On January 27, 2017 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma Stage 2A with bulk. I was a freshman at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, a competitive Irish Dancer, swimmer for my summer team and for the Stone Ridge Gators, a violinist and had just tried out for and secured a spot in the Georgetown Prep play. Now I have cancer.
From February 2017- June 2017, I endured four 21-day cycles of chemotherapy and 14 days of radiation, had a complete response and was declared to be in remission in June of 2017. I spent the summer of 2017 recovering from the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, started swimming again and was looking forward to my sophomore year at Stone Ridge. I was excited about the study abroad I would be going on in October to Scotland, trying out for the Georgetown Prep play and starting to Irish Dance again.
October of 2017 follow up PET scans revealed that I had relapsed, cancer had returned: Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma near my left armpit and collarbone.
I was able to enter a pediatric trial at Johns Hopkins that included four 21-day cycles of Immunotherapy with highly targeted chemotherapy to get me back into remission. I then was admitted for an in-patient stay for High Dose Chemotherapy (HDCT), and an autologous Stem Cell Transplant in February 2018. After four weeks I was stable enough to be released from the hospital and my mom and dad and I moved into a furnished apartment in Baltimore for almost 100 days to be just minutes away for any planned or unplanned visits to Johns Hopkins, a requirement for any pediatric patient having a bone marrow transplant. I missed most of my sophomore year at school, lost my hair again, and was pretty much in isolation for those 100 days since I was immunocompromised. I received 14 more cycles of targeted chemotherapy post transplant, and on February 13, 2019 my CT scans revealed I was still in remission one year post transplant. I have completed active treatment (as of January 2, 2019). February 15, 2020 was my 2nd re-birthday, two years from transplant. I am still in remission but dealing with late term effects of treatment including significant Peripheral Neuropathy and POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which is a condition that affects circulation (blood flow).
I am now a Senior at Stone Ridge and currently in rehearsals for the upcoming production of Newsies at Gonzaga College High School. I have applied to 18 colleges, have heard back from 11 (accepted to all of them!) and waiting to hear back from the last seven, so I am going somewhere! Stay tuned. If you are at the Bethesda race you can find out where I am going!
(In 2012, Meaghan raced in our Bethesda triathlon.)