Melody shares her battle & defeat of breast cancer, & how Sugarland & the fans she now calls friends, were there for support along the way.
I must say that I had to think long and hard about writing this blog for two reasons; first, this is very personal and second, it is too early to tell what we are dealing with and with that being said, some may say “why would you want to share with total strangers?”. If you are reading this, you are not a stranger, you are my SugarFamily and if this helps to save just one woman’s life, then mission accomplished! On Dec 31st, I received a certified letter stating that “the mammogram from Dec 23 needed further evaluation”. Great, just the kind of letter that every woman wants to receive on New Year’s Eve and being a Friday, that left the entire weekend to think about it, especially since my roommate was out of town and I was off work. At first I was scared, then mad. How dare my body turn against me. I have always avoided too much sunlight, I do not smoke, I only drink on occasion, and I have recently changed my eating habits and have lost 12 pounds in four months. Oh, wait….my grandmother had breast cancer. Should I be concerned? That Monday, I called my doctor who scheduled an appointment for me to come and speak with her that day. What we are dealing with is “calcium deposits”. What the heck? Apparently, calcium deposits can go two ways. 80% are non cancerous, which is great news, however, calcium deposits are responsible for 30-50% of early detection of breast cancer. Basically, at this point I really am feeling very positive about the situation as the worst case is “early signs of cancer”, and as we all know, I hope, the earlier this is detected, the better. Friday Jan 14th, we do a deeper mammo because, size, shape and grouping tell the story. And, speaking of story…this was not meant to scare anyone or to drum up sympathy. My intent is to get the word out of how important those mammograms really are, and more importantly, if you have gone through this, or are going through this, please know that you are not alone!
Yesterday I thought I could not move. There was no way to find solid ground Who could touch this broken heart Where would I get my brand new start The letter came and the earth stood still I would never be the same For this was such a bitter pill I stared at the words with great dismay It’s time to put away yesterday For you have held the key to my heart With your music that fills the air And the promise you will always be there I needed someone to remind me That I really would be okay Just needed someone to tell me That they would shine the way I fought back tears and swallowed hard Closed my eyes and took a deep breath Your voices came through loud and clear Breathe in, breathe out, you are loved If this is the battle that I must fight I will do so with all my might I will not go down easily This will not take me peacefully I will stand shoulder to shoulder With all the mothers, sisters and daughters Those before who have waged this unwanted war And have won the pink ribbon of honor.
Tuesday January 19, I received a phone call from my doctor asking if I could come into the office to review the mammogram. Sure, when should I be there? “Now.” Well, that is not what you want to hear. The grains of salt like calcium deposits could still not be identified therefore we would be moving on with a biopsy.
For me, my “Little Miss” moment was now….
“Little Miss hide your scars”
“Cancer will not define me”
“I’ll be alright again.”
I met with the surgeon on Monday Januray 24th and the procedure was explained to me and the appointment was set for Tuesday February 1st. I worked from 4:30am to 8am that morning to keep my mind off of the procedure. When I returned home my roommate asked how I was doing and I told her “Let me jump in the shower real quick and cry this out then I’ll be good to go.” Just as we were ready to leave, I received a call that one of the techs was ill so the biopsy was to be delayed one week. Great one more week added on to this mental battle.
Finally, Tuesday February 8th had arrived. I took my iPod with me as I wanted to listen to “Little Miss” once in the waiting room prior to going in so I could have the song in my head for the one hour procedure. I have 154 songs currently on ny iPod and I could not get it to scroll to artists as it was stuck on random play. My roommate could see my frustration and asked if I was okay. I told her that it was stuck and just then I accidentally hit the play button for random play and sugar miracle…”Little Miss” was the next song.
A few minutes later I was called back to begin. As I sat in the chair all I could do was stare off into the corner of the room and repeat “Little Miss” over and over again in my head. An hour later, while the doctor was wrapping me in the ace bandage he was thanking me for remaining so calm which allowed him to complete the biopsy. The two technicians also thanked me for staying so calm. Little did they know that the room had actually been filled to capacity as it was not only the doctor, the two technicians, the machine specialist and myself, but Jennifer and Kristian were there singing in my head “breathe in, breathe out, hold on for you are loved,” and I had my SugarFamily all around telling me “it will be alright again”.
On Monday February 14th, when most people were receiving cards, flowers and teddy bears for Valentine’s Day, I was receiving the sweet news…..NO CANCER!
Thank you Jennifer, Kristian, and all of my SugarFamily, especially Kathie Gunn, who spoke with me almost daily on FaceBook reminding me to “hang on, it will be alright again”. And I also want to thank Whitney from the SugarLand website who sent me emails of concern and encouragement and told me “you are loved Little Miss”.
Please don’t let this journey scare any of you from getting those mammograms. Yes, being a guest in hell for almost two months was a mental battle, but if it had gone the other way, it would have been caught so earlier that I had a fighting chance to become cancer free. Remember, these mammograms are saving YOUR life so that you will be around for your children, your family and your friends.