Mandy is 37 years old, married and the mother of two adorable little girls. She was born and raised in Escondido, California, and still resides in that community with her young family. She is now beginning a journey to battle invasive, stage 4, metastatic breast cancer. For most of her adult life, Mandy has generously shared herself and her many gifts with countless other people in her role as a massage therapist, holistic health practitioner, women's healthcare advocate, and childbirth facilitator (not to mention being a great wife, friend and mother). Now it is time for those who care about Mandy and her family to provide financial and emotional support while she navigates the long and difficult road to restored health and well-being.
During this journey, Mandy's immune system will be severely compromised so her oncologist has strongly recommended that Mandy cease working immediately in order to focus on her treatment and recovery. Since Mandy's family depends on the income from her massage therapy practice, this will obviously have a negative financial impact on them. In addition, during the coming months, the McGaugh family will incur substantially increased medical expenses for her cancer treatments and related healthcare, as well as increased daily living expenses for such things as childcare, meals and transportation while Mandy is dealing with the effects of her illness and its treatment.
If you can contribute to the support of Mandy and her family during this difficult time, it will be greatly appreciated! If you would like to learn more about Mandy, her diagnosis and treatment, please continue reading or refer to her CaringBridge.org website. Thank you.
As of September 2018, after extensive imaging and multiple biopsies, Mandy was diagnosed with stage III, grade 3, invasive breast cancer. Further testing subsequently revealed that the cancer had spread to other regions of her body, including the bones of her spine, so her diagnosis changed to stage IV metastatic breast cancer. The cancer is referred to as an invasive ductal carcinoma. It began in the milk ducts just behind the right nipple, broke through the cell wall into the body of the breast to form tumors, and then proceeded into the nodes. We know that Mandy has tested positive for the three main identifiers of this form of breast cancer; HER2+, ER+, and PR+. In short, while the diagnosis of HER2+ in previous generations would have been dismal, specific chemotherapy treatments have recently been adapted to treat this rapidly growing form of cancer and can be highly effective. The ER+ and PR+ identifiers refer to the cancer cells still having hormonal receptors in tact, like that of the original breast tissue cells, and mean that Mandy will be a candidate for various hormone therapies, if need be, following the first courses of treatment.
Mandy's team of physicians have concluded that the best course of action will be to receive intravenous HER2 targeted chemotherapy every week, probably for the rest of her life, in an effort to eradicate as much of the existing cancer as possible and keep it from spreading further. Genetic testing is under way to determine her level of risk with various mutations and/or level of hereditary predisposition. By recommendation of her oncologist, Mandy has been asked to stop working all together during this intense chemotherapy protocol. The nature of Mandy's work as a massage therapist puts her immune system at a heightened risk for exposure to bacterial infection. She will need to focus all of her time and energy on protecting and healing herself, rather than helping others heal.
While developing this form of aggressive cancer at the age of 37 is quite rare, Mandy's vibrant community of wellness practitioners and medical professionals are acting swiftly to best understand and treat her prognosis. She has already begun a heavy regimen of various medicinal plants and mushrooms, known for their immune-enhancing and anti-cancer effects, as well as thoroughly evaluating her nutrition. Mandy and family have been working closely with her aunt, Sharon Disney, a gifted Clinical Hypnotherapist, to alleviate fears and emotional stress during this time while also activating her body's innate wisdom to eliminate the cancer.
Various forms of treatment for Mandy, as well as diagnostic tests to assess her progress, will be ongoing in the coming months, however, this digital space will provide a safe place for you to keep abreast (let's keep our humor here!) of all that arises throughout Mandy's healing journey. Thank you for visiting and please feel free to share this website with anyone you feel called to.
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Fundraising team: Mandy's Support Team (3)
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