Over the past four years, we have traveled Megan’s Journey with her as she has fought with everything she’s got against this evil disease. Although this has been the most trying time of our lives, Megan’s Journey has taught our family some very important lessons about life. We have learned the importance of savoring each and every beautiful moment that life presents to us. We have learned to live in the moment without lamenting the past or fearing the future. We have learned that the good in the world far outweighs the bad. We have learned that if you really want something, you have to be willing to fight for it. We have learned that when life deals you a bad hand, you can still win if you just stay in the game. Most importantly, we have learned to treasure the time we get to spend together as a family, and that was readily apparent as we celebrated a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The week got off to a great start as Kenzi made it home from college on Tuesday night. When she walked in the door, we had the dinner she requested on the table. It was so enjoyable for all of us to be able to sit around the table at supper and catch up with one another. Kenzi has been working so hard at school this semester, so she was definitely ready for a home cooked meal, some time with family, and of course…it didn’t take her long to catch up with Willow. Willow is the kitten Kenzi gave to Megan last Christmas, which if you ask Megan, she will quickly tell you that Willow is the best Christmas gift she has ever received!!! I can’t tell you how many times Megan’s anxiety has started to become overwhelming, but then that kitten jumps up on her lap and suddenly the fear disappears. Mom and Dad were not so sure another kitten in the house was a good idea, but sisters know best!!!
Of course, Kenzi had to catch up with Sparky too 🙂
Right after supper on Tuesday, Megan had to head to the high school for a rehearsal. She works at the Broadway Dance Studio in town and every year, they put on a Christmas show to raise funds for needy families in our community. The benefit show is essentially an original musical performance featuring the dancers from the studio. Since Megan works at the dance studio, she was asked to play a small part in the production. Megan has had a great time hanging out with the dancers and performers as they rehearsed for the show. The actual performances were on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. We were able to attend the Saturday night show, which was lots of fun. Many of the CCHS theater alumni were in the show, which was exciting for Kenzi because she performed with many of them when she was in high school. Megan did an awesome job on her part of the show!!!
On Wednesday, the girls helped us prepare food to take to Grandpa and Grandma Bugg’s farm for Thanksgiving day. We were also excited to pick up my sister Amy and her friend Ed from the airport in Chicago. They flew in from Omaha and then drove down to the farm with us. It was so good to spend time with Aunt Amy. On Wednesday evening, Kenzi had her basketball friends, Maddie, Cali and Kenady stop over and they spent the night cracking us all up as they reminisced with some incredibly funny high school stories.
On Thanksgiving day, we made the three hour journey to Grandpa and Grandma Bugg’s farm where we celebrated with an awesome lunch. It was so good to see so many of our family members there. I was so busy working in the kitchen and then chatting after we ate that I did a terrible job of taking pictures, but here are a few from our Thanksgiving day on the farm.
On Friday, we hosted Deb’s Uncle Jim, his son Aaron and his grandson Mike for a traditional Greek dinner of Greek salad, avgolemono soup, and spanakopita. With Deb’s family being of Greek descent, I have had to become adept at cooking the authentic food her family enjoys. Of course, once again I was terrible about taking pictures, so you will have to trust me that we had a great time. Aaron even got my snowblower running for me, so I definitely owe him one!!! Later that afternoon, Grandpa Coope and Grandma Judy stopped over for a quick visit because they wanted to see Kenzi before she left. We enjoyed an awesome pecan pie cheesecake that Megan made. It was so good!!!
After a relaxing day on Saturday, Kenzi had to leave earlier than she had planned on Sunday to beat the pending bad weather. After lunch, she headed back to the University of Wisconsin to finish off the final three and half weeks of her semester. She comes home again on December 20 for the Christmas holiday and we can’t wait to have our family back together again!
Last week, Megan traveled over to Dwight Elementary School to pick up some toys from a toy drive their school held. They graciously donated all of the toys they collected to the pediatric patients at Central DuPage Hospital, which is where Megan goes for treatment. there is nothing worse than being in the hospital over Christmas, so I know that these toys will really brighten the day for some of these brave warriors. Megan is so excited to drop off the toys this week at the hospital. Here is a picture of Megan with the kind people at Dwight Elementary School.
Although our Thanksgiving holiday was amazing, it is quickly back to the grind this week. On Monday morning, Megan goes back to CDH for the follow-up CT scan on her chest. Her doctors have been monitoring a suspicious mass in her chest which is precariously located near her aorta. She has had a couple different scans, and although the mass continues to present itself, it is located in a spot where the doctors cannot get a biopsy. Luckily, the mass has been growing very slowly, and without a biopsy, it is impossible to know for sure whether or not it is a recurrence of her ARMS. Following her scan tomorrow morning, we will be on pins and needles waiting for the results to come back…but that is the life of a cancer survivor. We will need everyone on Team Megan to send positive thoughts at 11:30 a.m. on Monday as Megan goes in for her scan. She is such a strong young lady, but these scans can fill even the bravest of souls with fear. We will continue to think positive and believe that Megan’s determination and will to win will keep the beast at bay.
I hope all of you had a tremendous Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Here’s to a holiday season filled with love, joy and happiness!!! Until next week…