Working Girl With Cancer

I submitted a post to the blog Working Girl. I was hoping they would post it but they said it wasn't work related enough. I put a lot of thought and work into it so I figured I would share it with all of you. Let me know what you think, its from the heart :)

To be honest I am not a working girl just yet. I was a working girl several years ago and will be a working girl again very soon. Right now I am a student girl working towards my law degree, only a couple months from graduation, in the sunny state of Florida! I am also a Cancer Girl. I won my fight against 3b Cervical Cancer just about a year ago. That’s right girls I won my fight while I was smack dab in the middle of law school, ugh!

We working girls are fighters. We are determined to climb that ladder, get to the top and then add some rungs so we can climb higher. Nothing can get in our way and if something tries, God help it! When I graduated from the University of Massachusetts I began my working girl journey. I worked as a field director for a United States Congressman, and then I was hired by his district office as a Congressional Aide. When I got everything I could out of that job I moved to Florida to work as an Immigration Specialist for a top firm in Ft. Lauderdale. I was working the late hours, wearing the power suits and just basically kicking butt!

When I reached the top of my ladder I realized I needed to continue my education so I could reach even higher! I took my LSAT, wrote my essay and sent in my application to Nova Southeastern Law School. I was accepted and so back to school this working girl went. To say I worked my ass off would be an understatement. At least eight hours a day seven days a week. I was determined. When I graduated I wanted to be hired by the best firm so I could get my corner office with a view of the ocean.

During all these years I took care of myself. I went to my doctor appointments, ate right and exercised when I could. But, health was certainly not my top priority; actually it didn’t even make it to the top five. When I started feeling sick in my second year of law school I brushed it off as being a result of stress. When I went to my doctor and was told everything was fine I was relieved. However, my symptoms didn’t go away and in fact were getting worse.

During my second semester of my second year I became very ill. I didn’t know what was wrong but I trusted my doctors. In my heart I knew they were wrong. In terrible pain I kept going to class, raising my hand, answering questions and participating. Whatever was going on with me was not going to get in the way of my working girl dream! Sometimes I was late to class due to doctor appointments or because I had completely stopped sleeping. I will spare you the long, painful gruesome story but in the end I went to the ER and was told I had end stage cancer, 3b cervical cancer and had a 20% chance of surviving.

I received two blood transfusions and was flown to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts. There I received chemo therapy, internal and external radiation as well as placement of nephrostamy tubes, the tumor had crushed my ureters causing my kidney to rip open. I went through hell but I also fought like hell.

How did this happen to me? I went to my doctor, basically took care of myself, and was educated. But I did put the working girl before the girl. I worked so hard to succeed that I almost killed myself. I heard what I wanted from the doctors, you are fine, but I knew I wasn’t. My point, be your own advocate, take care of yourself and listen to your gut and what it is trying to tell you. Because, there is no working girl without the girl!!

Now I am cancer free according to the doctors but I will never be free of cancer. When I graduate from law school, by the way I went back only 6 months after being diagnosed, I will be the working girl with cancer. The big C will always be a part of who I am. Cancer has taken a lot away from me; it has left both physical and emotional scars. But, cancer has also given me a great gift; a gift of understanding and appreciation. I am more than just a working girl; I am a working girl who beat cancer!!

If you would like to read more about my story or find information on HPV and Cervical Cancer please visit my blog at


Jennifer said...

Your story is an inspiration - and I think it is a terrible shame that the Working Girls didn't find it "work related" enough to share with their loyal readers.

I've not felt right for 2 months this summer, and, like you, trusted my doctors. It is because of you that I am "being my own advocate" and getting additional opinions until I find out what is wrong. You truly are an inspiration, and write beautifully...please don't be discourage, and know that your loyal readers are proud you've shared your story on your own blog!!

Anonymous said...

I think that's an great piece Meaghan. I think they shoved it aside because in their ignorance they think "don't tell them this can actually happen!!". It's ashame their readers won't get the chance to read it, it could have saved someones life.

Mrs. Realife said...

Your story is incredibly inspiring and worth the fight it takes for people to read it -- My belief is you'll save a woman's (women's lives) with your story -- Someone once said to me... with every failure, it just means your one step closer to reaching your goal -- ;0)

Anonymous said...

I really wonder what constitutes a "working girl" for them. If that's not working I don't know what is. I also was taking 15 upper division hours and raising two kids by myself when I got sick. Trust me that I was "working". Thanks for sharing your story. It's hard to keep going after cancer (if there is such a thing as after cancer) because we're (I'm) always waiting for the ball to drop again. Touchy subject for sure!

Amy said...

Thanks for visting my blog! I will definitely be back to read more on how you kicked cancer's ass. My mom had breast cancer many years ago and she had a long and hard battle with it and she beat it several times. She passed away last year but ironically we don't believe it was necessarily from the cancer, but from other problems she was having at the time. I hold you in high regard, as I did my mom, for fighting and not giving up. That means a lot :)

Ash said...

Meagan - it is a shame they turned it down. Completely their loss. It is an incredibly written piece that has the added bonus of a happy ending. I would query it to other publications and see if they nibble.

Sadly, cancer has becaome such an ordinary occurance these days - but the way you handled (handle) it is extraordinary.

Seriously, I guess "working girl" only counts if you are stuck in a cubicle trying to get to the corner office - not the rest of us shlubs.


Unknown said...

Just wanted to say thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday...100 things and being saucy was a lot of fun!!

Great are true inspiration!!

TinaBug said...

You are truely an amazing woman! I can't believe Working Girls said it wasn't "work related." I guess none of them have never been through that. You busted ass! You should be very proud of yourself! I know, we all are! Also, I truely believe in being your own advocate. With my own experiences with Endometriosis and then my mom with cancer (in which they didn't want to research at all). Thank goodness for those Angels out there! The drs that take the time to listen to their patients! You write beautifully and once again you are an amazing woman!

Yo said...

i cannot BELIEVE that they didn't post that! it's a wonderful story. that's truly amazing. and wonderful. and amazing.

i did see parts of the crazy sexy cancer when it was on. i'd hoped they would show it again, and i'm glad that it's out on dvd. everyone should watch it. man woman, cancer free or cancer fighting. it's an amazing story.

i am so glad you found my blog. i'm going to spend some time reading yours. and i'll link to your story, too.


Anonymous said...

That is a very well written article Meaghan. I would really keep up trying to submit it elsewhere if you find a way. It touches many I am sure to read. I think writing the symptoms is so helpful too. I think many ignore such warning signs too often because they don't know about them. So this gives a good picture of how things can unfold. It is very inspirational and helpful having heard your story of a typical life that crossed paths with something not so typical.

It's sad they didn't publish it but I am not surprised. Working American after all doesn't want to focus on physical wellbeing they want you to just work yourself to death and focus on business. It is sad that it's that way because it encourages people to ignore their bodies and their ownself in order to be worth anything in the business world it seems. When there is so much more to life then everything 9-5 on paper.

I would hope there is some change in the wings for the future on that outlook. So people can take more time out and everything isn't so much of a race but more balanced. You overcame a great challenge greater then anyone in the business world would face, their own mortality. I think that is worth commending being that strong to face and keep going, over how much status and networth someone gained.

I admire your spirit!

lemonologie said...

Meaghan - I loved your piece. I think your story is an inspiration to many people who struggle with cancer or know someone struggling with cancer. They truly missed an opportunity to educate and inspire their audience. So, it's definitely their loss!

Thanks for your visit to lemonologie!

Ann Harrison said...

I am so glad you stopped by my blog. And I am so happy to be here in your blog world!
You have a friend in Oregon!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion "working" on getting well from cancer is harder than any other job out there. You may not get a fat check at the end of the week. Being well is worth way more than money. Obviously, they have different priorities.

Becky said...

Unbelievable how similar your cancer diagnosis was to my husbands experience being diagnosed with colon cancer. I think because both of you were young they didn't look for that "zebra", but unfortunately it was. Fighting cancer is the hardest and most important work you will ever do! My husband is just like you, a fighter, an optimist, and a darned hard worker. Keep up the fight.

Oh, and I would love to post. I'm not a writer, just a mom of 7 who loves her family and fights side by side with her husband. Just tell me what you're thinking and I'll try.

Morgan said...

I guess I kinda get why they didn't post it, but I kinda think they should've. It shows the desire and drive of the "working girl" survivor. That's work in itself! Not on the same level, but just as important.

You rock <3

Anonymous said...

Well, Just take my words as similar to what others wrote here. Truly inspirational and motivational..

Rene said...

I think they lost out on a great post!! This is wonderful and definitely something us "working girls" need to hear!

AngiDe said...

Hi! I found you through SITS, and thought I'd check out your blog. I run a cancer project from my home. I will hope you will check out my blog.
I was also hoping that I could feature you on my Fabulous Feature Friday? I love your story.

Hope to hear from you soon,


Rhea said...

You are inspiring. I'm impressed with your determination and tenacity. You totally rock!! Big C didn't break you down but you made yourself even stronger. I'm impressed.

MO said...

I'm glad you shared this with us. It's definitely very inspirational. You're a strong woman and I love your blog. Thanks for visiting my blog too, I really appreciate it. I'm so glad that you kicked cancer's ass!

Miriam :)

Dee said...

Thanks for sharing your story. When I had my second child there was another new mum in the hospital who had had cervical cancer twice. Never stop educating, thats my motto.

Thanks for visiting my blog too.

Megan said...

Thanks for swinging by my blog!

You are very inspiring and Congrats on winning your battle!

Obsessedwithlife said...

awesome writing piece!

Jaime said...

Thanks for sharing such a private story with all of your readers.

BITR Country Girl said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi. Thanks for sharing a very personal time in your life with us!