On December 4, 2017 at the age of 25, Mikayla Meyerholz was told she had breast cancer. With almost no family history, her age and a healthy lifestyle, the news was jolting. Life changed quickly for Mikayla and her fiancé David.
Mariah Meyerholz, Mikayla’s sister explains that the diagnosis of cancer hit the family hard. With admiration she described her sister’s bright, robust spirit. That every time she asks “how are you?” Mikayla smiles and responds “I’m okay. “ Even on the hard days she finds a way to be okay. “She’s selfless, kind, determine and goes above and beyond for those she loves”. It’s likely this very essence has friends, family and community all reaching out in significant ways to show their love and admiration. People at work donated paid time off. CrossFit Fireside, Mikayla’s home box, coordinated meal a delivery train. Care packages and notes of encouragement came in. Her family has been absolutely steadfast. The emotional support they received has also been important. Mikayla’s fiancé David noted that people staying positive has been helpful and comforting.
Mikayla initially felt a lump in her right breast. She wasn’t at first concerned. She took note and kept an eye on it. After about a month she scheduled an appointment to have it checked out. An ultrasound was scheduled and a biopsy done that same day which resulted in the diagnosis of breast cancer. ER and PR positive, HER2 negative with ductal and lymph node involvement on the right side. It was emotionally overwhelming. Both David and Mikayla explained that a lot of decisions had to be made very quickly. One of those decisions regarded their ability to have kids. While treatment options were being presented and scheduled they were also considering their deep desire to have kids and start a family. The two went through one round of infertility treatment in hopes of preserving eggs for the future. David believes finding the money and making the plan to go through infertility treatment was the best choice they made along the way to ensure a possibility of biological kids. Mikayla expresses some disappointment that it was not possible for more than one embryo to be harvested, and in the very same breath expresses her gratitude to be alive and thriving. “My health is a gift”. Mikayla has completed six months of chemotherapy, a right side mastectomy with expander placement and six weeks of radiation. Additionally, she will be taking an oral hormone blocker to permit her ovaries from ovulating and releasing hormones. She will have her final implant surgery in early 2019.
David and Mikayla met during High School and started dating just after David graduated. They have been dating for five years, which most of has been long distance while David worked wild land fire and cared for his mother with Multiple Sclerosis and his little brother who has Down Syndrome. Given David's background, he’s taken an interest in nutrition and the importance of taking care of ones health, it’s impact and how it can serve us in different ways. Naturally the two incorporated this knowledge into a healthy eating plan. David and Mikayla have worked together in so many ways to get through treatment and the reality of living with cancer. David acknowledges that while nutrition is key, getting calories into your body particularly while going through chemotherapy, is also important. The couple had a tradition; the night before chemotherapy treatment they’d go to a restaurant and have a big meal together. This was something that the both would really look forward to. Together they made sure she stayed hydrated and they both drink plenty of alkaline water. There’s been a focus on the restorative properties of sleep as well. On days she had chemotherapy or was recovering from surgery they’d focus on small goals, like walking to the mailbox for physical health. Mental health is yet another factor and although some days felt dark, they made sure to stay positive even if it was on something small. The two are all about good vibes; always looking to the future. Always looking to health and healing. “She has an ambition and a drive. She’s always working toward getting better” David relays with admiration. “One day at a time” Mikayla said many times during her interview.
Originally Oregonians, Mikayla and David now live in Meridian, ID. Mikayla is really looking forward to getting back to her regular schedule, her job as a radiologic technologist and as she said “most of all my CrossFit gym”. She likes that CrossFit Fireside is like a small family community, always working to bettering themselves and help better one another. Her sister went on to say “she loves being part of such an amazing group of people who care for her and her family. It’s a motivating factor in her wellness and recovery”. Beyond CrossFit, Mikayla enjoys travel and hiking on free time. David commented that a lot had been taken from Mikayla in the past year. Through it all she continues to find courage, strength and ambition to improve her health and simply get back to living a "normal life." He also explains that tapping into humbleness and accepting help has been helpful. Mikayla has so much love around her. Folks are lifting her up each step along the way. We wish you well Mikayla!