Mother hoping for cancer-free future in Omaha
|Megan Boever, a 29-year-old wife and mother, sits with her husband, Matt, and their four children, (from left) Lucy, Paul, Emma and Joseph. Boever was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer last December. Photo by Lisa Schulte|
The Catholic Voice
As a young wife and mother of four, Megan Boever has high hopes for the future. She wants to have a long life with her husband and to see her children grow and prosper.
But right now, the 29-year-old mom is hoping to be cancer free.
Last December, she was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of cancer that affects about three to four percent of cancer patients. A lump was discovered in her breast during a routine check-up, and she soon discovered the cancer had spread to her liver and bones. She was nearly 24 weeks pregnant at the time.
"It was total disbelief. I went in thinking (the lump) was just an infection," she said, noting there is no history of cancer in her family. "I was very scared."
A 1993 graduate of Marian High School in Omaha and a graduate of the College of Saint Mary, Boever underwent two rounds of chemotherapy every three weeks until her son, Paul, was born healthy at 32 weeks.
She has received weekly chemotherapy treatments since February.
"I'm learning to completely trust in God," Boever said. "When you don't know what could happen to you even the next day or a year from now, you quickly learn that you have to trust, especially with the kids because that's a big fear. I have to have this complete trust that other people and God will take care of things. And they have."
Family members are helping with house chores, and friends assist with shopping and driving daughter Lucy to St. Robert Bellarmine School, where she attends kindergarten.
Even parishioners from St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Omaha, where the Boever family attends Mass, wanted to help. In July they held a benefit dinner and silent auction, which raised $65,000 for the Boevers to help cover medical expenses.
Boever also has two boxes full of e-mails and letters she has received from people around the world who are praying for her.
"I didn't realize how much I had until I went through this," she said. "There are so many good people out there who are willing to help."
Keeping a positive attitude can be difficult, but on those days when she gets frustrated, Boever thinks of her husband, Matt, and children Lucy, 5; Emma, 4; Joseph, 2; and Paul, seven months. They are her motivation to never give up.
"I can't think, 'Oh, poor me.' I have to look at the good things," she said. "If God wants me to be an example, then I just pray he gives me the strength to do that. And he has, so I keep thinking there is a point to this, there's a reason he chose me, so I try to follow his will."
The Boevers said a sense of humor and their faith in God have carried them through the ups and downs of treatments and test results. They appreciate the little things more and look at every day as a gift from God.
"It's very much a deepening life experience as far as our relationship with God and our marriage and our relationships with our children," said Matt, a lawyer with Fitzgerald and Schorr in Omaha.
Barring a miracle, Boever will need treatments for the rest of her life.
"I hope that through all this, people learn something from me to pray more, to be thankful more, to appreciate everything more."
On Oct. 9, Megan McCawley Boever was inducted into the College of Saint Mary's Athletic Hall of Fame. She was honored for her outstanding play as the soccer team's center-midfielder, leading the Flames to the national playoffs in 1996 and 1997.
"I think it's kind of neat because people voted for me … players and coaches," said Boever, a two-time NAIA All-American.
Her selection to the Hall of Fame also got her reminiscing about life.
"As you go through life and do what you have to do, you don't realize how much your life touches others. Maybe I'm doing more than I think. God has given me this cross for a reason."