Last Sunday, our entire family was coming down off the high of watching Kenzi and Megan both perform in the high school musical production of “The Little Mermaid”. It was an emotional weekend as it was the final show of Kenzi’s high school career, and it was Megan’s inaugural performance. We were all very worried about whether Megan’s stamina would last through the entire weekend. She was coming off a tough chemo treatment a few days prior, and we had no idea how her body would react. However, as she has done so many times before, Megan was not about to let cancer have the pleasure of keeping her from this opportunity. It was so much fun seeing her able to enjoy herself on stage with her peers. Unfortunately, Sunday’s exuberance was followed with a cruel dose of reality as Megan had to be back at Central DuPage Hospital on Monday morning for her scheduled chemo treatment.
Megan was scheduled to receive two different chemo medications on Monday morning. When she woke up, she went through her usual routine of getting ready by putting the numbing cream on the site of her port before she and Deb headed out the door. Given that she is heading to the hospital to receive chemotherapy treatments, I am always amazed at how positive Megan is in the morning. She consistently wears that infectious smile on her face as she prepares to stare down cancer once again. I really don’t know how she does it every single week, but she just refuses to let cancer get the best of her. I have such admiration for her strength and resolve.
Many have asked how Megan remains so strong when facing such adversity. First, I truly believe she draws strength from all of the “Team Megan” members who are in her corner. I don’t know how we could ever thank everyone for the support you have given Megan each and every day of this battle. Megan has also connected with other teenage cancer victims from all over the world, and these young ladies have proven to be a vital source of strength and understanding for her. Readers of this blog know that early in Megan’s treatment, she connected with Kasey Harvey from San Diego. Kasey is a remarkable young lady, and she and Megan remain close to this day. Megan also connected with Mia, who tragically lost her battle with this dreaded disease. She was an incredible person who Megan felt a unique connection with. Megan still wears Mia’s necklace every day, and I know it brings her both strength and a sense of peace. Recently, Megan has also connected with a young lady from Boston, a girl from London, and another from Australia. In fact, yesterday Megan spent two hours FaceTiming her Boston friend who also recently relapsed. Then last night, she FaceTimed her friend from Australia for 90 minutes. Although Megan has some very close school friends, none of them can truly understand her thoughts and fears the way these fellow cancer patients can. They speak a language that none of us could ever really comprehend. Everyone around Megan shows her tremendous compassion, but these incredibly brave young ladies have provided a level of support and understanding that has proven so beneficial to her mental state. I am so sorry these young ladies are also battling this ridiculous disease, but I am very thankful they have all found each other.
After Monday’s treatment, Megan came home and went right to the couch to get some rest. Of course, resting with Ophie makes everything seem a little more tolerable 🙂
Megan once again responded pretty well to this treatment. Other than the skin irritation, fatigue, stomach pain and headaches that have accompanied these new chemo drugs, Megan has been handling the treatments pretty well. She has not thrown up since the very first treatment, and we are very hopeful that trend continues over the next 31 weeks. By Wednesday, Megan felt well enough to go back to school for a little while. It’s good to see her body handling the treatment better than we had expected. It’s hard enough to watch your child receiving these awful treatments, but when she throws up as a result, it is agonizing.
On Tuesday night, Kenzi had to attend the NHS induction ceremony at the high school. Although she was inducted last year, all of the current members attend the ceremony to welcome the new members. It is so strange going to all of these events and realizing it is the last time for her. I still can’t believe she is a senior!!! Here is a picture of Kenzi with some of the other NHS senior girls at CCHS.
After the induction ceremony, Makenna Emerson and her boyfriend Ryan came over to join a big game of Pictionary with Megan, Deb, Kenzi and Nick. It was good to see Megan feeling well enough to enjoy herself.
Megan also started her homebound tutoring this week. Although Megan is still going to school for a couple classes, her medical appointments and chemo treatments were making it far too difficult for her to keep up with all of her classes. Luckily, Miss Erb is once again tutoring Megan twice a week at home. Megan adores Miss Erb, and we are so thankful she is taking time out of her very busy schedule to help Megan.
On Saturday night, Coal City High School sponsored a Dance Marathon to raise money in Megan’s name for donation to Luries Children’s Hospital and the “Cure-It Foundation”. Megan didn’t feel well enough to go, but Kenzi and Nick went. The night was a huge success as the students raised lots of money for a great cause. Many thanks to the high school administration and students for making this event a reality! Here are a few pictures we took prior to the dance.
Later Saturday night, Megan seemed to grab her second wind as Makenna and Ryan came over to eat supper with her and play some games. Megan soon talked them into playing ping pong with her in the basement. Here is a picture of an intense game between Megan and her mom 🙂
It’s been a good week for Megan as she continues down her 36 week journey towards recovery. Although she is dealing with the many unpleasant side effects that accompany chemotherapy,she is working hard to keep her body strong. She is going to physical therapy twice a week and trying to keep herself active. We know there is a cumulative affect with chemo, but she is trying her best to continue enjoying life in the face of cancer. Tomorrow morning, we head back to CDH for the final treatment of the second round. Megan is ready. Her spirit is unwavering and her resolve is steady. Cancer is going to lose this battle. It’s only a matter of time.