Megan completed her 36 week (90th week overall) chemotherapy protocol four weeks ago. Since that time, it has been so refreshing to see her slowly but surely gaining back her strength and stamina. For the first time in what seems like forever, she is no longer fighting daily stomach issues, headaches, or the many other ailments that accompany chemotherapy treatments. She was able to go to school everyday last week. She has had enough energy to put her make-up on and dress nicely everyday, which always makes her feel better about herself. Her hair is starting to fill back in, and even though I think she absolutely rocks the short haircut, she has always been self-conscious of how thin her hair was during chemo. She has been riding an exercise bike every morning, and has taken the dog for a walk most every afternoon. It’s amazing how quickly we can notice a difference once she doesn’t have that nasty chemo dripping into her body every single Monday. Megan is in a very good place right now both physically and mentally. She has stared down cancer for the second time and is so ready to recover the life that cancer keeps trying to steal away from her. We are so hopeful that she is able to keep this evil disease at bay so she never has to experience chemo again. She is ready to turn the page and move on with her life. This week, we will find out if that will be possible.
Think for a moment about going to a doctors appointment where you will find out that either you can continue living your normal life, or you will be in a fight for your life. Imagine the anxiety of knowing that at this appointment, you will literally receive news that could mean life or death. Now imagine you are 16 years old and going through that experience. That is exactly what Megan will be doing on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Now that she has completed her chemotherapy treatments, it is time for her to receive her final scans to determine if the chemotherapy did its job. On Monday, she has to be in Warrenville at 9:00 a.m. where she will receive a PET scan, and then at noon, she will be at CDH for a CT scan. On Tuesday morning, she will be back at CDH for an hour and 45 minute MRI, which she has to do under anesthesia due to her issues with claustrophobia. We may get results back on Wednesday, but we may have to wait until Thursday morning before receiving any news. Obviously, it’s excruciating for Deb and I as we await the results, but imagine how Megan must feel. However, tonight you would never know it. She has continued to stay positive and flash that infectious smile to let us all know she has this under control. As I have said many times, Megan may have cancer, but cancer has never had her.
Although Megan’s week was more like that of a “normal” teenager, she still had plenty of excitement. As readers of this blog know, Megan’s passion has become raising awareness for childhood cancer and the lack of funding for research to find a cure for this dreaded disease. She is appalled (as should everyone be), that only 4% of Federal funding for cancer research is dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. However, instead of just complaining about it, Megan has decided to take matters into her own hands and do something about it. By partnering with various organizations such as Coal City High School, Coal City Middle School, the Lady Coaler Volleyball Team, Ivory Ella and others, Megan has donated nearly $50,000 to support childhood cancer research!!! And…she’s not done yet.
Last week, Megan was contacted by the owners of Oleanders, which is a cute little clothing boutique in Morris, IL. Megan is a big fan of “Love Your Melon” hats, because not only does she think their hats are awesome, but they also give half of their profits from each sale to support childhood cancer. Love Your Melon apparel has become very popular and if you look at their website, they are often sold out of many styles. It’s also very difficult to find anyone who gets approved to sell their merchandise at a retail store. Luckily, the owners at Oleanders were approved as retail sellers, so they have the hats in their stores. They contacted Megan last week because they wanted to partner with her in setting a goal of selling enough hats to raise $2,000 for childhood cancer research. Megan was so excited to work with them to achieve this goal! On Monday evening, we went to Oleanders to meet the amazing owners, Megan and Kara. Megan immediately fell in love with all of the clothes in the store. Megan (one of the owners) got her all decked out in their clothing and then our Megan posed for some pictures that Oleanders was going to use to help promote their sales goal. Yesterday, Megan learned that they are almost halfway to their goal after only a week!!! If you are in the area, be sure to stop by the store to pick up a hat and then check out their other great merchandise. Megan says it’s her new favorite clothing store 🙂
When Megan was going through her 90 weeks of chemotherapy treatments, one of her outlets was always music and the theater. Last Spring, she was able to perform in the Coal City High School musical production of “The Little Mermaid”, and throughout her treatments, she always loved going to musical productions in Chicago. During her three year battle, Megan and our family wanted to find a way to give something back to the community that had showed her so much love and support. She decided the best way to do that was to start a community concert series to be held in the state-of-the-art Coal City Performing Arts Center located in Coal City High School. Thus, the “Megan Bugg Concert Series” was born. On Friday night, the fourth concert in the series was held as we hosted an amazing holiday performance by the nationally known acapella group, Street Corner Symphony. Their opening act was by a gifted and entertaining singer songwriter, Gabe Dixon, which was immediately followed by the fun and talent of Street Corner Symphony. It was really a fun evening to share with our community. Thanks to Street Corner Symphony for continuing to be some of the nicest guys you will ever meet in show business!!! Here is a picture of Megan with Gabe Dixon and then with the Street Corner Symphony crew.
Megan also took advantage of Friday night’s concert to conduct another event for childhood cancer patients. She and her friends put together a childhood cancer “Giving Tree” where people could purchase gift cards that Megan plans to give as Christmas presents to the kids at her hospital that are fighting childhood cancer over the holidays. Thanks to the generosity of many people, Megan’s “Giving Tree” was an amazing success. Also, a huge thanks to Megan’s good friend, Katelyn, for assisting her with the “Giving Tree” on Friday night. Finally, the “Megan Bugg Concert Series” would not be possible without the incredible hard work of Jack Micetich and Ann Gill who work countless hours behind the scenes to make these events happen. Thanks Jack and Ann!!!
It’s going to be a tough week as we await Megan’s scan results, but we are all feeling confident that good results are coming. She is showing no signs that her cancer has returned as her energy level is good and she has not been running any fever. However, until we get those results later this week, the “scanxiety” will be very real. Starting at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning, we need everyone on “Team Megan” to send positive thoughts as Megan prepares to kick cancer to the curb once and for all. It’s time to end this chapter of her life, because she deserves to turn the page to a bigger and brighter future. Cancer messed with the wrong girl this time!!!