By Caitlyn Kirby
After being diagnosed with cancer 10 months ago, senior Megan Hiday continues to fight the battle. Her days are filled with regular trips to and from the hospital, recovering from long and painful surgeries, and finding ways to distract herself.
Megan was diagnosed with CIC Dux4 Sarcoma on Dec.1, 2021. She is now recovering from two different tumor removal surgeries and was recently back in the hospital for pain and sickness.
“My little sister, the one who likes cars, wolves, and going out with her friends is now stuck in the hospital for weeks at a time,” Megan’s sister, Jessica James, says.
After finishing chemotherapy on Aug. 27, 2022, the original tumor in her right butt cheek was still the size of a Nerf football. The tumor got infected and doctors at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis had to remove her butt cheek, followed by a reconstructive surgery, taking flaps from her back and leg.
“[The surgery] took a lot out of Megan,” her mother, Kimberly Colton Hiday, says.
While still internally healing from this, Megan had another tumor removal, but this time in her lungs. On Sept. 9, 2022, surgeons removed 15 tumors over a span of more than six hours, and she had two chest tubes.
The recovery from this surgery was a different pain than anything Megan has experienced so far.
“You can see how much pain she’s in every time she tries to breathe,” Jessica says.
After chemo, Megan has a short break until starting radiation later this month.
Megan and her family will have to drive back and forth from Riley Hospital for Children for 10 days in a row to get radiation in her lungs and lymph nodes. Then it will only be on her lungs for four weeks at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.
Megan says that her boyfriend, 19-year-old Thomas Lemaster, who she met nine months ago, has been a huge help both in the hospital and while she is at home. In the hospital, he helps with sitting up, walking, encouraging her while she’s in pain, distracting her, and more. At home, Thomas helps with going up and down stairs and making her do physical therapy.
“He’s never left my side,” Megan says. “Even with all the chemo appointments and what he was taking on by being with me, he didn’t care.”
Thomas has also helped with taking care of the animals and vet bills so that Megan’s mom is able to focus on the other bills.
Kimberly was at work when she got the call that Megan had cancer, and she has not been able to work since. She worked for the CVS Pharmacy for almost 20 years, but they no longer have hours for her.
“We are struggling because we’ve been fighting this for almost a year,” Kimberly says. “I have been taking care of Megan every minute of every day.”
While searching for things to do while stuck in a hospital room, Jessica came up with the idea of doing little art projects.
“They helped me out a lot in the hospital as a form of distraction and something to look forward to,” Megan says.
So far, Megan and her sister have made two air dough figures, and they painted rocks.
“We are not very good at art so we end up making fun of what we make most of the time,” Jessica says.
Jessica has linked some more art projects that Megan is interested in on her Amazon Wishlist, along with other things for entertainment, comfort, and financial help throughout treatments and recovery.
Each season the Delta soccer teams have a special game that they designate to a family struggling with a medical condition. The game is called Kick for a Cure. This year, the designated family was Megan’s.
The soccer team got shirts made for both Delta and the opposing team to wear in order to show their support and recognition. Any donations made were given to Megan’s family.
“We want to help one of our own the best that we can and bring some light into their lives when possible,” soccer coach Miss Brytany Pope says.
On Nov. 26, the Eaton Police Department is hosting an event where various themed gift baskets will be auctioned off, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Megan’s family. The DHS boys’ and girls’ tennis teams have put 19 baskets together.
Megan says that since her sickness has been going on for so long, it sometimes feels like they are not being supported, so seeing all the people there will be a good reminder of how many people are behind her.