Last week we shared Part 1 of Megan’s survivor insight. We are all happy to see the community’s response to Megan H. and would like to thank her again for sharing with all of us. Her last name is being withheld over privacy concerns.
Can you tell us more about your support network?
All my life, I have always had an amazing support network. My parents, grandparents and three younger siblings have always been very involved in my life. I have only been diagnosed since August 9th, and not only my family, but my whole hometown community has come together.
The funeral home I work for in Louisville has been so supportive. They allowed me to come in late on the days I wasn’t feeling well, leave a little early or split my days. I can work four hours in the morning, go home and take a nap and come back and work the evening visitation. They have been very helpful in helping me organizing my medical bills because my office manager is a three-time cancer survivor. They allowed me to take time off for doctor appointments and make up my time in other ways. I work with the most amazing, compassionate people I have ever met.
My family has been there every step of the way. My mom took two weeks off and spent every day at the hospital with me. My dad was back and forth because he still had to work and be home with my two youngest siblings who are still in high school. My parents moved me back home with them, which is three hours north of Louisville, for the time being while I get my health back on track. I had a few special people who paid my bills at my Louisville apartment so I did not have to worry about packing and moving when I left the hospital. I have been very blessed with an amazing set of family and friends.
I have had a family member start a Thirty-One “party,” of which I will get 20 percent of the proceeds. Also, the Dairy Queen I worked at while in high school is doing a benefit event in the near future, where 10 percent of what they make that night will go into my account. My best friend of 14 years, and her fiancé who owns a gym in Elwood, will be sponsoring a bowl-a-thon at our local bowling alley. And last weekend, my maternal grandmother put together a benefit rummage sale at our church. With donations from the community, we were able to collect almost $2,200. The day I was released from the hospital, one of my mom’s friends hosted a walk-a-thon, raised some money and donated it into my benefit account at our local bank. In a few weeks, the Optimist and Lions Club will be hosting a chicken noodle dinner with the proceeds going toward my medical expenses.
I am from a small town of about 10,000 people, and a very close knit community at that. My family has been very involved in the community and we are pretty well-known in Elwood. The generosity of everyone I have encountered has been amazing, even from complete strangers. I have been very blessed, and God has been amazing.
If your cancer wasn’t caused by asbestos, have doctors found the cause?
At the moment, my doctors have not been able to give me an answer to this question.
My case of mesothelioma is mild compared to those of other patients that I have spoken with. Of course, everyone I have spoken with had mesothelioma that stemmed from asbestos, and mine had not. Dr. Scoggins reminded me that no two cases are alike.
If you have any more questions, feel free to send them my way! I will be more than happy to share my story! I want to help raise awareness of such a delicate topic and share my story along the way.
I have also written journal entries, sometimes two or three a day. It has helped me focus on my thoughts while allowing all of my family and friends to stay updated.
You can read Megan’s final blog with us here. We would like to send our gratitude to Megan for sharing her journey with a rare form of mesothelioma cancer. Stories from the community are great for helping others through tough times. If you would like to share your story please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.