So Megan did a thing earlier today! Check out the pictures on Feel the Teal Facebook page.
It all started about 6 months after Megan and Nick celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary. Megan was at work one day and suddenly she just collapsed. Unknown to her and everyone else this was the beginning of a lifelong battle. She saw a variety of doctors before settling in with Dr. Suri, a Gynecological Oncologist. In February 2016 she had her right ovary and fallopian tube removed due to a granulosa cell tumor.
This is a rare, slow growing cancer that accounts for about 2% of ovarian cancers.
Dr. Suri was very confident in the success of the surgery and prognosis for Megan. She would continue to see Dr. Suri for regular checkups and fertility questions for the next 3 years. The Christmas after she had her right ovary removed they received an amazing present, her and Nick were PREGNANT! That dream ultimately never came true. Just as fast as they learned they were expecting, it was taken away from them. They were beginning to think that maybe it just wasn't in the cards for them. Fertility treatments are expensive and not normally covered by regular insurance. She continued to see Dr. Suri who kept an eye out to see if the cancer returned and to help do what he could to increase her chances of getting pregnant again. There were never any red flags during any of her visits with Dr. Suri.
Enter COVID-19 Pandemic
At the start of the pandemic in the US, Megan was suffering from seasonal allergies, which anyone from southeast Texas would understand. The company she worked for would not allow her to come in for 2 weeks and during that time she was laid off. She is now without a job and health insurance. They knew she had a history of ovarian cancer and it seemed like they wanted to eliminate any liabilities from the company. She had to fight and appeal just to get unemployment benefits. 2020 was the only year that Megan was unable to keep her appointments with Dr. Suri. Apparently that single year was enough to bring her to this point....
On June 28, 2021 Megan was in excruciating pain. Jen drove her to an emergency room in Conroe but they were packed to the max with people waiting hours. Jen, seeing her friend in so much pain, did something unusual, she ended up taking her to an orthopedic emergency room. They worked with Dr. Suri to get her transported to the Medical Center in Houston. They did a CT scan and provided some pain control to help her get some relief. Eventually a bed opened up at Baylor St. Luke's Med Center. She was taken via an ambulance from Conroe to Baylor St. Luke for admittance on June 29th. Her treatment was turned over to Dr. Sunde upon arrival in the Med Center. They determined that she has a 16 cm tumor located on her left and only ovary. Then with more tests being performed they also located what appears to be a 10 cm tumor behind the 16 cm tumor. So now this slow growing cancer has developed 2 tumors in about a year. She was told she needed a total hysterectomy at the age of 36. They gave her the option to possibly keep her uterus but it is safer to have it all removed. She decided to have it all removed. This will lessen the likelihood that it returns.
They explained to her that in order to be as thorough as possible they will need to have an open incision instead of laparoscopic. They are going to biopsy her lymph nodes, abdominal wall and anywhere else that may have been infiltrated by the cancerous cells. They are sending everything to pathology and will not end the surgery without some results. This extensive and invasive surgery is not for the faint of heart. She will be kept in the hospital for several days following this surgery, and she will have at least 6 weeks of recovery. Until the surgery and the pathologist results are completed we have no idea what treatment will be needed after she is discharged from the hospital. We hope and pray that the biopsies come back negative and that the cancer is limited to the 2 tumors located on the left ovary and that no further treatment is needed. We are just wading around in a pool of unknown until everything is finished.
I sincerely hope that Megan's story has touched your heart and filled you with the need to help. She can use any type of help from anyone. From prayers, casseroles for her when she gets home or any donation that you can spare.
Ovarian cancer is not nearly talked about enough. As women, our ovaries are a crucial part of our super power! More awareness is needed for this type of cancer. It is not detectable during yearly exams and the symptoms are often similar to a large number of other more common issues. If you take anything away from her story it needs to be to SPEAK UP! You are your best advocate and make sure you tell your medical professional about any issues you have no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
Megan was never transferred to downtown because they put the COVID restrictions back in place. She is doing well and VERY HANGRY LOL
She had another ERCP done today in the Woodlands with much better results. The doctor found numerous gallstones and sludge in the gallbladder and duct. He placed another stent and they will be removing her gallbladder at 7:30 am tomorrow.
He found that she has a very narrow opening in the “Y” section of the duct and will need to have a Spyglass procedure completed at Baylor St. Luke within the next 2 months.
So the ERCP was somewhat successful. The doctor was able to place a stent in the main bile duct to help with the small stones and “sludge” he found. He wasn’t able to remove the blockage from the pancreatic duct for fear it may get perforated due to how it is situated. She will be staying overnight until she can be transferred (AGAIN) to Baylor St. Luke’s in the Medical Center. Once she is there the ERCP will be repeated with more advanced technology that they have at their disposal. They hope that this will make it possible for them to remove the blockage. She did get some relief from the stent placement so YAY for that, and hopefully the transfer can be done quickly.
Thank y’all for all the love and prayers! You guys are truly amazing. I’ll post an update once they finish the second attempt to remove the blockage.
Megan is going to have an ERCP today. She has gallstones in her main bile duct down towards her pancreas which is #1 priority. They will probably place a stent or the byproducts of the liver will continue to back up and into her pancreas which equals pancreatitis. Once all that settles down they may remove her gallbladder at a later date. The pancreas is what they have to protect right now.
*ERCP is similar to a heart cath, except they go in through the mouth.
She has an obstruction in the common bile duct of her liver, they ordered a stat MRI to find the exact location because you can’t tell with a CT. She will be staying overnight at least, so she may have her gallbladder removed if a gallstone is what is causing the blockage. She is going to be seen by a GI doctor, and her Oncologist is still involved with her care because of the recent cancer.
Megan is going to see her oncologist today to make sure everything is ready to go for her to start chemotherapy. She is getting her port placed on July 26 and should start her first round of chemotherapy a week later. She will have 6 sessions of chemo during the 18-week schedule. That means she has to go in every 3 weeks and have her 5 hour long chemotherapy treatment.
She was told that it is a strong version of chemo and that she will more than likely have all the normal side effects that come with it. She decided to seize what little control she has during this turbulent time. After her first round of chemotherapy, she has chosen to have her hair cut. She wants it to be done on her terms and not because the chemo gives her no other choice.
No one can take her place during this obstacle she is facing, but we can all come together and be whatever she needs us to be.
Megan's surgery was as successful as could be. The sizes were confirmed to be 16cm and 10 cm. The 10 cm mass was attached to other tissue which caused the doctors to reconstruct and repair anywhere it had adhered to. She will do a round of chemotherapy starting after her 6 weeks of recovery. The chemo will be a total of 6 treatments every 3 weeks for 3-5 months depending on her white blood cell count. She will get more definite information at her 2 week post-operation check up.
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