When you’re the mom of teenager with an aggressive and rare form of cancer, you don’t plan ahead for more than a few days at a time.
For the Mugrage family of Bluffton, those next few days are, at least, being spent in their own home instead of in the hospital.
Jessica Mugrage said her son, Michael — the May River High student who is fighting high-risk rhabdomyosarcoma — had five doses of chemotherapy over the past week while hospitalized at Savannah Memorial Health Hospital.
Now, doctors have given the 15-year-old a break to recuperate at home.
“He is definitely happier at home,” Jessica said of her son, a San Francisco 49ers fanatic who was able to enjoy the brief reprieve by playing the new “Madden NFL 18” on the XBox like any other teenager on Wednesday.
“His spirit is a little more upbeat,” she said.
Her part, meanwhile, is doing paperwork and research to make sure her son is getting the best treatment possible. And enjoying small blessings where they come.
“We only think of a few days ahead of where we are right now,” she said.
On Monday, chemo starts again.
Michael’s cancer has surrounded his left lung and was found in his bone marrow. He also has tumors on his skull. He faces 53 more weeks of treatment and more hospitalizations ahead.
“They’ve told us to always have a bag ready,” Jessica said. “Anything can change at any minute.”
The single-mom of two — Michael has a younger brother, Matthew — said she continues to be overwhelmed and thankful for the support from the community where the family has lived for only two years since moving from Hawaii. “It is so appreciated,” she said.
Financial donations through a Go Fund Me page set up by family friend and neighbor Bluffton Realtor Catherine Keith Donaldson had reached nearly $34,000 of the $50,000 goal on Wednesday afternoon.
Jessica said cards with words of encouragement for Michael are welcome and may be sent to: Michael Mugrage, 101 Fording Bend, Bluffton SC 29910.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103