Alyssa has been talking to me for a while about writing an update and I thought now might be a good time. Lately I have been feeling God calling me to be more interactive, more involved with spreading to word of his Kingdom. Every day I struggle with the thought that I may not be living up to what he has planned for me. I know that may sound silly but it is something that I really struggle with. All I can do when faced with this struggle is pray and hope that God makes his direction for me clear. This morning I was taking a shower and just thinking about how I could make God proud, how I could show people how much his love and grace can bring them happiness unlike any other. I thought a good place to start would be this blog post. So here I go.
I think I will start this off by talking about what my physical struggles have been. I know everyone wants to know what they can pray for so this will be one of those things that I want to personally ask for prayer for. Chemo is so hard, way harder than I ever thought it would be. I remember when I first told my Dad that I was going to start intravenous chemotherapy. He looks and me and says, “To be honest, chemo scares me more then your cancer does.” I agreed with him on that. Not knowing what to expect or how my body was going to react was a scary thought.
One thing that is really hard is knowing that every other Wednesday I’m going to feel worse than I have ever felt and sicker than I have ever felt and, to tell you the truth, that sucks. But it is something that has to be done. I have to love the chemo because it is killing what’s trying to kill me. So in a way chemo is like having a best friend that you hate hanging out with. Every other Wednesday I walk into the chemo center at Overlake hospital feeling great with a big smile on my face. I sit in my favorite chair and patently wait for one of the very kind nurses to come and hook me up. Once that IV goes in, its game on. The anti-nausea meds they give me make me feel so slow and tired; it’s really not a fun feeling. After about 3 and a half hours they hook me up to my chemo pump and send me on my way. Once I get home I hit the couch and stay there till Friday when I have to go back to Overlake to get my pump taken off. This is a good day physically and mentally I’m starting to feel better. Once Sunday hits I’m still feeling sick but I more active then I was over the past 3 days.
So I guess what I’m asking you to pray for is that I feel better faster, so that I can enjoy my time with my AMAZING wife Alyssa and maybe help her get some stuff done around the house. Don’t tell her that I told you this, but the poor thing is getting big and holding down the house for 3-4 days is getting hard for her. So please pray that God helps her get through those day, helps her not to feel overwhelmed or exhausted. She works so hard and God has truly blessed me with the most amazing, strongest, loving woman in the world. I know that sounds kind of corny but, you know what? It’s true. She is my everything and I can’t imagine going through all of this without her.
A Little Over a Year Ago:
A little over a year ago, Alyssa and I were told that I had a very rare form of cancer. That phone call is something I will never forget. It caught us so off-guard. We thought there was no way I could have cancer. I was 24 years old and very healthy. I think before that month, I hadn’t gone to a doctor in years. I was never sick. After I got off the phone with the doctor I sat down on the couch with Alyssa, we sat there for a moment just looking into each other’s eyes. We hugged and both started to cry. After those tears of sadness we started to focus on the positive. And have not changed that mindset since. Yeah, we have had a fair share of hard days, but who doesn’t?
I told Alyssa from the beginning, if I can use this to change just one person’s life it would be worth it. If I could bring one person to the Lord, all the pain and discomfort would be worth it. I focus on that every day. How can I use my story to change lives? I tell anyone and everyone that will listen to my story. I show them how, even when looking death in the face, I still have a big smile on my face. How could a person do that? Be told their life will be cut short by decades and still be smiling? The secret is God. His strength, His love flows through my body every day. He takes away my worry, my stress, my pain. I’m still blown away every day at how good he is at giving me peace.
I can honestly tell you I don’t fear that this cancer is going to kill me because God has given me that peace. Every morning when I open my eyes, He takes that on for me. There are times it brings me to tears to think how much He loves me and how much He is willing to do for me. I’m no one special; I haven’t done anything extraordinary in my life. But, yet He is there for me and my family every day. I’m telling you right now that this blessing of peace is one of the best blessings God could have giving me. And I am so thankful for it. I truly am.
Sometimes I get the feeling that I am over-blessed. Why does God take such good care of me and my family? It’s hard for me to think about all the people in the world and how there are millions of people that are going through harder things than I am. People who don’t know where there next meal is going to come from. Don’t know where they are going to be sleeping every night. People who are sick and hurting and don’t have the means to get the help they need. Yet here I am: food on my plate every night, roof over my head, clothes on my back, a wife who loves me so so much and, to top it off, I have some of the best medical care in the world!!! I would be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with this. Its hard because I don’t want to question God, but why do I get so much when there are so many who get so little? It’s a very grounding thing to think about. It is gut check that my life is truly AMAZING.
God does not promise us tomorrow. We get today and anything after that is a bonus. If there is one thing I want to try and get across it is that life is good. And no one knows when their time will come. So make the most of the day. But not by just doing things that make you happy, do things that will bring other people joy and peace. I’m not saying you need to give away your money or the nice things that you have. I’m talking about little things. Smile at the person in front of you at the grocery store. Tell a random person at the gas station that you hope they have a blessed day. I know that sounds kind of weird and that it will put you out of your element. But who cares?? You’re bringing love and joy to the world and no one knows how many days they have left to get to do that. God calls us to love. I feel like that is something we can all work on, especially me.
God has taken this cancer and turned it into a blessing. It’s my tool. My tool to spread the word of His grace and glory. I thank Him every day for giving me that tool. In this last year and a half I have told more people about God than in the other whole 24 years of living on this earth. And, at times, that makes me feel guilty. Why do I need to get cancer to focus on one of the simplest things God asks of us?
I know that some of you that are reading this may not share my same religious beliefs. But I feel that you can still focus on bringing love to this world. What does it hurt to tell a stranger you hope they have a good day? Or even just smile at someone you walk pass? I hope I’m not coming across like I’m on my high horse or anything like that. Because this simple stuff I struggle with doing every day. I just wanted to fill everyone in on the kind of stuff that goes through my head when its 2:00 am and I cant sleep. I hope when you finish reading this post that you feel uplifted and grateful for the things in your life.
I just wanted to spend a second thanking all of the wonderful people that have been a blessing in Alyssa and mines life. Over the last year and a half, we have had an overwhelming amount of people come forward that want to help us in any way they can. People I have known for years and people I have never met. Now I want you all to know that I’m not a big cry-er. But I have to tell you, it is overwhelming with the amount of people that go out of their way to make mine and Alyssa’s life just a little easier. And there have been times that it has brought me to tears. A number of times where I think about what you have done for me and all I can do is cry out of joy. People make meals for us. People who do our laundry, people who clean our house, and even people that buy groceries for us so we don’t have to. I want you all to know, I love you for what you have done for me and my family. I wish that I could list everyone one of you off, but I can’t. Not because I don’t know and remember how you have blessed my life but just because of the sheer number of you. There are so many of you it would take me so long to list off you and what you have done for us you wouldn’t be able to finish reading this post because it would be ridiculously long. So please know I truly appreciate everything you have done and your help and support means more to me then I can put into words. THANK YOU!
Next Step on this Cancer Journey:
With all of that said, I want to share with you what I think I am going to do next with my cancer tool. I want to be able to reach out to as many people as I can. I want to spread the word of God. I want to spread love and joy to others. I want my words to be heard by as many people as I can get to listen because that is what I feel God is challenging me to do. Alyssa and I have talked about going around to different places and sharing our story. And, by doing so, trying to be an inspiration to others. I am not really sure how to go about taking this next step but I know in my heart that God is going to help me answer that question. Please pray that God will open the doors needed to go about doing this. I feel like Alyssa and I can play a role in changing lives (with the help of our great Lord).
I hope that I did a good job of sharing my thoughts with you. Sorry if it was a little long. Just know that you have so much love in your heart and that God gives you an endless supply to share that love with others. Don’t let that love go to waste.
Nick Magnotti, now 26 years old, was diagnosed at age 24 with a rare form of late stage cancer called Mucinous Adenocarcinoma, which originated in his appendix and spread throughout his abdominal cavity. After a major HIPEC surgery in 2011 in an attempt to eradicate his body of the mucous-y tumors, the cancer has returned with a vengeance. He is now undergoing chemo treatments to keep the tumors from pushing on his vital organs. Surgery is no longer an option and doctors don’t expect him to live to see 30. But, that’s not stopping this guy from living his life to the absolute fullest!