Thank you for taking time to follow Meaghan's journey of healing as she battles Medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

Meaghan, our five year old daughter, was diagnosed early November 2009 after an MRI revealed she had a 4 cm solid tumor in her cerebellum. The tumor resection, while successful, resulted in serious complications.

Cancer is a family affair and here I try to chronicle not only Meg's journey, but our whole family's as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Looking Back

The Child Life Specialist at Children's introduced a program to us called Beads of Courage. The program is used to track their treatment journey using beads as symbols of their accomplishments and courage. We've been in hospital for quite some time already and our CLF wanted to get Meaghan all caught up on her beading.

It's pretty amazing, everything she's been through these past 68 days. Once we are all caught up with our Beads of Courage I will post a picture of her necklace.

Here's the breakdown of bead colors, corresponding procedures and how many Meg has accrued.

Beige=Bone Marrow Aspirate/Biopsy 1
White= Day of Chemo 5
Orange=Port Insertion and Removal 1
Blue=Clinic Visit 0
Magenta=Emergency/Ambulance/Unusual 25
Silly Face= Hair Loss 1
Lime=Isolation/Fever/Neutropenia 1
Tortoise=Lumbar Puncture 1
Purple=Morphine/Dopamine/PCA 15
Silver/Black= Pokes 15
Glow in the Dark=Each Day of Radiation 24
Light Green= Tests/Scans/etc 8
Red= Transfusion 1
Aqua= Tube Insertion 6
Yellow= Each Day of Hospital Stay 68
Dark Green= Stem Cell Harvest/Dialysis/TPN 0
Silver= Surgery & Dressing Changes 4
Square Heart= Transfer to PICU 1

Yesterday we took Meg home for several hours. The kids fought with each other, played with each other... It felt a little normal. Bringing Meaghan home will be difficult for everyone. The hospital is safe, controlled. Meg isn't just a cancer patient, she's a rehab patient with significant physical limitations. Our family will undergo another period of adjustment, but right now I'll just focus on enjoying all being under the same roof! Even with all the sibling squabbling.

Before I forget, I'd also like to report some good news: Meg's weight is up from 19.1 kg to 20.9 kg in one week! I wish she were eating by mouth, but she's getting balanced nutrition and hydration through her tube. For now, I can table that fight.


  1. Meg,

    I am praying for you honey. When I think of giving of my battle with my seizure disorder I think about you and how you keep fighting. I know a lot of this just stinks. Lots of love and prayers will continue to come to come to you and your family.

  2. Costco runs the CMN campaign all over the US every May for Childrens Hospital. Although that all the Warehouses in Michigan raise money for the Children's Hospital at Beaumont, I've been a part of it for the past several years as the campaign coordinator for our store. I've gotten to take a tour of the hospital every year. Every time, I go back to my people and speak about those beads!!!!!! I think that is such a cool thing to have. The lady that usually gives the tour tells us how excited the kids are to get a bead and how it comforts them. The kids take them to show and tell at school. They like to brag about how long their key chain is getting with the beads, but then you think about why their key chain is getting so long, because they have have that many procedures done. I think Childrens Hospital has great programs for the kids there and they do a wonderful job making them feel comfortable and in some way at home. Praying for you guys all the time!


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