Hollywood and the Hospital

Remember how I said fighting childhood cancer was like riding the biggest baddest roller coaster ever?  Well…this past week we experienced that roller coaster ride to the Nth degree.

Our family had big plans over winter break.  Kenzi’s Wisconsin Badgers were playing in the Rose Bowl, and she was able to secure four tickets for our family.  So on Monday, December 30th our family flew out of O’Hare to head to sunny Los Angeles…which just so happens to be Megan’s favorite place to visit.  We were all so excited for our trip, and since Kenzi is getting older, we treasure the times we can travel together as a family.  Here are some pictures of the happy times we had on the first few days of our vacation.

Here are the girls at the house we stayed at in LA. They were both excited for our upcoming adventures.
Megan was able to meet up with her good friend, and fellow teenage cancer warrior, Sophia. It was so good to see the two of them healthy and together.

On New Year’s Eve, we went to the Los Angeles Zoo Holiday Light show.  It was so much fun!





We also found time to make a quick shopping trip to The Grove.


On the morning of New Year’s Day, we made drive to Megan’s favorite donut place in LA…DK Donuts in Santa Monica.  As usual, it didn’t disappoint.

Then it was off to watch the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl.  Although they lost a heart breaker 28-27, we still had so much fun.





We were all exhausted after the Rose Bowl game, so we headed back to where we were staying to get some sleep.  That night, Megan called us into her bedroom at 12:30 a.m. to let us know that she had some abdominal pain.  This is nothing new for Megan as she has dealt with the same upper abdominal pain for the past three years.  Usually it is fairly intense for about three hours and then she is okay.  However, this time it didn’t go away.  Finally, at about 9:00 a.m. she was in so much pain that we took her to the emergency room at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in LA.  By the time she was in the emergency room for a couple hours, she was in agony and not even morphine helped with the pain.


She finally got up to a regular room and they ran a CT scan which came back normal.  She went under anesthesia the next day for an endoscopy, which also came back normal.  Then they completed an ultrasound which showed the stones in her gallbladder.  They finally decided to take her gallbladder out, but in the meantime, the pain only intensified.  Further blood tests showed that she most likely had stones that had moved from her gallbladder to her bile duct, which would necessitate a second surgery.  After consulting with the surgical team, they decided to do the bile duct surgery first followed by the gallbladder removal surgery, which both finally happened today.  In between her initial admittance to the emergency room and her surgery today, she went through nearly four days of the most intense pain I have ever seen.  It seemed like no amount of pain medication took the edge off.  There were so many times that she would cry out because she was in so much pain, which for Megan means she was really hurting, because over the past five years she has developed quite the high tolerance for pain.  In her own words, she has never experienced pain like that before, and as a parent, it was so hard to watch her struggling…especially considering everything else she has been through for the past five years.

Finally, she completed both surgeries today and mercifully she is out of that severe pain.  Now she just has to recover from the surgical procedures.  On the bright side, both doctors said they saw no signs of cancer in her abdominal area, which is something Megan was really worried about.

Here she is finally taking her first bite of food in three days.


It was a very rough last few days, and today was extremely taxing, but hopefully there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.  We were supposed to fly home on Friday, but obviously that didn’t happen.  Megan is so anxious to get home, so hopefully we are able to get her home by Wednesday.  All things considered, it could have been worse.

Sometimes that roller coaster ride is completely overwhelming.  The good news is, we always seem to be able to follow Megan’s lead and make it off the ride in good enough shape to buckle up again and see what tomorrow brings.  Hopefully Megan can get to the comforts of home and back to her Boo Boo Kitty soon.  Here is one last look at the highs and lows of this journey.  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.

40 thoughts on “Hollywood and the Hospital”

  1. So sorry you had to go through this Megan. I pray all will be back to you feeling better soon. You are an amazing young lady. May God go with you always.


  2. We feel so bad for Megan and the entire Bugg family. She can’t caught a break. Thankfully there was not signs of cancer and glad that you all got to enjoy the game.
    God Bless,
    Harold & Faye Holsinger


  3. Bless you all abundantly!! I will continue to pray for strength and healing. I’m grateful for the great fun you had initially and sorry about the illness with extreme pain. Now that’s out of the way, no cancer was spotted, so we ask you, Heavenly Father, that Megan’s 2020 will improve greatly and be a healthy and happy one.


  4. So sorry Megan had to go through the gallbladder surgery. Thank God it was a success & no cancer was found there. I hope you get home soon. Those dark circles around her eyes make my heart hurt for that beautiful lady. Stay strong sweet girl!


  5. Poor Megan! Glad she got to have some fun before the gall bladder surgeries. Wishing her a smooth recovery and an easy flight home to her pets and the comfort of her own home. Always praying…


  6. I’m sorry for your pain and surgeries Megan. I will be praying for your safe return home and recovery. God Bless sweet warrior.


  7. I am glad that her care was excellent and that her gallbladder is history. Hopefully this will eliminate her ongoing abdominal pain.
    My prayers continue for Megan and your family.


  8. So sorry that you had to go through the pain and surgery. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy your days before. You are in my prayers everyday.


  9. Glad you all got to experience a Rose Bowl (especially when it’s “your” team playing) but so sorry about the gallbladder CBD blockage. Used to assist w/these all the time, I’m guessing all laparoscopic/endoscopic so hopefully all goes well, Megan feels much, much better, and you’ll all be home ASAP. Cedars-Sinai is great too! 🤞🙏


  10. Aww sweet girl… you’re a trooper!! Glad all went well but so sorry you had to endure so much pain after such a great time. Sending healing vibes….❤️🙏


  11. So sorry for this snag in the road to recovery. Having had gall bladder attacks, I know that there is no way to get comfortable. I hope this means the abdominal pain is gone forever. Best wishes for an easy flight home. The rest of your trip looked like great fun.


  12. Breaks my heart you have to go through one more thing, but again you do it with such grace and strength. I pray you heal quickly with no complications and are able to return home soon.


  13. Megan, you poor baby. Sounds horrible what you had to endure so far from home. Good thing there are excellent hospitals where you were and your family was with by you. i’m also sure I will pray for your speedy recovery. 🙏🙏
    Stay strong!!


  14. You never get a break. You are such a fighter and role model for never giving up. Safe travel home. The Bugg family is always in our prayers.


  15. I’m so sorry this all happened, it’s heartbreaking to read. That said, so glad that things are looking up and that surgery is in the past. Sending prayers for quick healing.


  16. Hurry home, sorry this happened, but won’t anymore. Glad gallbladder is gone. Safe travels. There’s no place like home. Love you all


  17. Wow!! So sorry you all had such a scary experience!! Hopefully you can get home soon! Megan praying for a quick recovery!! Stay strong Bugg family🙏🏻


  18. What an experience for you Megan.
    Fun and then all the pain and surgeries. You are so strong and we all admire your strength. Hope you are on the road to recovery and will soon be home with your furr babies! Home is where we want to be! Safe travels.


  19. come on…this just isn’t right..having said that I will follow Megan and am grateful & happy you all enjoyed the first days of your trip..also great to hear CT scan showed no other problems..this will be the end of abdominal pains..I wish Megan a speedy recovery & safe travels home..God Bless.


  20. It definitely is that roller coaster ride you speak of, with no choice but to hang on tight. Sending loving hugs to all of you…boo boo kitty will be waiting to cuddle you up Megan. ♥️♥️♥️♥️


    1. Always praying for sweet Megan and your family extra prayers sent for her recovery and a safe trip home🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻


  21. God bless Megan you and your family have to be so special . I hope things will be alot better when you get home. Always on our prayers.


  22. Hoping for a speedy recovery! Boo Boo Kitty will be so excited to see you when you get hope. You are a super strong young lady what a inspiration to all.


  23. Girl you never can catch a break. I understand the gallbladder pain. I had mine out several years ago. Now my sister is going through the same thing. But they won’t take hers out until they can get her uti cleared up! I hope you get feeling good again real quick!


  24. Praying always for you and your family.
    When I Looked at the last picture of you laying in bed it looks like the pillows are angel wings. Your guardian angel has her arms wrapped around you.


  25. Megan,
    Home is where all the “hearts” and Boo Boo Kitty are, awaiting your return.
    Smiles to you,
    Dr. Charles W. Birch, Morris, Illinois


  26. I really do not know how you have stood up and faced all your challenges head on. You are quite the fighter Megan Bugg! Prayers to you and your family.


  27. Hang in there baby girl. You are strongest and bravest young lady I have come to know. I hope you get to feeling better and that beautiful smile of yours returns soon.


  28. Oh my…what a week. I’m glad the intense pain is gone, and Megan, I am praying that you heal well from the surgeries. Sending love and hugs….❤️❤️


  29. So glad you were at a great hospital and that you got to do fun things before the gallbladder attack. Super happy no cancer found, you are my IDOL Megan, if anyone can persevere it’s you. You’ve shown me what strength truly is. I’m praying this is your time to kick cancer’s butt and show them whose boss. Much love, hugs and prayers.❤❤❤🙏


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