Megan and Charlie were just a couple of years into their marriage. Megan had been experiencing excruciating chest pain; so painful she had taken herself to the ER. Her family had a history of heart problems, but all cardiac tests showed she was healthy. While watching an NFL game one Sunday, she noticed all the players wearing pink to raise awareness about breast cancer. She turned to Charlie and jokingly said, ‘Maybe I have a lump.’
It turned out, she did.
Megan was not worried. She was 27, extremely healthy, and had no history of cancer in her family. She was certain it was nothing. Two mammograms and an ultrasound later, the doctor confirmed there was something there; a biopsy showed it was stage one cancer. Megan was shocked. She had always been an athlete and never had any health problems. How could this be happening? It just didn’t make sense.
Surgery was scheduled. With further investigation, the doctors discovered the cancer had spread further than they originally thought. Just 24 hours before her surgery, it was changed from a lumpectomy, to a mastectomy. Through it all Megan was never afraid.
“I don’t ever remember being scared. I remember not wanting to lose my hair, because I knew that was coming. But I was never scared, which I credit the peace of God and the army of people praying for us.”
Megan waited more than a month to start chemotherapy because she and Charlie were very interested in starting a family Chemotherapy can cause some women to go into menopause, so they went through the process of having her eggs removed and stored.
Megan began 5 months of chemotherapy. The drugs were known as the “Red Devil” because they are so harsh. Even though the chemo was known for difficult side effects, she experienced very few side effects. It was an amazing answer to prayer.
Ten months after her diagnosis, Megan finished treatment. Her particular type of cancer fed off estrogen, so she began taking a daily pill to block estrogen, and keep the cancer from coming back. Megan and her husband fully believed, that was the end of their cancer story.
“So we waited a couple of years, and there was no cancer recurrence. Everything looked great. My health was completely restored. I even started working out again. That’s when we decided to have a baby.”
Working with her doctor, they were given the go-ahead to begin the process. Megan stopped taking the pill to suppress estrogen, and began preparing for egg implantation. Shortly before the procedure was scheduled, she began experiencing pain in her sternum.
“I had been working out really hard, so I thought maybe it was related to that. So I mentioned it to my doctor, and had an x-ray.”
The x-ray showed nothing. But Megan was still nervous because she knew that breast cancer often comes back in the bones. After talking with her oncologist, she had a bone scan. On her 30 birthday, she learned the cancer had returned. Further scans showed the cancer was also in her liver. They were one week away from the procedure to implant eggs and beginning a family.
Megan says she had always felt God near throughout her battle with cancer. But as she entered this recurrence of cancer, it seemed like every time they prayed, the opposite happened. She became very discouraged in her faith. Her confidence in God was stripped to the bare minimum. The most she could muster, was asking God to show her his love.
God was faithful to do that. Through big and small ways he continually demonstrates his extravagant love for her. And though it hasn’t taken away her cancer, it has given her peace in the midst of the battle.
“My heart is broken, but I have been filled with his peace. I am not depressed, and I know that is because of God’s love. He continually tells me to just be obedient and he will be faithful, no matter the outcome. No matter what happens, I want to say “It is well.“
Hear Megan’s inspiring story in Chapter 12 of Epic.Megan Thompson – It is well