An African American Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor: Melanie Nix's story

Uploaded by NCIcancertopics on 18.10.2011

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>>It's not that you won't cry
or be scared anymore,
it's that you'll cry
and be scared but still walk
through fire.
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Make sure you celebrate every
milestone every step of the way.
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Hi, I'm Melanie Nix.
I am an almost 3 year,
triple negative breast
cancer survivor.
The Friday morning
that we were waiting
for the biopsy results,
my husband and I kind
of were busying ourselves.
When I told him,
I think we both were in shock
and numb and that was one
of the few times...we are both
talkers; that was one
of the few times that we were
at a real loss for words.
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After digesting the news,
his focus was,
"You got to survive and you got
to do everything you can
to survive for yourself, for me,
for our kids, for your family
and your friends."
And we went
into just battle mode.
During times
when chemotherapy got rough
and I was really not sure I
wanted to go back, he would say,
"But you could do it;
you could do it."
And he pushed me.
My kids pushed me in ways
that they didn't even know.
When my son was doing something,
he might say, "But I'm not going
to quit mommy,
because that's what you
and daddy always say,
"Don't quit.""
And those words would echo
in my mind when I would get
scared or fearful
and I would just say,
"Don't quit."
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A week and a half before
Christmas, I actually had the
mastectomy and the
prophylactic mastectomy.
From that, I actually went
into kind of premature menopause
so dealt with some
of the hot flashes and some
of the hormonal changes.
Going into premature menopause
effected me a lot emotionally
because you're hormones are just
going through so much change
very rapidly,
so I was very emotional.
I would cry a lot;
I was sad a lot.
But I talked to my doctors
and they explained to me
that these could be some
of the side effects.
"If it gets to be too much,
let's talk about some
other treatments."
Through the process,
I did just a lot of research
because I really wanted
to understand what was
happening; what
where the questions to ask.
I actually referred
to the National Cancer Institute
website and found some great
information resources there.
They have facts sheets
that gave good information
about breast cancer,
about treatment options,
about risk factors, about diet
and nutrition.
They also had some good
information about tumor markers
and other things to look
out for, so I found
that to be a very
valuable resource.
My message to other African
American women
like myself would be;
make sure you're doing
everything you can (early
making sure you're monitoring
your diet and nutrition,
making sure
that you're making exercise a
part of your daily routine.
If you don't have insurance
or you're underinsured,
find programs.
There are programs
that will provide support
and treatment.
And just talking constantly
with your doctors.
Making sure you don't miss your
doctor's appointment.
Make them take you seriously
and make them understand the
and treat you accordingly.
You might get fearful you might
slip, but you have
to keep pushing to the top.
So whatever it is,
just keep climbing
and I think one of the best ways
to do that is
to make sure you're armed
with information.
Talk to your doctor;
don't be afraid
to ask any question.
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