn air. He took that time to share with me his awe-inspiring view on the subject,

“God is going to teach us something through this. I’m not sure what the lesson is yet. Did you notice that, even just this week waiting for results, we’ve been happier than ever? He’s already reminding us to enjoy the blessings we have and to enjoy every day that we have together.”

Well spoken, babe, as always… Now, let’s kick some cancer behind!


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  1. Mike Jensen says:

    Alyssa (and Nick) – Hang in there! You are spot on that God has a plan, and he will be with you every step of the way. You and Nick are in our prayers as you go through this.

  2. Teresa Melum Johnson says:

    Alyssa We are so sorry to hear about what you guys are going through. I did put Nick on prayer list at Eastlake, God Be With You Both, we are sending our love.Carey and Teresa

  3. Alyssa Magnotti says:

    Mike, Thank you so much for your prayers! We really appreciate it! We know God is with us and will be right next to us through anything life throws our way. Thank you for the reminder. ;] Teresa, Thanks for putting Nick on your prayer list at Eastlake! We need prayer warriors – and as many as we can get! I really appreciate your family!

  4. Marty Young says:

    Hi Alyssa,Just heard about Nick from Kristi Blair through our church website. Our prayers are with Nick and you during this trial. Cancer can be beat. God can do anything. We recently learned about a number of alternative treatments in a book, “Killing Cancer – Not People” from We haven’t been faced with this trial in our immediate family, but I think I’d consider these options myself.Praying for you,Marty Young and family

  5. shandel says:

    Sweet AlyssaThank you for sharing this with us! My prayers are going up for you and Nick as I write. I love Nick’s heart and leadership in this situation. Yes, God will be glorified and your joy will be full as you keep your eye on the creator of that body of his.You are loved and let me know how I can serve you during this time.:)Shandel

  6. Kellie Verginia says:

    Hi Alyssa, We haven’t met but I have been friends with Jacki for over 20 years. I have known Nick and Michelle since they were in diapers and I am so sorry to hear about this. It hits close to home for me as I lost my brother in law to cancer about 10 months ago after being diagnosed only 8 months prior. I know this is one of the hardest things you will ever go through but you and Nick are so lucky to have each other as well as amazing family and friends to support you. I know there is nothing I can say that will make this ok but please know that you aren’t alone even though it may feel that way sometimes.I am pulling for you guys and wishing Nick the fastest recovery possible!Kellie

  7. roxyrisa says:

    Hi Alyssa,I grew up next door to Nick and used to babysit him about 20 years ago. I’m so sorry to hear that he’s battling cancer at such a young age! I got married young too and I’m proud of you for sticking together and having a positive outlook. I’ll be praying for you!Marisa Pond Calderwood

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