My name is Meaghan Murphy.
Two and a half months ago I was brought to emergency at St. Boniface Hospital after a nice night out playing games with friends. I had been experiencing some abdominal pain, and since being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease from age 16 (I'm 35 now), I am used to managing and tolerating high levels of discomfort and pain. The reason I went to emergency is because it had reached a point where I was unable to handle it anymore and felt like it may be more severe than what I had been used to. Luckily, my friend Emily (an ER nurse) encouraged me to go and assured me that although it might be a bit of a wait, I needed pain relief and tests to determine the diagnosis.
I was admitted on April 18th early a.m. and was taken for a CT scan first thing in the morning.
By 11a.m. I was told that i had cancer, they had found some sizeable tumors and there was spread. I would need surgery right away.
I was in shock. I had been receiving morphine for the pain and it certainly helped to numb any feeling I had other than the need to let my loved ones know.
I let my Mom and Dad know and it was certainly the hardest thing I've ever had to tell them. I had friends who came to be with me right away.
Everything that followed leading up to the surgery was a blur. I had tests, procedures, and surgery preparation.
The outpour of support and visits I got from friends was truly amazing. How did I get so lucky?
I went in for surgery on April 20th. I had my colon, part of intestines, and a large part of my stomach removed. The cancer had spread to my liver and was inoperable.
I made it through the surgery and now have an ileostomy as a result.
It was now time to rest and recover, and to heal until the next steps could be discussed.
On April 23 I was running a fever and showing signs of infection and was rushed to surgery again. They removed a large quantity of blood in my abdominal area and I received a blood transfusion.
I was in recovery again, and again starting to mend.
I slowly made it back, was stable, and was learning and adjusting to a new lifestyle I would have to live (ileostomy, diet, etc.)
I was released from the hospital just over 2 weeks after I had been admitted.
I was healing ok and managing the pain. I had a lot of help from my family and friends.
I went to see my Oncologist for the first time and it was made known to me the severity of my situation.
I was told that I would have 6 months to live without treatment, and 2 years to live if I chose to undergo chemotherapy. I chose life. I chose chemo. I had a little cry but since then I am surrounded by wonderful, loving people, and I choose to remain positive and happy.
I am doing everything I can to remain focused on my health and treatment while still being able to do the things I love and spend time with all of the wonderful people in my life.
I am tolerating the chemo okay, and I am taking morphine to manage the daily abdominal pain I feel. I have been in and out of emergency a few times, but i am pushing forward.
I feel worse every day that passes. I am battling more fatigue than ever, and struggle with dizziness/fainting. I am thankful that I still feel able to enjoy each day.
Asking for help is not easy. It is extremely hard. And I certainly do not want anyone to feel obligated.
I will be selling some possessions I hold dear to trade for life experiences. There are a few things I would like to do and I am asking for help with them.
I would like to travel a bit. I want to swim in the ocean once more. I want to go see some of the bands I adore because that is very important to me. I want to be able to visit my family, and not have all of the financial burden put on them. I want to do little fun things like go on day trips to enjoy the endless outdoor beauty and lay in wild flowers or have a spa day with my girlfriends. I want to make as many happy memories with my friends as I can.
I would like to deeply thank everyone for your love and
support. It means so much to me.
I have a CT scan scheduled for July 18th, after my 4th round of chemo, and before my next scheduled 6 rounds. This scan will show if the chemo is working. I will post an update then.