by Nicole Lech
In December of 2016, I had a mass about the size of two cantaloupes removed from my ovary. My surgeon was almost positive the mass was benign. He said I would recover from surgery and be on my way. However, two weeks after having the ovarian mass removed, I went to my post-operative checkup and received terrible news. He had received three professional opinions on the biopsy of my mass, each from different hospitals. Sadly, the mass was malignant.
It was shocking, heart breaking, and gut wrenching to hear I was sick for the first time in my 21 years of life. My surgeon referred me to an oncologist, and I was extremely scared. I had no idea what was in store for me or my future. The things that kept wandering through my mind were plans for chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, time off work and school, and the ultimate question, Will I beat this?
I met my oncologist, and she was fantastic! Somehow, she made the situation seem much easier with her fun-loving personality and explained everything thoroughly so I could understand it well. She scheduled another surgery for the end of the week. This forced me to drop out of my classes at college so that I could take care of my health. During this second surgery, my right ovary, right fallopian tube, omentum, partial appendix, and some lymph nodes were removed from my lower right pelvic area. This surgery was a lot harder on me, but I tried to stay positive. I believed God had a greater plan for me and that He would help me power through this and become someone who could help others in similar situations.
When I was in the hospital after my second surgery, I posted a picture on my Instagram page with my oncologist. Through this social media outlet, Kristianne, the founder of Compassion That Compels, got in touch with me to send me a Compassion Bag. I received my bag through Altar’d State’s Mission Monday Program.
The bag I received is very close to my heart. I have always been a believer in God, but before I was ill, I had gotten lost and caught up in other things. The day I was diagnosed, I was unbelievably scared, but I also felt incredibly safe like someone was watching over me and giving me the strength to overcome this. I knew at that moment God was keeping me safe and that I was going to be okay.
Before learning I was sick, I sometimes struggled to understand what I believed and how it could truly help me in life. Now I have learned how great our Savior is and how He can lift us up to great heights. When I received my Compassion Bag, I was so excited to see what was inside! I love every single item that I received; however, a few items stand out.
I started journaling every single day making the Overcomer journal one of my favorites. Some days are difficult, and I cannot express my feelings, so I use this journal. Writing my thoughts and feelings down allows me to accept them and use them to become stronger. Writing helps me realize that my feelings serve a purpose in this life and that things will get better.
The Jesus Calling daily devotional is my other favorite item. I saw a quote once that said, “Do not face the world for the day before you face God.” I now know how true this really is. Every day is still an emotional struggle for me, and God gives me the strength and bravery to get me through each one. I read my daily devotions every morning when I wake up, and each devotion gives me a new thought and purpose to take in and allow God into my life.
Compassion That Compels has also put me in touch with many other overcomers who understand what I am going through and who help me through difficult times with prayer, positivity, and strength. It is a very loving, supportive, and caring community, and I am honored to be a part of something so special. It has inspired me to help other women also going through a cancer battle.
The cancer community is something near and dear to my heart since my diagnosis. Thankfully, I am now an overcomer and I hope to keep it that way. My goal is to help people who are going through a difficult situation by giving them encouragement and helping them see that the power of God’s love can help us climb any mountain that stands in our way.
Nicole Lech is a 22-year-old OVERCOMER from Ontario, Canada, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 21. She studies Medical Administration at Georgian College. You can read about her cancer journey on her blog My Unforgettable Journey.