from Baby Sister

Dec 28

Hello, friends. Meggie-baby here. Meggie is not a name I have voluntarily answered to since I was about seven years old, but somehow that feels like the right way to introduce myself to you. In this blog space, Jen referred to me as Baby Sister. In life, she called me Meggie-baby. One of my joys is that when I’m with Brad or Maren or Greta, they still call me Meggie.

Since Jen died, there has been an open invitation from Brad and our family to contribute to this blog, and it’s something I’ve thought about often. I want to share and connect with the people who know and love and miss Jen. But my words about loss aren’t elegant, and my messages don’t hold the hope or the beautiful lessons that would be worthy of her. My grief has been clumsy, flailing, and desperate.

Instead of telling you about the hurt, I am sharing a different story, one that will hopefully help people who are part of this extended cancer community: I have chosen to have a risk-reducing double mastectomy next year.

I am the daughter of breast-cancer-survivor-and-surgical-nurse-Roz, and of Norv-who-knows-everything-about-navigating-health-insurance-in-America. I am the baby sister of therapist-and-advocate-Katie, AND of Jen-freaking-Anderson. I am—or rather, I should be—in the best possible position to navigate this decision and this process with clarity and confidence. In reality, it has been so, so hard. Being high-risk but not diagnosed with breast cancer puts me in an ambiguous category. I joined my first high-risk breast cancer study in 2012 when Jen was newly diagnosed, and I have been facing—and sometimes not facing—this risk ever since.

The information, screening, and interventions that are available to me now have not always been on the table. Resources have opened up for me with better health insurance policies, with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, and with two rounds of genetic testing results. It has taken a lot of research and a lot of frustrated tears to finally connect with the right medical team. It has taken the incredible support of my family and my community to feel confident in my choice. Maybe I can help some of you who are facing similar fears and decisions. Share my research. Be your support.

I’m the mama of four-year-old Gloria and two-year-old Sylvie. I am married to my partner and best friend Dane. I work full-time in a role that I love and care about. My life is busy, and this surgery and recovery will spectacularly interrupt everything. When I’m unable to go to work or pick up my babies, I intend to use some of that quiet time to write and connect with you.

Jen and Mom were both blindsided by cancer. It is such a gift and a privilege that, because of them, I can choose to understand my risk. It is such a gift and a privilege that I can manage my risk and take action to reduce it. This is hard, but I am very grateful.

Do today well.

Love, Meggie


  1. I am a Double Mastectomy Previvor as well. I can tell you with 100 certainly it is worth it all, the relief you will feel when you wake up is Gold! It wasn’t nearly as horrible as I had built up in my mind, and now 1.5 year later a distant memory. I took have 3 kids and I did it to be here for them, as well as to give them the courage to do it should they end up with the same gene as all of the other ladies in our lives. I’m very proud of you, it’s not an easy decision in the moment, but after you’ll know it was a no brainer. Keep us updated!! Let me know if I can answer any questions!

  2. Baby sister!!!!! Hello and thank you for writing and your bravery in sharing your journey. What a beautiful beautiful tribute to Jen to choose to use the information you have at hand and do all you can with it. Wishing you well and a very speedy recovery!

  3. What a brave and bold decision – and to talk about it as well!! Behind you and cheering for you. May it give you peace of mind and many many years with your people. May it keep your people from experiencing another shattering loss.

    Honoring the years of threshing that it took to come to this decision. Simple sentences that can’t fully describe the energy and emotions that were with you through your years in the study, going through the testing, finding the team, and then making the actual decision.

    I never had the pleasure of meeting Jen IRL. However I am happy to call you Baby Sister, and I send you so much love and support! You have my prayers, my high vibrations! Thank you for sharing and may others gain strength and perspective and may your beautiful vulnerable share help shape future thoughts and decisions. 💕🙏🏽💪🏽

  4. Patty Wheeler /


    You are all amazing!

    To me personally you will always be the Mathie kids…but you are the Mathie Warrior Women. Brave, strong and beautiful. I still think about you all. I was just looking at a card from your Mom from shortly after Jen passed away. How proud we are of you all. I see pics of Maren and Greta and it is a shock as they are so grown up! Jen had the best husband which I am so happy she had. Love never dies…. Please keep us posted! ❤️

  5. Kathi Roth /

    Maggie. Thank you for sharing. My heart skipped a beat when I saw Do Today Well. And I disagree, you do write elegantly and poignantly ❤️ What a courageous decision you are making. What a privilege it will be to pray for you throughout. Blessings to you in this approaching New Year.

  6. Carrying grief and joy together /

    Dear Megan, while we’ve never met I can assure you that my heart aches for the absence of Jen and too many others who have left my life due to similar diagnoses. The living life forward with those loved ones not an active part of my day, not in my new memories and not in the countless photos I take…well it sucks. I just wanted to say that your words, while different, do very much echo Jen’s heart. I want you to know that you are very brave…both in your decision to have this risk reducing (I chose to label it risk eliminating) surgery AND to share it with us here. I can see Jen smiling at you, nodding in agreement that she too is proud, and all with that familiar twinkle in her eyes. I know you will navigate the days ahead well…

  7. I am so so proud of you, Meggie – and I love you. You are fierce and tender at the same time. There is no challenge that is wasted – that is not used to carve us more precisely into the fullest version of ourselves. Your team will surround you with goodness and support and the wisdom and empathy your struggle brings will surely bless others. Hugs.

  8. Michelle maly /

    A very brave decision! My friend just did this in early November and her recovery was smooth sailing! I wish the same for you!

  9. Thank you for sharing. I will be praying for you.

  10. Kim Rourke /

    I already hear the wisdom and courage that seem to be born into all Mathie women! Happy to be on board to cheer you and encourage as I can.

  11. Thanks for sharing. I’m praying for you. Katy H

  12. Roslyn Mathie /

    Your writing would make Jen proud. You have done so many days, “Doing Today Well”. The purpose of the blog was to shed a light on the daily lives of people afflicted with cancer. Your insight and intelligence feeds Jen’s mission. Love Mum

  13. Dotti Cox /

    I never met Jen either, but know her parents Roz and Norv, who were amazing people to have met! All my prayers for extra strength and courage to you and your family and friends.
    God bless 🙏

  14. Peggy Allis Murriner /

    Get it, Meg. So wild this option is available to you at this moment. I hope it feels worth it- the whole time. I bless you with peace and comfort that’s soul deep and enduring. Go forth, brave one.

  15. Allanah /

    Megan you are such a brave young woman and Jen would be so incredibly proud of you and support this decision wholeheartedly . Im not sure if the followers of this feed know the strength and love this family share and the pride they take in “Doing today well”. I appreciate being family and my heart just bursts with love for you all . Love Allanah

  16. Marlayne M Skeens /

    You do today well ❣️ Hugs & Love 🥰

  17. Bonnie B Jackson /

    Megan aka Meggie ❤️. Your blog post popped up today and my heart swelled!! In a multitude of counselors there is comfort, wisdom and faith!! We’ll be praying for you, Dane and the girls all along this journey – Peace Strength Healing Rest 🙏💓
    We dearly Love your family ❤️❤️

  18. Christin Stegman /

    Just like Jen, somehow you squeezed the chaos into a diamond ☺️. Thanks for the humanity you’re not afraid to show, and thanks for also not being afraid to show the goodness around you. I have a Happy Thought Bubble that makes me think of Jen often- I will now also be thinking of you as well. Lots of love.

  19. Kimberly Bunn /

    Meg, this is an amazing post, sacrifice, and tribute to Jen and your mom.

  20. Maureen /

    Oh my gosh, what a gift to read this! What a familiar vibe of determination and of thinking about what could be important to share for others’ sake! Here for all the future updates.

  21. Kathleen /

    It’s a very brave and courageous step you are making…one that I’m sure you have researched extensively. Wishing you a speedy recovery. What a beautiful post…you would make Jen so proud ❤️ that you are “Doing today Well”.

  22. Conni Carlson /

    Meg, Hugs and prayers for a safe, successful surgery and recovery. I admire your courage to move forward! Wishing you all the best – Conni

  23. As I attempted to comment on your more recent post, none of this is easy. Everything you are experiencing is seen through the lens of your mom and sister battling cancer, and this 40th birthday year makes it doubly (or even more) poignant. Yet here you are, choosing to not only DO TODAY WELL but in doing so, share your knowledge and journey with others in the gracious vein of helping at least one other person. Your whole family has made a permanent mark on my heart.❤️ May God’s perfect timing be evident as you proceed, may God guide your surgeon’s hands, and may you know God’s perfect peace.