You Gotta Believe

When you have a child fighting cancer, every holiday takes on a little extra special meaning.  Cancer forces you to see things through a new lens of appreciation where you never taking anything for granted.  I will admit that the Christmas holiday is always a little tough for our family because it was Christmas day four years ago that we first discovered the tumor on Megan’s arm that started this long and arduous journey.  Because our family has that memory etched in our minds, Deb and I work extra hard to make Christmas a very special day for the girls.  Based upon the love and joy our family shared on Christmas morning, I would say it was a rousing success.

Christmas morning also reminded me how important it was to believe.  When the girls were little, we tried so hard to make them believe in the magic of Christmas.  We would leave cookies out for Santa, and then that night after the girls went to bed, I would eat them making sure to leave some crumbs on the plate for them to see.  I would also write a thank you note from Santa with my left hand so they wouldn’t know it was me.  The look in their eyes on Christmas morning showed the magical powers of believing.  As the girls got older and Santa was no longer real to them, Christmas meant believing in something much more important.  It meant believing in the love of family and friends.  It meant believing in the importance of giving to others.  It meant believing in the power of love.  As we have experienced the last four years of Megan’s Journey, the importance of believing as taken on a whole new meaning.

As we celebrated Christmas morning in our home, we are focused on the belief that Megan is going to eventually win her battle with this evil beast.  Keeping that belief alive is more important than anything right now, because in this battle, you have to believe you are going to win.  You have to believe that you are too powerful for cancer.  You have to keep believing, because if you lose your will to win, you have lost the battle.  Thanks to Megan’s incredible determination and positive attitude (along with the amazing support from everyone on Team Megan), she has never lost her belief that she will ultimately come out of this battle victorious.  Of course there are moments when doubt creeps into her mind, but she has an uncanny ability to bounce back ready to fight another round.  I once heard it said that belief is an invisible power that comes from the mind and the heart.  After all she has been through over these past four years, Megan’s mind and heart are still as strong as ever.  If there was ever someone to believe in during this fight, it’s Megan.

Megan is currently in the midst of her 6th round of radiation.  This current treatment is a proton radiation regiment to treat the current tumor in her chest that is wrapped around her aorta.  Originally, we thought her treatment would be five to six weeks in length, but we have learned that her radiologist believes she will be finished on January 9!!!  That is great news!!!  So far, she is handling the radiation pretty well.  She has had minimal skin irritation, which is very positive.  She is having some issues with heart burn, which is something her doctor said to expect given the location of her radiation treatment.  She is usually very tired after her daily treatment, so late afternoon naps have become somewhat of a necessity for her.  However, it is refreshing to know that she has less than two weeks of treatment remaining.  Following her final treatment, it will be a couple months before the irritation heals enough to allow another scan.  In the meantime, we will be sure to celebrate her completing another leg of her journey.  You can’t enjoy today if you are worried about tomorrow, and today is far too valuable to waste.

The Christmas holiday was fantastic!  The best way to share our joy is through pictures, so here goes…

On the Saturday prior to Christmas, we were at the Bugg farm for our family Christmas. Here is the entire crew.
On Sunday, December 23, Kenzi and I went to Mundelein to pick up her new pet hedgehog. Here she is with Quilliam 🙂
Megan likes to hold Quilly as well 🙂
Christmas Eve came with a visit from Aunt Janet and Cousin Carly. It was great to have them with us over the holiday.
We also met Grandpa and Grandma Coope for Christmas Eve dinner at Aodake…Yummy!!!
Christmas day always starts with the traditional picture at the top of the stairs. This year, Sparky wanted in on the action.
Homemade cinnamon rolls and egg casserole are another Christmas tradition in our house.
No Christmas morning is complete without our annual visit from the Emerson girls 🙂
The Bugg family on Christmas Day.
We topped the week off with dinner at Uncle Julio’s with our awesome neighbors, the Emersons.
No dinner is complete without a chocolate pinata. Madison did the honors of breaking open the dessert 🙂

It’s been amazing week as we continue to celebrate the miracle of Christmas.  Here’s hoping that Megan’s Christmas miracle will come soon.  You gotta believe its going to happen!  Until next week…




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Megan is my beautiful 14 year old daughter who is currently fighting Stage 4 cancer. This is the story of her journey as told by her father.

16 thoughts on “You Gotta Believe”

  1. Megan,
    Family and friends mixed with the magic of Christmas will bring good things for you and yours. This week’s pictures “speak” loudly and reflect the Christmas magic!
    Smiles to you,
    Dr. Charles W.Birch, Morris


  2. Thank you so much for keeping us up to date about your sweet girl. You all are truly amazing in this journey…sending positive thoughts, prayers and gentle hugs!!! ❤️


  3. May 2019 be the year that Mark’s the end of this terrible disease for her. Please lord let this beautiful girl live a happy and normal life and not have to go threw anymore treatments and pain. I’m praying for you Megan and family God bless you all.


  4. Thanks for sharing your Christmas. Praying the New Year will bring good health to Megan and family. Positive thought coming your way.


  5. We watched the old movie, Miracle on 34th Street, several times in this past month. In the movie, the mother was all about common sense, but by the end, she was a believer & her life became happier because of it. We must believe, to keep daily happiness in our lives…otherwise, the weight of “the grind” becomes overwhelming. Today, your holiday traditions are beautiful. Today, your family is together. Today, there is hope. Today, there is a new year upon us all…Today, I believe. ♥️


  6. Megan you are a true inspiration for everyone young and old fighting ugly cancer your family and pets help so many of us young and old keep fighting you are in my prayers and positive thoughts daily everyone is behind you and wishes and prayers for a wonderful NewYear 2019 ❤️❤️😍😍🙏🙏💪💪💋💋


  7. You’re family has given me hope in this chaotic world we live in! The “little” things truly are the joys to be thankful for and celebrate! Thank you for sharing your most intimate moments of your life! I pray for peace, happiness and Megan’s “miracle” every day! Happiest of 2019 to all of you!


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