by LILY BEA FOSTER
WESTFIELD, Ind (Jan. 28, 2020) - A cancerous tumor known as Ewing Sarcoma was found in Nick Foster, a graduate from Westfield High School, in the spring of 2018. After months of steadfast perseverance and hope, Nick is now cancer-free and stronger than ever.
Prior to Nick’s diagnosis, he had little to no suspicions about the inconsistent pain he felt in his abdominal area. His parents and family rarely heard him complain, and it was months until the decision was made to go to the ER in order to get X-Rays done.
“I overlooked most of the stomach cramps I was having, only because I have a pretty high pain tolerance,” Nick said. “I went to the ER, and they decided to take some tests. They did a CT (Computed Tomography) scan, and they found a mass in my stomach, so I went the next Monday to go get a surgery to see if they could remove it, and they couldn’t due to its malignancy.”
Nick’s mother, Penny Foster, discussed how she and her family were able to cope with this news. She admits that she had no concerns about Nick’s complaints. His family had obliviously gone months without knowing the severity of the situation.
“I had a very strong support system in my family, my children and my parents helped a lot,” Penny said. “Just having my family there was my strength for sure. I think that when you experience something so life-altering, you somehow grasp on to the love and support that your children have, and that is what helps you through.”
Nick explains the state of shock he was in when he discovered the source of the discomfort he had been experiencing for the last several months. Turning to his parents and boyfriend, Nick felt he was receiving all the comfort he needed at this time.
“It just didn’t feel real at all and I didn’t know what to expect or what was going on,” Nick said. “I wasn’t as sad as you think I’d be, but I was ready to figure it out.”
For the next ten months, Nick would receive different types of chemotherapy at Riley’s Hospital for Children. To distract him from his treatment, he would watch TV at the hospital and hang out with his friends when he could.
“While I was receiving treatment, I was worried about how this would affect my health later down the road and if it would stop me from having kids,” Nick said. “I also worried about living a shorter life than those around me.”
When asked what this experience taught Nick and his family, they came to the conclusion that even though it was a journey most would not favor, they’ll forever be thankful for the new perspective of life they have because of it.
“I would just say, as cheesy as it sounds, that being positive actually helps a lot,” Nick said. “For the most part, I was super optimistic. I just took each treatment or surgery one at a time instead of worrying about the future.”
After 14 rounds of chemotherapy, five surgeries, and hundreds of individuals spreading love and support, Nick and his family are able to live contently knowing that there is no longer a harmful tumor residing in his body.
“Having cancer so young sucked, but I think it helps me be more positive and allows me to realize that certain things people stress about don’t really matter,” Nick said. “All you have to do is find something to be happy about.”