Journal

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Thank you to everyone for checking in with phone calls messages or dropping by for a visit! 

If you have any photos you’d like to share please feel free to send to my phone or email and I’ll upload them here. 

In times like this it helps to remember the good times and laughter created by friends.
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Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Happy Monday friends! 

Recieved my CT results and it has spread into my lymph nodes and a large rectal mass is still present. 

In the car heading to Duke now to do battle with financial aid as they are the only obstacle in the way of me being admitted. 

Love to all ❤️

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Well surgery tomorrow. 

The official diagnosis: Stage 3 advanced colorectal cancer. Dammit lol!

Currently waiting in the doctors office which seems to being taking for ever but in reality it’s been 15 minutes. Then hopping over to the hospital to be admitted for my colostomy surgery tomorrow afternoon.  


Best part though, tomorrow night I can eat anything I want! 

I gotta say Duke really has it together I’ve been here 2 hours and have seen 3 doctors and gotten my plan of attack for Harold. Unfortunately this will be a 4-5 month process involving chemo radiation and finally surgery to remove Harold but soon the end will be in sight. Also once I leave the hospital we will be traveling to moms house in Asheville to begin my chemotherapy but will be in excellent hands and being well fed as moms cooking is the best. Keep those prayers coming guys and FaceTimes, cards and snacks are always appreciated ;) If you would like to send cards or letters moms address is 95 Fox Creek Drive Fletcher NC 28732 

Love to all ❤️

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

The day began early and rainy, but the promise of a surgery that could improve Meghan's life as our new normal approaches unwillingly, was worth my meeting her with a bright smile that shone with hope. Her mood did not match mine. 
Surgery was scheduled for the 9:00a.m. hour, which came and went, as did noon. Her anxiety level rose as the waiting and the day grew longer. Finally, about 2:30 she was wheeled to be prepped for a quick, but dreaded operation to help to clear her small intestine and provide a way to digest and get rid of waste before reaching Harold. The ileostomy was a success and Meghan did very well during and after the surgery. That's great news, but even better news is that her liver is healthy, with no obvious sign of cancer. We rejoice! 
We have many blessings to thank God for today. Good news from the surgeon, loving and fervent prayers from friends, family and strangers, a place to stay with generous friends while Meghan is cared for in Durham and so much more! 
We've met a community of people that have formed a bond though they don't know each others' names, who so freely share their stories of healing and faith and offer prayers, advise and love even though they have just met you. There is the medical team of doctors and nurses that are so focused, genuinely caring, brilliant and diligent to treat Meghan and so many others like her in this newly found community, with kind healing hearts and skilled hands.
Then there are the angels among us who aren't noticed so much. Our angel shines brilliantly in our hearts because she knows how the system works for patients who are trying to successfully navigate in the health care world. She has been vital in making the difference to help us expedite and guide us through this complicated and overwhelming  process. This unselfish gift of kindness might just be the thing that proves to save our daughter's life.Thank you for everything, Emily! We will never be able to repay you.
With thanks, love and the presence of grace and mercy to all,
Debbie

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Survived the night. Anesthesia was rough right after surgery but woke up this morning much more alert and HUNGRY!

Harold is being good and so far no pain just little soreness from incision sites.

Hospital food sucks. But just thankful I’m actually allowed to eat!

Chemo is scheduled to start maybe even by the end of next week so this process could even be shortened to 3 months. Fingers crossed 🤞🏽🤞🏽

Hopefully also getting discharged since everything is going as planned, then we can head home to Asheville and maybe even receive some visitors!

Love ❤️

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Someone please invent a time machine and a strong anti nausea pill for smells 🤢 

Made it to moms finally but yesterday towards the end was brutal. Part of me wanted to cry scream and be angry while the other half wanted to just go to sleep.

Since this was my first major surgery no one told me the after effects or how sore I would be once everything wore off. Also thanks to my lovely body anything stronger than Tylenol I expell right back up. Fabulous. 

Day 2 out of 150..... suddenly the road seems to have gotten much longer.

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Day began at 6:00 and we're still here in Duke Oncology waiting for Meghan's first cancer chemotherapy. It's 2:30. Ugh...
Our news was not great news today. The cancer is deemed very aggressive and there will be another chemo drug added to the regimen. That makes three drugs, for 4 months, every other Tuesday. We are confident with the tumor team here at Duke and we are ready to fight! Please join our fight to eradicate Harold! 

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Mom gave her version of yesterday. Now I’ll give mine lol.

First things first. Harold’s a little bitch excuse my language. He’s now entered my cervix in less than one week so we are upping my dosage to 3 aggressive chemo drugs. This does decrease my chances to 50/50 but I’ve got to fight. We have found out that this type cancer is genetic and I was doomed the day I was born unfortunately. But once we get the specific genetic test back we will know much more.

Woke up at 6:30 and started out bright and early for what was supposed to be a 7 hour day. 

Labs were a breeze bright and early at 7:30 and rolling along once I convinced the nurse my tiny ass veins needed a butterfly needle. 

Took the shuttle over to the hospital and checked in for port surgery. Which for the life of me idk why they didn’t put in last week when I was under. That plus a small doctor check in took way longer than expected so missed my 11:30 check in time for chemo 🤦🏽‍♀️  

Finally at 3pm (which I was supposed to be leaving the hospital) I was happily content and settled into my treatment room armed with apples juice gold fish and a 6 inch cold cut trio! Unfortunately the 2 drugs took 3.5 hours to push and had to stop do to an allergic reaction and wait 20 minutes to begin again. Then at 7:30 my take home chemo arrived and we got instructions and a very unfashionable carrying pouch to hold my little ball of chemo. 

8:45 and 14 hours later my head finally hit the pillow and woke up bright and early to hit the road home for Asheville! Visitors are welcomed so please reach out!


❤️❤️❤️

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Yesterday was a good day. Meghan had a visit from her friend Jared. She was able to feel her almost normal self for a short time, not the new normal that she is unfortunately being introduced to in the cancer club. Cinnamon rolls and raspberry filled donuts brightened her day, with conversation from her best friend. The day tired her out, but so worth the time!

Today was not as comfortable. Harold screamed and hammered, while post chemo malaise racked her little body. Thank you for the family visits from the day and for the prayers offered here at home with us and from wherever you are now.
We're counting down the treatment time as the hoped for end to this evil disease; six months of treatment out of 30 years of Meghan's life. Six months is a small sliver of time in 30 years of living. Help us count down these treatment days to bring restored health. Please pray with us for healing health, strength, comfort and peace. 
And as always, still damning that tumor. Harold, you demon!!! Be gone! 😠🤬

Journal entry by Meghan McGinnis

Alright! Whew lots to update on. 

Long story short I earned myself 2 6+day stays in the hospital recently due to my rectovaginal fistula output. We hopefully, fingers crossed, have it under control and are monitoring the output daily. I am currently still on TPN (22 days now of non eating) and a drug called octreotide, might need to check the spelling on that. But we are staying strong in hopes this will heal the fistula as much as it can. It will not fully heal and my never full heal but the goal is to shrink it as much as possible. Although 2mm is an awfully small hole to shrink it takes months. I also am being treating for anxiety/ptsd due to this wonderful fistula because it was so bad I couldn’t even get out of bed and I now panic at the slight thing wrong. 

I met with my surgeon and he was willing to due an exploratory surgery but after sleeping on it I opted against it knowing I could do more harm than good. 

Huge shout out to all my nurses this past week and days I was in the hospital! They were all amazing and bummed to see me for a second stay literally one day after I was discharged but all part of the journey.

As always friend I ask for continued prayers and more prayers. These past few weeks have been so stressful and disheartening it’s been a challenge. 

❤️❤️❤️

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Meghan’s Story

Site created on February 23, 2019

My beautiful daughter is 30 years old and she has colorectal cancer. She loves life, her family, her boyfriend, her job! She works out, pays her taxes, is kind to animals, and works very hard just as she was taught. These were some of the words that she tearfully said to me when she realized that she was indeed very ill and she was coming to the realization that she might possibly have cancer. What do you say to this wonderful lady that you so lovingly reared to love God and believe in what is good and right? Everything is not alright. Our world has gone very wrong!
This Caringbridge site will be penned by Meghan and me, her mama, Debbie. Our journey in the story of this horrid nightmare is just beginning. 
On February 15, 2019 Meghan was scheduled for a colonoscopy. This procedure was finally happening after about six weeks since the consultation with a GI. Being 30 years old, I'm not really sure that her symptoms were taken seriously by this specialist. The laborious pain grew and mounted within her, but she so hopefully and bravely yearned for this procedure to end the waiting and the pain with an answer that might give a glimmer of hope that everything would be okay after this grueling task was completed. Instead, the colonoscopy was aborted quickly as a tumor was blocking the scope's entry just beyond the rectum. She was met by medical staff with concerned faces relaying news that her brain processed, but that her heart could not fathom. Four days later, the words were spoken, CANCER. And she voiced the words, 'I'm 30 and I have cancer.' 
We are ready for the fight. That tumor has been dubbed 'Harold' and he is NOT welcome. Be gone, Harold!!!!

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