Nichole, 34

Patient Info Vulvar

I am the youngest of 3 children born to my mother. I was raised by my father and was extremely close to my paternal grandmother. I spent weekends and some holidays with my mother and siblings. As a child, I enjoyed going to the Texas coast; however, fishing was never my thing.
As an adolescent, I spent time playing basketball with my school team. I only signed up to hang out with friends and get away from my restrictive father. I continued playing basketball until high school.
I was stricken with Lupus at the age of 16. My symptoms were hives, painful joints and extreme swelling in my feet. I began a regimen of pills, doctor’s appointments, and school. I was able to maintain an A/B average. I graduated in the top 10% of my graduating class.
I went on to college. I was away from home (only 35-40 miles away) but I made it count. Partying and being free. After that 1st year and rainbow report card, I began having more issues with my Lupus. I was losing kidney functioning. I did chemo and immunotherapy and eventually dialysis and a kidney transplant.
Following my transplant, I found a new outlook on life. I had a passion for cooking and baked incessantly. I love cooking for my family and seeing them engaging with each other, playing board games, joking and laughing. I enjoy traveling, bowling, amusement parks, going to the movies and being in the water (ocean, lake or pool).
My cancer journey began with a HPV diagnosis. Due to my compromised immune system my HPV symptoms were overtly expressed. I was treated with lasering several times and told that I needed a surgery to remove my external genitalia. As my disease progressesed, I did radiation. All of this was done prior to a cancer diagnosis. I did some experimental treatment that was unsuccessful in April 2018. By July, my external genitalia was biopsies and all 5 areas biopsied were vulva cancer. I was Stage 1 in August and by September Stage 3. I underwent chemo which helped some but with follow up testing I still have cancer. There hasn’t been any other safe treatments that I can do and my cancer is incurable.