“On my normal days you’ll find me with my chai latte in hand, with my pink yoga tights, in my pink car.”
Katie Nicol – also known as ‘that warrior girl’ - is a 25-year-old pink fanatic, chai latte drinker, and cancer survivor. She is the latest woman to take a seat in the guest chair of our Women Supporting Women podcast.
When you listen to Katie, she is bubbly and outrageously positive and speaks from the heart. Her ability to look on the bright side of life is captivating, especially once you’ve heard her story.
Last year, Katie’s world was flipped upside down when she was given a diagnosis she never saw coming: Hodgkin lymphoma. She attended her GP’s office for an appointment after not feeling well for a few weeks, and her doctor sent her to get some tests done. Within hours, her whole life changed.
Upon receiving the diagnosis, she applied for a three-month intense trial chemotherapy program in Melbourne and was accepted within a few days. Leading up to the first week of chemotherapy, Katie says she felt terrified, and she ended up in hospital with five different infections.
“That was definitely the hardest, after the first round, just trying to survive. When you’re used to your body working and doing things for you, it’s quite confronting when you’re just laying on a bed and your body’s not fighting for you.”
A personal trainer with a fitness-orientated daily routine, Katie recalls laying in hospital during treatment, thinking about all the times she’d wished she had loved her body more and taken advantage of more opportunities, and that once she was in remission, she was going to treat her body in a completely different way.
It was difficult to process, she says, that her body suddenly couldn’t do what it used to, and it felt like she had lost part of herself. A few months ago, Katie wrote a letter to herself titled, You are safe here, a reminder of how she felt on some of her darkest days. Katie bravely shares this letter on the podcast.
Going through something so life-changing has pushed Katie to open the conversation to other women going through a similar situation, and share her story and messages of support, love and empowerment. She wants every woman to feel empowered to love their body, soul and spirit, and know that they never have to face these times alone.
Thank you Katie for bravely sharing your story with our Fernwood community.