A Look at Former QVC Host Antonella Nester’s Fight against Cancer
TV host Antonella Nester had been a fan favorite for the past 18 years. She was affiliated with QVC, however, on July 16, 2020, she along with three of her co-workers departed from the TV network.
Unfortunately, that was not just the bad news 2020 had for Nester. In November 2020, she was diagnosed with a tumor in her left arm followed by scares of leukemia, breast cancer, and Cushing's disease in the upcoming months. She used her Facebook and YouTube to share experiences and updates about her illness.
Timeline of Nester’s Fight Against Cancer
On November 19, 2020, Nester took it to her Facebook to announce that she was diagnosed with a tumor in her left hand. Even though she announced the sad news, the host reassured her fans that she was not worried and was okay.
Nester announced the tumor in her left hand. (Source: Facebook)
Nester gave the first updates about her tumor on December 7, 2020. She said the MRI, ultrasounds, and X-ray were done where they found out that her tumor was of a rare kind. The tumors were suspected to be nerve sheath tumors or a sarcoma tumor, which would be only confirmed after her surgery scheduled for December 21, 2020.
After her surgery, the former QVC host posted videos on Facebook and YouTube to let her eager and anxious fans know that her surgery went well. She confirmed the tumor was a big nerve sheath that got completely removed from her hand.
She claimed her successful surgery to be a Christmas miracle since it was a dead tumor and she wouldn't have to do any more surgeries on it. However, the confirmed news came after a biopsy was done.
On January 11, 2021, Nester announced on Facebook that the biopsy result was not good and the tumor turned out to be a malignant one. She went into more details about lymphoma in a YouTube video.
Nester opened up about how agitated she felt with regards to the doctors treating her. She didn't like the fact that they kept on changing their opinion, so she went to Jefferson Cancer Institute to get a second opinion. There, her specimen and blood were taken and a PET scan was scheduled for January 20.
Extremely frustrated with not knowing what was going on with her, Nester shared the choices she had related to how she would like the treatment of lymphoma or leukemia to be done — the first one was taking IV infusions and pills for two years, and the second one was where she would have to take pills for the rest of her life, keeping in check for the symptoms that might pop up in the future.
However, none of these were confirmed since she was yet to receive what disease she exactly had.
Sadly, more bad news was to follow. The PET Scan showed a lump on her right breast. She tested positive for breast cancer, which was not related to the tumor on her hand.
The TV host had to do a bone marrow biopsy and was told to do a breast surgery where the lump and a couple of lymph nodes were taken out from her. If all were clear, then radiation for 2-6 weeks along with 5-10 years would work, but if the lymph nodes were bad, then she would have to go under chemotherapy followed by radiations and pills.
To add to bad news, Nester’s endocrinologist informed her that the cortisol level was high and she might have Cushing's disease.
Slowly yet steadily, things were looking up for Nester. On March 17, 2020, she announced on her Facebook that no cancer was found in the lymph nodes after the surgery.
Two days later, she shared through her YouTube video that she didn't have Cushing's disease. Rather, her cortisol level was high because of all the stress she had been through. Her bone marrow biopsy also tested negative.
However, the lump on the breast still needed chemotherapy. So Nester started sailing from North Carolina to Harvard Grace port for a three-month therapy. On April 28, 2021, she told her followers that she would have some blood and covid test on May 17. She would have an intravenous port inserted in her chest on May 19.
But things didn't go as planned and she got the port a little later, on May 22. The same day, she updated her followers about the port through a video and shared that "it wasn't too bad."
On May 29, 2021, Nester revealed through another video that she had her first dose of chemotherapy. She disclosed that the therapy was about 4-5 hours long and she got a shot of a white blood count booster. The side effects of the therapy were that it would make her dehydrated and sick after three or four days.
Nester is yet to get three more doses of chemotherapy. After the therapy is over, she will take a rest for a month and start treatment through radiation and pills.
Joy In Nester’s Heart Cannot Be Crushed
Throughout her journey, Nester has remained positive. Smiling and joking in all her videos, she constantly thanks her fans who she considers her friends for their prayers and supports. She claims that her friends constantly checking up on her, giving her advice, sending her positive words, and even opening a GoFundMe for her has helped her a lot.
Nester said she doesn't like to cry in her videos regardless of all the difficulties she has been through. From losing her as well as her husband’s job to living in a boat and struggling with cancer and money, happiness has not surrounded her family.
Amid the chaos, the former QVC host believes she has joy inside her that cannot be squashed and the only tears she would shed are the tears of joy.