Nikki Pfeifer was just 29-years-old when she was first
diagnosed with breast cancer.
Not surprisingly, the La Crosse mom was shocked when
she got the diagnosis.
News 8's Martha Koloski now joins us with more.
It all started three years ago.
And now Nikki knows she put up the fight of her life
and what she gained was a whole new appreciation for
who she is and what she can do.
Three years ago the Pfeifers were your typical La
Crosse family, working hard to buy their own home
for their two children Jonathan and Rylen.
Little did they know that a small medical issue Nikki
had kept an eye on for years was about to turn their
world upside down.
It was the last thing I was expecting, I did not expect
to have that answer, so I was definitely in shock.
She's just so young, I'm looking at this 29-year-old
and she's got little kids.
It just struck me how young she was.
I wondered how she would handle the news and how she
would go through the treatment.
Once Nikki found out she had breast cancer, she still
had to break the news to her husband Matt.
I just lost my breath, I couldn't believe it.
Nikki found herself in denial too.
This little lump had been under her arm for years
and never seemed to raise any red flags at a free
clinic where she'd gone for healthcare.
They felt it every year and it was small and they
said because I didn't have it in my family and because
I was so young and they didn't think it was cancer,
it didn't feel like cancer that I should just watch
it and if it gets bigger get it checked out again.
I think that women should always listen to their bodies
and listen to that little voice inside their heads.
And if they think there is something going on that
needs to be checked out, be insistent about it being
Nikki was now faced with some very difficult decisions.
Not only was she going to need chemotherapy, but she
decided it was best for her to have both breasts removed.
I wanted to do everything I possibly could to make
sure I am getting rid of this, it was pretty easy
for me to make this decision.
And even though a double mastectomy can be so life
Nikki said the chemotherapy was even tougher to get
The chemo was the hardest because it lasted for four
months, I would be in bed for a week at a time, every
other week and of course I lost my hair which was
And although Nikki did lose her hair, over time she
put it in perspective.
She knew she had a lot more to lose if she didn't
get this treatment.
Even her doctor started noticing a change.
And the other thing I got to see as we went through
her treatment is I got to see her grow up a little
She really was young and fairly carefree and she matured.
Now when I see her she is just this capable woman
who knows what she wants from life and so its been
great to see that transformation."
Now at the end of this three year journey and just
three weeks since she had reconstructive surgery Nikki
has a whole new lease on life.
I've made so many changes, I'm going back to school,
I volunteer more, your thought process, your outlook
on life completely changes.
My motto now is to live on the edge completely! laughs