A brave mother of three has overhauled her lifestyle and uses alternative therapies to help heal herself after being diagnosed with a rare muscle cancer.
Megan Murphy, 46, of Bramley, took part in a drug trial and underwent oxygen and infrared therapy as part of her battle against bile duct cancer.
She said she is keen to “tack cancer from all angles” by choosing to “heal my body rather than fight it.”
Megan’s condition, diagnosed in August last year, is also known as cholangiocarcinoma – an uncommon cancer that produces abnormal cells in the bile ducts and grows in an uncontrolled way.
She said that after what started as pain in her solar plexus, back and hip, she pressed doctors for further investigations after the pain worsened and physical therapy was not successful.
After more blood tests a few months later, the doctors found that Megan had abnormal liver function and received the shocking news that doctors had discovered a large tumor in her liver and several small tumors that had spread to her lungs and lymph nodes.
Speaking about her diagnosis to raise awareness about the rare type of cancer she has, Meghan added: “It was all a bit of a shock at first – everything progressed really quickly.”
“My cancer is in stage 4 and is classified as non-functioning.
“I had no real symptoms and at worst, I thought I had a hernia. Cancer was the last thing I ever expected.”
Nearly a year after her diagnosis, Megan said she had already seen some positive results in her treatment and had had alternative treatments to try to improve herself.
Thanks to a few rounds of chemotherapy and being part of a new drug therapy treatment, she saw her largest tumor shrink by more than half and some of the small tumors completely disappeared.
“At first, the chemotherapy was working fine, but I started to get really bad and was in a lot of pain, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to get chemotherapy long term,” Megan said.
“But I started a new treatment in April – the drug treatment pimigatinib – after a drug company read my story online and wanted to help.
“I am one of the first people in the UK to have had this treatment and my last scans two weeks ago showed that my largest tumor had shrunk from 13.2cm to 6cm and some had disappeared – something none of us expected.”
With her future uncertain, Megan has been looking for alternative treatments since her diagnosis and believes this is the key to unlocking more time with her family.
She modified her diet by cutting out alcohol and sugar and increasing her level of exercise and sleep.
Megan has also taken more supplements and tried alternative treatments, such as taking recycled medications that are said to provide benefits for the type of cancer she has and has undergone oxygen and infrared therapy.
“I try to tackle cancer from all angles,” Megan said. I may have cancer, but I am trying to cure from the body of it rather than fight it.
“This approach has changed the way I think and at the moment I feel good.
“I’m slowly getting back to my job at Rush House and trying to stay as positive as possible.
“My family has really helped me through this and have been my strength.”
The GoFundMe page was set up by Meghan’s friend Emma Shaw, who has described Meghan as an amazing woman, and has already raised more than £6,000 to help pay for alternative treatments.
Visit https://bit.ly/3hDbfxe to make a donation.
** Fact File
Although rare, cholangiocarcinoma (also called cholangiocarcinoma) is the second most common primary liver cancer.
This cancer is a primary liver cancer that begins in the inner lining of the bile tree ducts – the network of tubes that carry bile from the liver to the intestines.
This type of cancer is difficult to diagnose accurately and early, so by the time of diagnosis it is often too advanced for surgery – currently the only potential treatment.
Few symptoms occur in the early stages of this cancer – any symptoms that tend to be vague, such as nausea and loss of appetite.
In a more advanced stage, symptoms can include jaundice, fatigue, feeling generally unwell, high fever, shivering, and weight loss.