Two years ago Megan Loparo felt so run down, she thought she might have mono. But Summa hematologist Dr. Andrew Haas discovered something much worse: acute myeloid leukemia, a very aggressive cancer of the blood. “After I got dressed, Dr. Haas brought my husband in and said ‘you’re going to the hospital today to start treatment.’” The Loparos drove home to tell their kids, then Megan checked into Summa Barberton Hospital for 30 days of high-dose chemotherapy and recovery.
“In all, I had five rounds of chemo,” she explained. “The first was seven days of continuous infusion, followed by three weeks of recovery time in the hospital. I couldn’t go home until my blood counts were up and my immune system could fight. It was hard being away from home that long. But the nurses are so kind. They set up a cot in my room so my husband could stay. They not only took care of me but supported my family, too. They’re part of my family now.”
After that initial round of chemo, Megan returned to the hospital every month for a week of inpatient therapy. Between visits, she received outpatient cancer therapy at Summa Barberton Hospital’s Parkview Center, where our Healing Garden helped her heal emotionally, too. “When I first went to Parkview, it was snowing. It was beautiful…very relaxing. By the time I finished treatment it was June and the fountain was running and the flowers were out. It’s a very special place to be.”
Throughout her treatment, Megan’s nurses kept her focused not just on her illness but on getting well. “They keep up on your everyday stuff,” she said. “They’d say ‘we’re going to get you out of here because you’ve got to go to that game tonight to see your kids.’ I had missed my son’s first two baseball games that year. The next year I would run there to sit with my umbrella and scarf and think ‘wow, I’m here again to see this.’” Today Megan is a cancer-free wife and mom of three active athletes and a very grateful patient.