On Day 127 of Megan’s journey towards a full recovery from stage 4 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cancer, she stepped into the ring for Round #8 of her chemo treatments. Yesterday was a great day for Megan as she was busy most of the day, which didn’t give her time to worry about her upcoming treatment. She had an appointment at CDH in the morning, was serenaded by the CCHS Madrigals, went to eat with the Madrigals at La Piazza, and went to the auditions for the Small Town Theatrics upcoming production of “Mary Poppins”. After all of that, she went to Dairy Queen with Kim Scerine and didn’t get home until about 10:00 p.m. She immediately went upstairs and got ready for bed. There was absolutely no sign of her being apprehensive about starting Round #8 today.
I left at about 5:15 a.m. this morning because I was scheduled to run the Lemont Quarryman 10 miler with Shawn Hamilton this morning. Since we knew that Megan’s chemo treatment would not actually get started until the afternoon, Deb and Megan thought it would be okay for me to go ahead and run the race since it started at 7:30 a.m. Before Megan can start this particular chemo cycle, she has to be adequately hydrated, which can take up to four hours. Since Megan was scheduled to check in at 9:00 a.m., it was going to be awhile before her treatment started. By the way, the Lemont Quarryman is the most hilly course I have ever run, but it was still a lot of fun.
Megan and Deb checked in a little after nine, but they didn’t have any beds available on her usual pediatric floor. When that happens, they temporarily check them into rooms on the 4th floor. After they got checked in, Megan had to get her port accessed. Usually, Megan gets her port accessed in the clinic on the first floor before they move her up to her regular room, but since she checked in on the weekend, she had to get accessed in her room. This made her a little nervous because the nurses in the clinic access ports all day long, so Megan is very comfortable with them. Worrying about getting her port accessed caused her to have a little anxiety, but she was able to calm herself down…and Nurse Shannon did a great job of accessing her.
I got home from the Quarryman run at about 10:30 a.m. I hurried to get cleaned up so Kenzie and I could head up to CDH to spend the day with Megan. When we got there, Megan was up in her room on the 4th floor where the nurses had brought her a portable fish tank to look at that was recently donated to the hospital. Megan was sitting in a chair mesmerized by the salt water fish that were in the tank. Soon after we arrived, I went with Deb down to the cafeteria and Kenzie hung out with Megan in her room.
One of the cool things about the 4th floor rooms is that there is a game room with a foosball table. Deb and Megan had played a game earlier, but Megan wanted all four of us to play. We ended up playing about four games before Megan’s legs started getting too tired. We all had a blast. When Megan is in the hospital, she just needs things to take her mind off of the length of her visit, and today, family and foosball did just the trick. Here are pictures of Megan and Kenzie playing a game.
After the intense foosball contest, a room opened on her usual pediatric floor, so we made the move back down. Kenzie and Megan started drawing pictures and trying to guess what each other had drawn. Unfortunately, poor Megan got her father’s severely limited artistic ability 😦 However, Kenzie was turning out picture after picture, and Megan was having a great time guessing the different characters Kenzie was drawing.
At about 4:00 p.m., we were still waiting for Megan’s hydration tests to come back so chemo hadn’t started yet. We all decided we were hungry and saw an advertisement on television for the Big Dipper Pizza from Pizza Hut, so we ordered one for delivery. Megan ate about three pieces and had a breadstick, which was great. It’s always good if she eats well just before her chemo treatments start because it gives her strength to get through those first couple days.
After the food came, I wanted to make sure Megan’s chemo got started before Kenzie and I headed for home. At about 5:30 p.m. her hydration levels were good and the chemo meds came up from the pharmacy so she could get started. Getting started so late today doesn’t bode well for a Wednesday homecoming, but we will see. Megan has proven us wrong before. For the next five days, Megan will receive an infusion of Ifosfamide followed by an infusion of Etoposide each day. After I was sure her chemo was started, Kenzie and I headed for home. Deb is going to stay with Megan tonight, and I will stay with her on Sunday night. It’s always a little sad for Megan when our family has to split up because of her hospital stays, but she was happy to know that all four of us would be together tomorrow to celebrate Mother’s Day at the hospital. Here is a picture taken of the girls just before we left the hospital.
Megan stepped into the ring for Round #8 as ready for battle as she has ever been. She knows that once she wins this round, she has a two week break coming from chemo treatments. That is her motivation right now.
Cancer is a very powerful disease, but it is nowhere near as strong as the tie that binds our family together. It is also not nearly as strong as all of the “Team Megan” supporters who continue to kindly send their thoughts and prayers to Megan on a daily basis. Megan is one of the strongest and most determined young ladies I have ever seen, but to win this battle, she needs more than her own strength. She also needs the strength of family, friends and her “Team Megan” warriors. Make no mistake…Megan is winning this battle, and when she has officially knocked out cancer, everyone who is sending their love and support to her will share in the ultimate victory. Our family could never thank all of you enough!!!
Day 1 of Round #8 is almost over. Let’s get to Day 128 and win another day…