Survivor Stories 2015:
1. How did you first find out you had cancer?
I found a lump above my right breast in September of 2007. None of my doctors mentioned cancer because of my age and how healthy I was, and that I didn’t feel sick at all. After several mammographies and biopsies, my doctor told me it’s cancer.
2. How did you react when you heard the news?
I heard it’s cancer then my doctor’s voice trailed off and sounded like the Peanuts’ adult voices. I was freaked out, scared, in complete shock, but I knew in my heart everything would be okay.
3. What course of treatment were you prescribed?
I had a lumpectomy, with no lymphnode involvement. Stage 1 Grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma. 4 rounds adrimcyn/cytoxin, 12 rounds taxol, 16 rounds radiation, herceptin concurrent with taxol
4. What most surprised you about your treatment?
That cliche saying “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” It is true. At the beginning of treatment you have no idea how the hell you are going to get through it, but you do, you have to, there is no other option.
5. What would your advice be to anyone who’s just received a cancer diagnosis?
Don’t shut out people who want to help, don’t let your pride get in the way of someone, say, helping you with housework or meals or even just a chat. It is easy to isolate yourself from everyone. Find resources online or at your local hospital, other survivors, etc. Other people have gone through what you have and you are not alone. As a survivor you may feel that way but you are not alone.
6. How long have you been cancer free?
7. What lessons did you learn from the experience?
I learned that no matter how alone or depressed you feel, and I was, that there are other survivors out there who have been through what you have been through, and that they want to help. The hardest part is asking for help. I think that is why I advocate. I wanted to be accessible for survivors to reach out via blog, Twitter, Facebook or email. If I can’t help I can point you in the direction of someone who can, whether it be about suggestions about what food to eat during treatment or to just find someone to talk to.
8. If you could send one message to all the Good Enough Mothers out there – what would it be?
If you are diagnosed with cancer, welcome to the club that no one wants to belong to, you are in good company and there are many of us out here to help.
Mel Majoros is the co-host on WMKT’s Vic McCarty show was in the best physical shape of her life when she heard the news at age 37. Through treatment, she started blogging for cathartic purposes. Now, Mel’s blog and podcast are one of the most popular in the country as she inspires thousands and helps those go through the anxieties cancer can bring.
Recently, her blog, thecancerwarrior.blogspot.com was named one of the top inspirational cancer blogs by mritechnicianschools.org and one of the top ten breast cancer blogs by blogs.com. Mel also has a podcast on empoweradio.com that provides a positive spin on cancer. She likes to link her positive attitude due to her favorite past time, ice hockey which she played during her treatment. She says, “Being the captain of my team, I retained an athlete’s mentality in battling cancer. When you play hockey, if you get knocked down, you can’t just sit there on the ice when the game is going on. You have to keep skating.”