Phoenix woman credits immunotherapy and prayers for breast cancer survival
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Research shows about 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. A Phoenix woman shares her story to give others hope. Meghan Reilly survived breast cancer after doctors told her she would most likely die within five years. Doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer in 2017 after she began having pain in her bones. At the time, the young mom felt like there wasn’t a lot of hope.
“I was just numb,” said Reilly. “I felt like they had to have it wrong. There was no way that was happening to me...I would go on Google, and I just saw my odds, and I would try to find stories of beating stage four cancer, and unfortunately, there’s not a lot out there.” Doctors told Reilly that the cancer had spread to her lungs, liver, kidneys, and spine. She was told she only had a five percent chance of living beyond five years.
“My liver cleared up completely with the chemotherapy, and even my bones were starting to show that it was getting smaller,” said Reilly. “After about eight months, it stopped working. It was just kind of staying there, and the chemotherapy was really taking a toll on me...That’s when my doctor decided I would be a great candidate for immunotherapy, which at the time, it was only used for certain types of lung cancer and skin cancer.”
Reilly started getting immunotherapy called KEYTRUDA in South Carolina and The Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Goodyear. “It’s exactly like how chemotherapy is infused,” said Reilly. “It’s through a port because I do have a port. It takes about 30 minutes, and that’s it. It’s just a liquid.”
She said the immunotherapy worked, and the best news was that it had no adverse side effects. Two weeks ago, she got amazing news when scans came back showing the cancer was no longer there. “She said, ‘you have what we call no evidence of disease, meaning that the scans and blood work shows there’s no evidence of disease in your body,’” said Reilly. “She said that this would have never happened with chemotherapy. Immunotherapy is 100% to credit for this.”
Reilly is continuing to get the same treatments every six weeks, and that’s her decision.
“She basically said there’s just no info on what the next step is here because it’s so new,” said Reilly. “...they’re just taking educated guesses to try and guess what’s going to happen, so in a sense, we’re writing the book as we go.”
While Reilly does not know what’s next in her journey, she does believe prayers and immunotherapy restored her health. “It’s like winning the lottery, but the life lottery,” said Reilly. “It’s hard to describe. It’s the most incredible feeling. It’s something I prayed for year and years and years.”
Now, she hopes to share her story with other women going through the same thing.
“I just want people to understand; there’s hope,” said Reilly. “There’s so many options for you, and never give up on it. Right when you think you can’t go on, that’s when the miracle happens... I can’t tell you how many people have messaged me and have gotten a hold of me and said we have prayer circles going on. Our church prays for you. It’s brought me so much closer to my faith.”
If you’d like to hear more of Reilly’s story, click here for her YouTube channel.
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