I’m Megan McKee and in Dec. 2012, I was diagnosed with stage IIIA breast cancer thanks to the large tumor deep in my breast that escaped my detection until I was breastfeeding.
I was in my early 30s and had two awesome kids, a 5.5-year-old son and a 10.5-month-old daughter.
My cancer was rated as grade 3 (super aggressive) and HER2+, hormone negative. I had to start treatment immediately at Mass General Hospital, which I credit with saving my life and doing an amazing job with my surgeries and mental health, so I had to immediately wean my daughter. It was tough.
I started chemo in Dec. 2012 and then had a modified radical mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction on the affected breast in April 2013. I followed that up with even more chemo and at the very end, had some radiation….because hey, why not? Radiation wrapped up right before Christmas 2013 and that’s when I got to ring the “done with this shit” bell in the radiation ward.
But I still had more Herceptin to go, and I finished that in June 2014. This drug is relatively new, only treats HER2+ peeps like me, has no side effects except potential heart damage (which I escaped!) and has been the reason my prognosis went from “Eh” to “Excellent.” If I had been diagnosed a mere 5 years earlier (specifically, pre-Jan. 2008), chances are I’d be dead. So let’s all give a big round of applause for Big Pharma! *clap, clap, clap*
Prior to my job as appointment-attender and procedure-getter, I was a regular freelancer for the Boston Globe. I took time off for treatment, but as soon as I was done with radiation, I returned to work.
After stints working at the local hospital ER and part-time at a local boutique and also yoga studio, I was a news producer for bostonglobe.com and earned a master’s degree in Media Innovation at my alma mater, Northeastern University.
My favorite activities are yoga, hiking, and backpacking. I am an enthusiast of comedy, horror films, and Japanese splatter core.
Feel free to drop me a line if you want to chat about cancer, treatment, or anything else.