For those of you who don't know me, my name is Meggan, I'm 31 years old, I have been married to the love of my life for 6 years, and together we have two beautiful children and another one on the way! My daughter is three and a half and my son is just over two. Just under two years ago when my daughter was 19 months old and my son was 3 months old I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called choriocarcinoma. It's a cancer that mimics a pregnancy. The HCG hormones literally duplicates cancer cells at the rate of a pregnancy and carries it through the body. When I was diagnosed I had tumors in my lung, spleen, and uterus. That is really a story for another time but I have since been completely healed thanks to Jesus and He really was my rock through it all. I've often been told that I am one of the happiest people to have ever gone through cancer. ;)
So why am I writing this? This pregnancy has not exactly gone as planned. I think it's miraculous that I was even able to get pregnant after going through chemotherapy for five months, not to mention the fact that the cancer started in my uterus possibly due to some placenta left behind during my c-section with my son. I had to wait a year after chemo before it was safe to conceive and as soon as the doctors gave us the clear I was pregnant the very next month.We were so excited until I started bleeding between 5 & 6 weeks pregnant. I was devastated and so scared that I was having a miscarriage. Either that or the cancer was back because a positive pregnancy test and bleeding is how I was diagnosed the first time. I cried a lot that night because I desperately wanted my baby to be ok and went to the hospital the next day to see what was happening. The good news was that there was definitely a baby and it wasn't cancer. The bad news (or really less good news because it wasn't technically bad) was that I had what's called a subchorionic hematoma. That's a fancy way of saying I had a blood clot growing between the membranes of my placenta and uterus. There was nothing the doctors could do about it and it did increase my risk of miscarriage, however, I was thrilled that I wasn't having a miscarriage. I bled off and on for a few more weeks but baby continued to grow strong thanks to The Lord and the many praying friends and family surrounding us. The bleeding eventually stopped and the hematoma was no longer a threat to baby Larson. Yay! Or so we thought...
The ultrasounds revealed that I had a low lying placenta which is normal for me - it's happened with all three of my pregnancies. This time however, it looked like my placenta was growing too deeply into my uterus which is called placenta accreta. Once the accreta was confirmed I was transferred to the high risk unit and have been having bi-weekly ultrasounds to monitor where the placenta is growing. I have placenta previa which means the placenta is directly over the cervix and isn't moving. That also means a guaranteed c-section. As they've monitored the progression of the placenta accreta they've seen that it appears to have grown through the uterine wall right onto my bladder which is the rarest of the "cretas" and is called placenta percreta. Obviously that's not good. The major risks involved are that the baby can come too soon (which praise the Lord doesn't seem to be a risk factor at this point based on how he's doing) and that I can start to hemorrhage during the surgery and essentially bleed to death if it gets out of control. In order to "reduce my mortality rate" (doctors words not mine lol) they are going to do a hysterectomy immediately after delivering baby Larson which is set to happen on March 3rd (due date is April 8th but they're taking him out early).
The doctors have been honest enough to say that they have not come across many cases like this. They are having a big meeting in February to discuss my case with literally every team you can imagine - anesthesiology, urology, neo-natal, the surgeons etc. It's kind of a big deal. To me it's a bit deja vu because when I was going through the choriocarcinoma it was so rare and my levels were the highest they'd ever seen in my city that it seemed like everyone knew who I was. I'd have teams of medical students come in while the doctor explained that "this is the patient with choriocarcinoma" and they'd all look so fascinated. A dear friend of mine who recently graduated from medical school told me that it was the "cool cancer" and that most doctors/med students would only ever learn about it in text books and never actually meet someone with it. While everyone likes to feel special and important, I think my husband would rather I get my claim to fame through other means than being medically rare. ;)
I am really grateful for my relationship with Jesus through this situation. He gives me the peace I need to face a trial of this magnitude. I'm not worried about my own life so much - I know without a doubt where I'm going when I die. It's more intense this time around because there's a precious little baby who is also going to be affected by what happens. My son Micah spent the first 9 days of his life in the NICU and those were the longest 9 days of my life. There is no pain like leaving your little newborn in the arms of strangers while he screams and cries and you've gotta get back to your other child. The doctors have told me that as long as he's healthy baby Larson can come home with us even at 35 weeks which we're super grateful for. It's times like this you've gotta focus on what's going well or you'll be overtaken by what's not going well. (I learned that from my incredible coach Dani Johnson).
So this is what's going well:
* Baby is totally healthy and in the 60th percentile for growth (apparently this is really good).
* Other than what's going on internally I feel perfectly fine.
* We have an excellent team of doctors that are doing their best to ensure we're both ok.
* Even though my midwife has the month of March off she's still going to come to the hospital to support Rob & I through the surgery - how awesome is she?! If you need a midwife in Ottawa you need Jackie Whitehead. :)
* Since I know this will be my last pregnancy I have time to make sure I enjoy every kick and punch and watching my precious daughter hug my belly and ask when she can kiss her baby brother.
It's kind of surreal awaiting a surgery I may or may not wake up from but whatever happens nothing changes the fact that my God is good and perfect and worth getting to know. Whether you know Him or not we're all going to face trials. I just know that I'd much rather face them with a mighty and peaceful God at my side giving me the peace and reassurance that everything is truly going to be ok, instead of facing it on my own. Having friends and family around you is so helpful and important but for the times alone in the dark and quiet of the night, there's nothing like the feeling of wings wrapped protectively around you and the whispers that I am His and He has not forsaken me.
His & Yours,