Megan Silianoff: This Woman Used Her Cancer Diagnosis to Launch an Online Empire

January 9 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: A Healthy Approach to Work and Life

Have you ever majorly screwed up at work? Following a big mistake, we often let our inner dialogue go into deep, dark places where self-doubt lives. But remember, you were hired to do this thing you do, and every single woman out there makes mistakes.

So, wipe away the tears, step away from your desk and breathe. When you look back at your life, you won’t be upset that you missed a deadline or never responded to an email. Instead, you’ll praise yourself for the endless list of things you did well.


One reason for making mistakes in your career can be health-related. Maybe you’re distracted at the office because you’re so focused on caring for a sick parent or child, or maybe you’re sick yourself. For many dealing with health and caregiver concerns, that’s where the internet comes in, to soothe, comfort and guide those who need it most. According to the Pew Research Center, 1 in 5 people living with chronic disease use the internet as a way to cope, posting comments and queries about health issues, compiling online reviews of doctors and hospitals, and sharing photos, videos and comments on health blogs.

Furthermore, female patients, particularly younger women, are more common users of social media than male patients. There are more online websites for breast cancer than any other form of cancer, with breast-cancer patients being more likely to share information about their diagnoses than those afflicted with other cancers. It’s all about finding that knowledgeable community of support, even if it’s only on the information superhighway.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Megan Silianoff, Founder and Creative Director of Mad Meg Creative Services

Megan Silianoff is one of these resilient women who found comfort through online support. When Megan was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer at age 28—just about the scariest and most life-changing thing possible—she turned to the internet, starting a blog to keep her family up to date on her progress. But using an online forum to share her treatments, which included years of surgeries, provided more than just an outlet for discussion; it tapped into a skill set she hadn’t known existed within her.

Prior to her diagnosis, Megan sold copy machines. Though it may not sound like the sexiest job in the world, it taught Megan the art of selling, a talent she later employed when working in the staffing industry, nailing the ability to cold call and run a meeting.

Fortunately, Megan’s cancer is now in remission. While her health remains a top priority and is something she’s thankful for, Megan missed all that blogging she did when working through her health issues. So, she kept at it, this time with a fun personal site called Greetings From Texas. Her writing helped her gain confidence and became a life-changer, enough so that she’s written a few books and started a boutique firm specializing in public relations, web design and social-media management called Mad Meg Creative Services. Clients rave about how results-driven Megan and her team are while also staying affordable for those just starting out.

Now holding down her dream job, Megan offers a beautiful gem of advice for women early in their careers: Don’t worry about it. Dreams change, she notes, so in your early 20s, don’t hold yourself to the unrealistic idea that you’ll know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. Just stay focused and success and fulfillment will come.


Megan Silianoff was able to turn her previously unknown gift for blogging into a successful career, but she’s never forgotten her humble online beginnings, and neither have her readers. After all, as author Judy Blume said:

“Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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