Melissa Morrison, Survivor since 2015
In February of 2014 my world was turned upside down. On February 21, 2014 to be exact, my daughter’s 8th birthday.
Prior to that day, my days were filled with teaching second grade, running around to various sports and activities with my two children and adjusting to being a single mother. I was 39; my son Jake was 9 and my daughter soon to be 8.
“What’s the hell is that?” I said aloud as I was hopping in the shower one night. “That” was a lump on my left breast that seemingly came out of nowhere. Not overly concerned, I called my doctor the next day and saw her 24 hours later. I was sent for an ultrasound the following week and a biopsy was done on the spot. “Suspicious” they said.
Just two days later I got the call, on my daughter’s birthday.
It was cancer.
The most reassuring words I heard after that were “We are going to take care of this for you.” I believed them and they did.
The hardest person to tell was my son. He cried and screamed “No, no, no mommy”. I told him I was going to be ok. I was. There was no other option.
I called my mother and knew even though her child was almost 40, it was still her worst nightmare. I worried how the news would affect my dad who at the time was waiting for a heart transplant). Everyone was scared my sister, my brother, my sister in law and my friends.
The treatment plan was going to be aggressive. My cancer was Triple Negative Breast Cancer and it was stage 2. First they would blast me with four months of chemo, then I would have a double mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery. I would lose my hair. My face would be erased but I would beat this.
I chose to work through treatment. It was important that my children knew I was going to be okay so I continue my busy life as normal as possible.
Alone in my car was where I cried the most.
My mother was there when I needed her and took me to my treatments. The only day she didn’t was the day my dad did get his heart transplant. My family was a huge support. My town, my coworkers and my friends all rallied around me.
I rallied, day after day. Treatment ended, surgeries were performed, hair grew back and the color returned to my complexion. I looked like myself again. But I wasn’t the same person.
I’m forever changed. I’m a survivor.