Father outliving his brain cancer prognosis shares his struggle and love for life

By | February 14, 2023

Osmond Nicholas was 26 years old and was working as a police officer in Oceanside, California when he began experiencing terrible headaches that would last the whole day. As the headaches persisted, Osmond soon slept for up to 16 hours a day. He consulted doctors, and they told him it was likely due to fatigue caused by his graveyard shift at work.

But in July 2017, Osmond learned that he had something far more severe.

It was June, and he was planning to go to Las Vegas with some friends for his bachelor party. He had proposed to his then-fiancée Trinity Daniel in June 2016, and they were planning to tie the knot in September 2017. At his parents’ home the night before the trip, he experienced what he described as “the worst headache” he’s ever had.

His mother, a nurse practitioner, insisted on rushing him to the hospital. The family received the worst news – Osmond had stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, a rare cancer that experts say is one of the deadliest types.

“I literally thought, I’m young, I have cancer — that means they could probably give me the most chemotherapy and most radiation and I’ll be fine,” Osmond remembered thinking. “Then my oncologist later broke it down that this is not that type of cancer; it’s a terminal cancer. Sometime, sooner or later, it will come back.”

After discovering the mass in his brain, doctors told Osmond that he needed to have emergency surgery immediately. He thought the worst was over after the procedure, but two weeks post-operation, he was told he had brain cancer. His doctor gave him a prognosis of 12 to 18 months.

The day he received the diagnosis was one of the hardest days of his life. Osmond remembered crying and not wanting to tell Trinity about it. She had just graduated from law school at the time and was studying for the bar exam. He told her eventually, and Trinity stayed by his side to support him throughout his battle with the disease.

Osmond started his chemotherapy, but he didn’t respond well to it. After four weeks, he had to discontinue the treatment because of his body’s poor reaction to the medication. He had a fragile immune system and was extremely anemic. His doctor advised him not to go outside.

The next day, he got a fever and went straight to the hospital. He was set to get married the next month, on September 9, 2017, and he had to stay quarantined on the oncology floor of the hospital for almost three weeks. Luckily, his neutrophils eventually increased, and he was released from the hospital three days before his wedding. Osmond and Trinity said “I do” in a beautiful wedding held in San Diego.

Now, his primary treatment is the Optune cap, a device he wears up to 23 hours a day. Osmond also undergoes regular platelet transfusions and white blood cell shots that will boost his immune system. His blood work is checked every two weeks, and he has brain scans every six weeks.

As he has adapted to living with brain cancer, the next big step for Osmond was starting his family. Initially, he had his doubts about it. He didn’t want to put Trinity through becoming a widow and let their daughter grow up without a dad if ever things went south. However, he decided to take a leap of faith and pursue what he and his wife wanted.

“I believe if I would have said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to have a baby or anything,’ just the stuff that me and my wife kind of planned for — that we knew we both wanted — then I’d be letting cancer win that battle of me living my life,” he said.

The couple welcomed their baby Riyah in November 2018.

“He was more excited, I think, to be a dad, especially when she was born,” Trinity said. “I work usually outside of the home, so he’s the one that’s here with her during the day. He does everything — meals, diapers. I credit him with her learning how to walk and talk because I wasn’t there and she was home with him.”

In October 2019, Osmond retired from the police force to focus on raising his little girl. He says having a daughter has changed how he looks at life.

“I don’t think I see things rosier, but I think I see it more as the perspective of it all comes back to — you can die any day, so live your life for each day, every day,” he said.

He also added, “I don’t like to post too many sad things — not that they don’t happen — but I think if people see that this guy with a brain tumor is enjoying life, what do we really have to be upset about?”

Indeed, that is a powerful perspective. As we live through the busyness of everyday life, we often forget how fragile it is. We lose focus and often overlook what’s most important – living it to the fullest and giving out as much love as you can, just like what this amazing dad is doing.

Thank you for sharing your strength and your story with the world, Osmond!

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