I Didn't Ask For This!

I don't think anyone "asks" for cancer but sometimes I want to scream from the roof tops...."I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS". Those given the diagnosis of cancer do the best they can, some people write about it, others start nonprofits or speak to fellow fighters/survivors and then there are those who try to shut the door on that chapter of their lives. But no matter how someone deals with their cancer there is no "right" path that will make it all better.

How does one really come to terms with the fact that they have cancer? This is not a rhetorical question I really want to know. Some days are better than others but mostly its still a battle. What would I be doing right now if I had never had cancer? Who would I be? What job would I have? Would there be a little Meaghan running around? Would I be married? What state would I be living in? Would I still have a normal sex drive? Would I be complaining about my period instead of trying to figure out what menopause is? Most importantly would I be happy?

I'll never know the answers to these questions and I am not looking for anyone to console me I just need to ask them out loud. These questions, and many more, go through my head like a song on repeat. I know there are many cancer fighters and survivors who feel the same way and that's why I am writing this post. I know its very personal and that's scary but I don't want you to feel alone or be afraid to ask the same questions out loud.

So many of us put on a brave face when we tell our stories. People look up to us as though we are strong or have some type of cancer fighting super power. I wish that was true but we are just like those who never heard, "You have cancer" The only difference is we were given something no one wants, we fought it and for some of us we won. But we are still regular people who have fears, hopes and dreams.

Cancer SUCKS and that never goes away even if you get a clear PET scan! You can never go back in time and change things and maybe our lives would not have been better off or even that different but those questions are still haunting. Its important for people to understand that cancer is an ongoing battle with good days, bad days, normal days and frustrating days.  Life makes us who we are, shapes us and gives us character even those things in life we did not ask for.

Cards For Cancer Day

I am so excited to announce Spirit Jump's first project, Cards For Cancer Day. 

On Saturday April 10th, 2010 Spirit Jump and the team leaders around the world will bring bags of cards to their local cancer centers to be given to those battling cancer. Cards can be collected by asking family members, friends, neighbors, schools, youth groups or just about anyway you can think of getting them. Cards can be handmade or store bought and should have a positive message to help JUMP the SPIRIT of someone who is battling cancer.

I'm hoping that some of my readers might be interested in helping us make this project a success. Here is a bit more about Cards For Cancer Day. If you think this is something you want to participate in CLICK HERE to sign up.

Team Leaders:

Each Team Leader must commit to the delivery of the cards on Cards 4 Cancer Day. Cards 4 Cancer Day is Saturday April 10th, 2010. Teams may have more then one Team Leader if they like. Team Leaders will collect their own cards as well as the cards from their Team Members in time for delivery.

Team Members:

The only difference between Team Leaders and Team Members is that Leaders commit to bringing cards to cancer centers on 4-10-10. Members are committed to helping their team collect as many cards as possible. After collecting as many cards as they can, Team Members will hand the cards off to their Team Leader in time for delivery to the cancer center.


Teams may create a team name just for fun. Teams may have as many Team Members as they would like. Make Calls…lots of them. Call friends, family, neighbors, youth groups, schools etc… Use your Blog, Facebook, Twitter and any other social media outlet to get the word out. Cards do not need to be fancy or store bought but should convey a simple, positive message to someone who is battling cancer. People who make the cards DO NOT have to be on a team. When possible we encourage cards to mention Spirit Jump so that those receiving the cards learn about our services.

Team Leaders Must Choose a Cancer Center:

Once your Team chooses the cancer center you would like to deliver the cards to please send an email to cards4cancer@spiritjump.org with the name and address of the cancer center (if possible please provide the phone number as well). Spirit Jump will contact the hospital to set up delivery details. If you have an affiliation with someone at the center please let us know who they are and what the affiliation is. We will also contact the hospitals PR department to arrange media opportunities to help create more awareness. Spirit Jump will keep you informed regarding delivery and media details.


Talk about your experience. Blog, post updates on Facebook, Tweet about it, tell friends, classmates, youth groups etc… Send an email to Spirit Jump at cards4cancer@spiritjump.org telling us about your experience or where we can read about it. We may use your story in one of our emails or post it so others can read it.  We will be sending you a flyer which you can post or email.

There are lots of fun ways you can promote this event. Throw a card making party, make cards and ask others to sign them or make a day of it with the family and create an event on Facebook inviting your friends.  There will be prizes and awards handed out to Teams and Team Leaders.  This will be announced int he coming weeks so get a head start now!


Bloggers Unite will connect bloggers who participate in Cards 4 Cancer Day. To get connected visit: http://www.bloggersunite.org/event/spirit-jump-cards-for-cancer-day
You will then be brought to the Cards 4 Cancer Event Page. If you are a Bloggers Unite member just click Join Event under the picture. If you are not a member but do have a blog click Join then follow the instructions. It should take you less than 2 minutes to join.  After you have completed the registration process go back to the Cards 4 Cancer Event Page and click Join This Event.  This way everyone will see that you and your blog support Cards 4 Cancer.  You will also be eligible for future contests TBA. If you would like to share any posts you write about Cards 4 Cancer click submit next to Have An Article For This Event.

If you need help or have any questions please email cards4cancer@spiritjump.org

Cervical Cancer Day On The Hill

I am so excited to be a part of Cervical Cancer Day On The Hill.  This event is important for so many reasons. 

First, Cervical Cancer is a deadly disease that takes too many lives. But, you aren't hearing about it. As many of you know that's one of the main reasons I started this blog and talk about my battle with anyone who will listen. Far too many people are simply uneducated about cervical cancer. People think its, "no big deal" or dont understand how easy it is to contract the deadly virus HPV that leads to cervical cancer.  They aren't aware that cervical cancer treatments are horrendous and leave fighters with side effects sometimes to horrific to mention. And most importantly people don't realize that cervical cancer kills, It kills young and old women of all ethnicity's in all corners of the world.

Secondly, I am thrilled to meet so many wonderful men and woman who are passionate about raising cervical cancer awareness. There will be survivors, supporters and advocates all gathering for the same purpose and I will be a part of that. 

Thirdly, we will all have an opportunity to share with our representatives the importance of cervical cancer. We will advocate for increased federal funding for cervical cancer prevention, detection and treatment. 

I will take pictures and notes so that I can share my experience with all of you!

Check out Tamika and Friends for more information about Cervical Cancer Day On The Hill.

Woman Of The Year Self Magazine

First of all I have to say I am so honored and humbled! Several of my friends nominated ME for Self Magazines Women Doing Good in 2010. What an amazing honor to have friends that think so highly of little ole me :) So this post is a BIG THANK YOU to those who have nominated me ;)

So what is this Women Doing Good Award anyway? Self Magazine is putting on a contest looking for:

"extraordinary women—who make a difference and work tirelessly so others may live better lives. That woman could be you or someone you know—a woman driven by compassion, who truly strives to improve her community, the environment or the world around her."

"The judges will score entries based on the following criteria: Commitment to Others (33.3%), Ingenuity (33.3%), and Successfulness of execution (33.4%). The entry with highest overall score will be declared the potential winner"

I think its great that a magazine is taking the time to honor those who work to make our world a better, happier, safer and more caring place. Its not an easy task and often times the financial reward is small if at all. But, I can tell you first hand that helping others without any monetary motivation can be the most rewarding experience you will ever have.

After hearing about the nomination my first reaction, "wow why do I deserve such an honor". Then I sat down and started thinking about why those who know me think I should be considered for Women Of The Year Award and here is what I came up with:

I beat cancer! After being told I had little chance of surviving I took the bull by the horns and kicked some serious cancer ass! There was nothing I wouldn't do, chemo, external radiation, internal radiation, nephrostomy tubes, stents, weeks upon weeks of hospital stays and even a kidney removed.  If thats not EXTRODINARY then I don't know what is! Yea thats right im finally patting myself on the back and giving ME the credit that I deserve for winning my battle...Phew that felt good!

So that takes care of the Extraordinary Women part but what about the rest......"Who Make A Difference"  That is a very important sentence for me. When I was going through my battle I kept saying to myself and anyone who would listen, "this all has to be for a purpose". I thought long and hard during and after my battle about what I could do to make my terrible diagnosis meaningful.  As you all know thats when and why I started this blog, to reach out to others battling cancer. I wanted to share resources, stories and support. But that wasn't enough I felt I needed to do more to really make a difference. So I decided to forgo my career as a lawyer and instead run a nonprofit full time.  I wanted my nonprofit to help ALL people battling cancer no matter what their age, gender, staging, or type of cancer. Helping those who are going through the scary, lonely terrible battle I endured was what gave me a reason to live and so I started Spirit Jump So that is how I feel I make a difference.

Working Tirelessly So Others May Live Better Lives: well I will admit that I definitely do this and my friends and family are all too aware. I, along with my boyfriend Bryan, friend Dominique and Lillie work 7 days a week and often over 12 hours a day to reach and lift the spirits of those battling cancer. I know cancer never sleeps, it never gives up and does everything it can to win its battle. That means we cannot take days off or work 40 hour weeks.  But working tirelessly doesn't just mean you work long hours and many days. What you do while you are "working" is what really counts. I am proud to say that I work tirelessly by always looking for new ways to help, trying to find cancer fighters who may not know about our services, talking on the phone with people who are scared and confused by their cancer battle and trying to find ways to create new programs that are so needed. To me working tirelessly means you are always looking for new, creative ways to make a difference all while keeping yourself motivated and excited each day. So I know I work TIRELESSLY.

Finally The Women Doing Good Award should go to a woman driven by compassion, who truly strives to improve her community, the environment or the world around her. I am all these things. I am driven by my desire to help anyone who is unfortunate enough to be faced with a cancer diagnosis. I want to improve their battle by providing comfort and support because the comfort and support I received helped me win my very difficult battle. Even though some of those we help may not win their battle it is enough to know that they felt comfort and love during their last days.  Facing death I know life is short and therefore I want to spend each day on this earth helping those around me.  Driving a fancy car, living in a big house or wearing expensive jewelry does not motivate me. Im motivated by the bravery and courage of those battling cancer.

So I am proud to say I do think I am qualified to be nominated for Self Magazines Women Doing Good Award! The women who wins this award will be given 10,000 to donate to the charity of her choice and it should be no surprise that I would doante that to Spirit Jump so that we could start some much needed programs like, rides to chemotherapy, house cleaning and grocery delivery.

If you would like to nominate me for this I would be honored. You can do so through this LINK and will need the following information:

First Name: Meaghan
Last Name: Edelstein
Address: 2121 West Woolbright Road K101, Boynton Beach, FL 33246
Date Of Birth: 03/29/1978
Phone: 561-292-3853
Email: meaghan@spiritjump.com
Category: Cancer
Photo: You can take the picture from this post
Charitable Organization: Spirit Jump
Mission Statement: To lift the spirits of men, women and children battling cancer
Website: www.spiritjump.org

I Hate Tumors Guest Post

Recently I have become inspired to start posting regularly.  This inspiration didn't just come to me in a dream. Last week I was contacted by Tamika from Tamika and Friends asking if I would like to speak in DC on The Hill about cervical cancer. Being a survivor and somewhat of an advocate I jumped at this opportunity.  I started thinking about my personal battle with cancer, the chemo, radiation, nurses, doctors....all of it.  This was a painful journey for me and that brought on tears of joy and sadness. It also got me started thinking about someone who helped me through some of my most darkest days, Heather.

I never met Heather, in the sense that most people consider "meeting". Heather had passed away from cervical cancer at the young age of 28 in 2005. I had never met her and we shared no common friends. In fact I had no knowledge of Heather while she was alive. But, Heather helped me through my battle each day, she inspired me, comforted me and encouraged me.  Our battles were so similar, same age, stage, treatments but our outcomes were very different.

While researching cervical cancer one of my friends came across this article and that is how I met Heather.  I remember reading it for the first time, it was a pivotal moment in my life. I've read this article hundreds of times, like visiting an old friend.  For the past three years I have attempted to find Heathers friend Sara and her sister Donna with no luck.  Last week this all changed. After agreeing to speak with Tamika and Friends I found out that Tamika knew Donna and Sara.  Tamika message them both and then Donna friended me on Facebook.

Donna and I spoke on the phone and have texted back and forth since our call. Its so amazing for me to have this opportunity and it has inspired me to continue sharing my story.  This Tuesday Donna will be a guest on my Spirit Jump Podcast show and I hope you all get a chance to tune in.  The show will be 8-9pm EST and can be viewed at www.wafs.tv.  

Please take a moment to read this amazing article about Fellow Fighter Heather. She is an inspiration and with your help we can keep her story and spirit alive.



Social Media & Social Good

Cancer Sucks! With that said social media has helped make cancer suck a little less. Stuck in the hospital, you're not alone you can use your phone or laptop and Tweet or check out Facebook. Doesn't matter what time of day or where you are, social media provides a way to stay connected.  You don't have to worry about germs, cold, weakness or time of day, social media allows you to maintain and create relationships with all sorts of people.

I know this first hand! During my cancer treatments the laptop became my best friend. Television got old quickly and didn't provide the human interaction I longed for.  That's when I popped open my laptop and started checking out my friends on Facebook.  I could look at pictures and see what everyone was up to.  The status updates allowed me the unique opportunity to know what friends and family where doing on any given day even though i was too sick to be there with them.  I could even play games like Scrabble and Bejewelled against friends in other states. Facebook kept me in the loop and helped prevent me from falling into deep loneliness and depression.

Then there was blogging!  I started this blog as my free therapy.  Writing about my battle, fears, anxieties and hopes gave me an outlet I had been searching for.  My blog allowed me to connect with others who battled cancer. Then I started learning more about all types of cancers, nonprofits that help and endless resources. Blogging helped me pull myself out of the cancer fog and back into the living.

Twitter became my good friend a bit later, when I had my kidney removed in March 2009.  Because of intense internal radiation I could not have a laproscopic surgery. A rib was removed in order to take out my left kidney and that meant lots of bed rest. Here I was again stuck in a hospital bed with no one to talk to.  My body didnt' care that it was 4 am, I was awake and bored.  But I knew that social media was my friend and always awake. I started exploring more on Twitter and was blown away at how happy it made me. There were thousands of people up at 4 am and they were happy to chat. I could tweet with other survivors, those who had the same procedure, people who wanted to support me..it was GREAT!

Social media provides so much for those battling cancer. You can now find others who share your battle, talk with experts, access helpful resources and even play games. This is why I founded Spirit Jump through social media. I knew that there were so many like me who were reaching out through social media, looking for human interaction. Some people criticize social media for hindering human interaction. However, for those battling cancer often times human interaction is not an option. Social media allows cancer fighters to stay connected, fight the loneliness and LIVE!

Lets Talk Cervical Cancer

As many of you know I haven't been posting frequently but that is changing. I've been very busy building up my nonprofit organization, Spirit Jump.   After a lot of work and tons of help Spirit Jump is growing and doing well. This means I can start giving my blog some love!

This is a very important month, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!  The reason I started my blog was to create a place where other cervical cancer fighters could find information, connect with another fighter and share their stories.  I've been doing a lot of research and reaching out to the cervical cancer community.  I have always known they were there but must admit I was a bit scared to actually reach out.  Helping others with their battle is one thing but facing my own is much more difficult than I ever expected. But now I am ready to do more than just blog about my experience! I'm ready to speak out, to connect with others like me and to start working harder on raising cervical cancer awareness....what a perfect month to come to this realization.

I could share a lot of information with you, tons of stories, pictures and statistics. But, I think the best way to share information about cervical cancer and those who it has touched is to share some amazing websites and articles. Some of the sites and articles im about to share with you helped me through my own battle. They are brave, heroic, touching and tragic all at the same time. Please take a moment to visit each link and share with anyone who will listen:

  1. I Hate Tumors
  2. Kristen Forbes EVE Foundation 
  3. Tamika and Friends 
  4. SAS Cervical Cancer Foundation 
  5. Tia's Way 
  6. Brandie Rose Foundation
  7. National Cervical Cancer Coalition

Another Year Under My Belt

I cannot believe its been almost 3 years since I was diagnosed with cervical cancer! February 2007 was not a good time for me. Pain, fear, death, poison all words that defined my life then. When I was diagnosed with cancer my life changed dramatically.

December, January, February, March, May and June are tough months for me. These were the months I endure so much and fought so hard for my life.  I find myself thinking, this is when I had my first surgery, first round of chemo, lost 50 pounds, had tubes coming out of my back.....I find myself daydreaming about those days and feeling as though I will never get far enough away from that them.

Three years seems like such a long time ago and also too soon.  I have changed so much in such a short time and all because of those words: "You have cancer" 

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and I am happy to be healthy enough to finally participate in an event. Tamika from Tamika and Friends (a fantastic cervical awareness nonprofit) is having an event in Washington, DC January 26-27.  I will be speaking, with other cervical cancer survivors and fighters, on The Hill. If you are a cervical cancer advocate, survivor or fighter please let me know and I can get you the information to attend.