Name: Megan Metcalfe
Hometown: Hamilton, OH
Job title: Sales Planner
Story: Diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma February 2008 (junior year of high school). Cancer free as of October 2008!
Organizations involved in: I’ve participated in Relay for Life with ACS, and will soon be participating in a 12 mile bike ride for VeloSano, an event that raises money for cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic. Here’s the link to my page: http://ccf.convio.net/site/TR/VeloSano/CCFTeamRaiser?px=2989123&pg=personal&fr_id=1550
Passions: Sports, Animals, and Cancer Awareness
Q: How would you describe your current state of health and wellness?
A: I’m so fortunate that it’s been 7 years since I was diagnosed and I am generally very healthy – I sometimes forget I even had cancer!
Q: Have you always been healthy… or did you “flip” your life? If so, what was the catalyst for change?
A: Before I was diagnosed I was a vegetarian for 3 years. I came back to the dark side because it gave me more meal options while I was in the hospital, but I keep threating to go veggie again. I haven’t totally pulled the trigger yet, but I try to participate in Meatless Mondays and choose vegetarian options when I can. You don’t have to go completely meatless to be healthy though, I firmly believe that balance and moderation is key with a healthy diet.
Thankfully my doctors don’t seem too concerned with my cancer returning but they have warned me of many “late effects” I could experience. As a young, healthy 24 year old it’s hard to remember those now, but I try to remind myself that someday those long 7 months of chemo will catch up to me. Living a healthy lifestyle is the only thing that will keep those issues away for as long as possible.
Q: What helps you make your change “stick”?
A: Reminding myself of the fight I went through to become healthy again after my diagnosis. I don’t want to go through anything like that again.
Q: Losing loved ones to cancer is extremely difficult, how does that impact your opinions about fighting the disease?
A: We have to do everything in our power to prevent it, but unfortunately that’s not always enough. Genetics are a crazy thing and we need more research. After a diagnosis, it’s important to fight as hard as possible with a positive attitude. I believe that positive thoughts are so powerful and can be that one thing that ties every component of treatment together to make it successful.
Q: Its great to get advice from experts; But its more important sometimes to hear advice from ordinary people that we can all relate to. So… what’s your advice for someone that wants to make a change in his or her life?
A: Be positive and have a plan. There have been many times I’ve fallen off the healthy eating and exercise train. Whenever I’ve tried to hop back on without a plan or a positive attitude, it hasn’t worked. But when I have both of those things it’s so much easier!
Q: Inspiration is a powerful weapon in our fight against cancer…. help us pass it on. Who is someone that inspires you that you believe would be a good fit for our next INSPIRE interview?
A: I have a friend, who isn’t a cancer survivor, but she had a liver transplant at the same hospital and around the same time I went through treatment. We didn’t meet until college but she has definitely gone through hell since her transplant and seems to be doing great now. Her name is Sabrina Wiechmann.