Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My War With Cancer

My name is Nicholas Raitt, I am 18 year old student at Layton High School and play hockey for my two different high schools. I joined the Utah Army National Guard on Jan. 26 of this year and have been attending training drills one weekend a month. I have really enjoyed my senior year as a student and have no regrets.

On April 12, I was told that I have a cancerous tumor located in my right sinus area where it has grown around my cheek bone and into my gums and underneath my right eye. My father and I had gone into see the doctor thinking I had an infected eye or just some bad swelling from an elbow to the face which I had recieved a month earlier playing basketball. The doctor told us that the elbow to the face had just been coincidence and had nothing to do with the tumor. It was the most shocking news I had ever heard and both my Dad and I looked at each other in disbelief and began to cry.
About a week later I went into surgery where my doctor cut a piece of the tumor out to have it processed to see what type of cancer we were dealing with. Couple days after this it was determined that I have a very rare cancer which is called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. 1% of all tumors that cancer victims have today are a Rhabdomyosarcoma which is about 70 people in the entire world. This type of cancer is very rapid growing and agressive, which is in a way a good thing for it usually reacts better to chemotherapy and radiation compared to a slow growing tumor.
I know that my fight against my cancer will be long and hard but I also know it can only make me a better person in the end and have an even better look on life after it is all over. I believe a person can only show who they really are by the way they overcome their own struggles in life for everyone in life goes through them. Dont try and feel bad for me just because I have cancer...... There are plenty of people out there with problems just as big as mine if not bigger. I know I will beat my cancer and it doesn't worry me one bit.
I begin my treatments of chemotherapy and radiation tomorrow and will spend the first 6 days in the hospital. Yes I will be bald soon but I plan on pulling of a Vin Deisel look....... ha ha. I have been told by my doctors that I will have radiation done everyday for 5 to 6 weeks and then stop. But I will most likely go through a year of chemotherapy which will probably be done only 1 or 2 times a week and may change in the future to longer periods.
I wrote this blog cause I know a lot of people want me to keep them up to date what is going on and this is an easy way to share my story. Also, I will update this blog as much as possible with new info and stuff that you might want to know. The one thing I dont want you to think after reading this (if you made it all the way) is that you are sorry for me and feel like I am looking for attention.
Live life one day at a time and dont wait around for things to come to you. Go get what you want. Thats the only advice I have for anyone who wants it.


Lori Brower said...

Nick actually wrote this on April 29th for his My Space site. Because we have had so many wonderful people praying for his well-being, we thought it might be more appropriate to have a more accessible blog. A special "thank you" to those that made this happen.

Tonight, Nick will be receiving his 3rd dose of chemo. He has responded well with the help of some great meds to offset the nausea. His appetite and engery are great - as well as his attitude. He'll have another dose on Thursday and Friday night and hopefully go home Saturday to regroup. On Monday, he'll begin radiation treatment every weekday for the next 5 weeks.

I'm very excited about this blog and will try to help Nick keep it current. I'll also encourage him to write about the visit from his "Fairy Godmothers" - very cool.

Thanks to everyone for your love and support! It really does make a difference and our entire family is extremely grateful.

Chris Ulvin said...

Happy Thursday Nick - If the Utah National Guard has a position for a journalist - that is what you should do. Your article was a joy to read and shows that writing is one of your many gifts. I look forward to visiting your site and reading your encouraging words. Love to you from California.

Beci said...

Nick, you are one AMAZING young man , but I have known that since the 1st day I met you. I am so thankful for this site so I can follow what is going on. My thoughts and prayers for you are non-stop and I am sending all my love and positive energy your way.
You have no idea what an inspiration you are and will be to so many people--people who don't even know you. Love, Beci :)

Deanna Hadley said...


You are an amazing, strong your man. I remember when you were a young boy with your 1st little sister (Carly) and how helpful you were to your Mom when the girls (Jenny and I, or Jenny, Denise and I) would come to visit. You were so cute and so sweet to everyone, especially to your little sister. Its no wonder you have grown into such a wonderful young man because from what I remember, you have always been kind, respectful and joyful. My thoughts and prayers are with you every day. Thanks for the blog..I'll keep in touch. Love, Deanna and Steph

Melissa said...

Hey Nick From Portland.

The whole family is so glad you are blogging so we can keep up with what's going on! Needless to say, we are all behind you 100% and praying for you everday! It sounds like you're doing great and I'm glad to hear it. I agree with you that life's journey is not all about having fun but also the amazing feeling you get from having endured hardships and overcome them. I'm looking forward to your blogs to see your growth as you beat this cancer!
Love always from everyone in Portland,

NicelleC said...

Vin Deisel...Nick Rait...yah I can see it...but maybe more on the Deisel 'The Pacifier' side 0than the Deisel from that weird space movie.
Hey while I'm there anything 'California like' that you would like me to send you...I'm not sure what could be more fun than a black feather boa...but I like to give it a try. Love you...Nicelle
P.S. What was your code name again?
I love you (again, I case you missed it the line before)

Anonymous said...

I told Nick to keep track of how much time his mother and I spend at the hosiptal. I expect him to do the same should we require hospitalization later in life. I have been able to get some quality time during Nick's time at the hospital.

Chris Ulvin said...

Happy Boating Nick
You and Stuart have come a long way from tubing at Buck's Lake in 1989 - how old were you in that picture - 6 months old? No wonder you look serious - you were probably worried that Uncle Stan was going to pull you behind his loud obnoxious jet boat. Your dad offered to get us tickets for your graduation - I know a concern is exposing you to germs and we have some mean ones in California - so what do you think about asking your Amry recruiter for the best and lastest secret military gas mask to wear at graduation? Love you lots - and no wonder - you were a beautiful handsome baby! Keep the good news coming! Love, Aunt Chris

Jerrika Wieneke said...

hey Nick its Jerrika one of your many cousins. But im the one from Minnesota. Jamie Thomazin's step-daughter. I just wanted to say stay strong and we got through Amys cancer together and we'll get through yours together too. With all my love from minnesota :)

love always,

Mikaela said...

Hey Nick this is Mikaela, Wally's daughter. Well I just wanted to know that for my youth city council office we are raising up money for you. isn't that great! i know right. well i hope you get better soon. okay. Love always,

Heather said...

hey Nick! this is your cousin Heather. I havent seen you in a while! im really sorry i coulnt come see you at dinner but i had work :( ya it was no fun because i was really worried the whole time because i still was not sure how severe the cancer was. i know we as cousins dont get to see eachother a lot but i just want you to know that I am-along with my family-are going to be supporting you 100% through is struggle. We all know your going to make it through this because you have "RAITT" DNA in you and thats just what a person needs when they are faced with a sickness such as cancer. i hope that this can bring us as cousins and family closer together. when you are feeling better i would lke to see more of you, carly, and kelcey (sorry if I spelled any of them wrong!)i just want to send my best wishes out to you and i hope that you will be ok!

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Nick,
As I write this it is January 20, 2008 - 9 months after your cancer fight began. As I scolled through all the wonderful posts you, your mother and even your dad posted theses many months I got a glimpse of what God knows - our beginning, our present, and our future. Jesus tells us not to dwell on our past as all is forgiven. The Holy Spirit tells us not to worry about the present as God sent the Holy Spirit to be with us until Jesus returns. God tells us to be hopeful about the future as He has prepared a room for us in heaven. Nick, you have created a window into the dimension of God with this blogspot. May God heal you and fill your spirit with a love for Him. God's blessing on you in the next three rounds of chemo. Love, aunt Chris

Chris Ulvin said...

April 16, 2008
Joyous, glorious, praise be to God good morning Nick,
I didn't count how many prayers have been posted on this blogspot, or on My Space, or through your emails, or just in the hearts of people who know you, but God does count - He knows the number of stars in the sky because He put them there for us - and thankfully God listens. My prayers for you, your family, your future, your spirit are in God's hands - and graciously God acts. Having lived this past year, my advice first to myself and then to those who ask (and even to those who don't such as my children, family and friends) PUT GOD FIRST IN ALL DECISIONS AND ACTIONS. I love God with all my heart, soul and mind and He loves me too.
Humbly submitted, aunt Chris