Photography by Tiffany Walensky Photography
Meet Meygan. She is Beauty Revived.
The moment I read Meygan’s story, submitted to me by her husband’s co-worker Ginnie, I knew she was the one I wanted to photograph for Beauty Revived’s Beautiful Mother campaign. When I received Meygan’s nomination, it was only 1 week before she was scheduled to have surgery. Luckily, we managed to meet up just one day before the surgery took place. When I first met Meygan, I was blown away by how calm she was. Most people would be so nervous before a big surgery, but you wouldn’t know by talking to her. During her photo session, Meghan told us all about the journey and challenges she has faced this past year. At age 29, she and her husband were expecting their first baby, a little boy. She made it all the way through pregnancy with no major complications, and it wasn’t until her very last month of pregnancy that she noticed a lump in her breast. With all the changes her body had undergone those nine months, she wrote it off as pregnancy related. She did mention the lump to her doctors, who agreed it was probably pregnancy related and decided to look into it more at her one month post-delivery checkup. After tests were run, Meygan was shocked to learn that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer called a triple negative 3T, which grows at a much faster rate than a cancer that is receptive to hormones. This is a rare cancer, that has less than a one percent chance of showing up in a woman as young as Meygan. Her doctors started treatment immediately, and just five weeks after delivering her son, she was put on weekly chemotherapy. According to Meygan’s husband Kenny, and his co-worker Ginnie, Meygan has retained a positive attitude throughout this entire experience, claiming that this was just a bump in the road that she had to overcome and grow from. Even during chemotherapy, Meygan was able to care for not only her son, but also for her father, who is legally blind and has health concerns of his own. She helped with doctor appointments, bills, and everyday life challenges. Meygan is always putting other’s needs before her own, even during her most difficult times.
Meygan had double mastectomy surgery on February 7th, with expanders put in the same day. The surgery lasted 6 hours and was considered a success, learning that her nipples and lymph nodes tested negative for cancer. A week later, she received the news that the tumor, which started as 4 centimeters, had shrunk to 1-3 millimeters. With these results, the doctor has declared Meygan cancer free. However, there are never any guarantees with cancer, and Meygan will need to have checkups every six months for several years, and then yearly checkups after that for the rest of her life.
Just two weeks after surgery, Meygan was back to work as an elementary school teacher. During her recovery, one of her biggest challenges was not being able to pick up her 8 month old son for six weeks. Meygan has one more surgery in her future, for implants once her expanders have reached the desired size at which time her port will be also removed. According to her husband, Meygan is the strongest person he knows, and I have to agree. Meygan is truly an inspiration to what it means to be strong, generous, and caring, and she is beautiful while doing it.