“Getting Things Off My Chest”

Breast Cancer Survivor Writes How-to Guidebook To Help Newly Diagnosed  Take Charge of their Treatment

MELANIE YOUNG HEAD SHOTBusiness woman and writer Melanie Young is a woman in motion, and she did not let a breast cancer diagnosis slow her down…just refocus. She used her cancer experience to retool her diet, ramp up her exercise regimen, rid her life from toxic stress and regain a sense of purpose through writing and speaking to empower other women facing the journey. Diagnosed with cancer in both breasts in August 2009, Melanie underwent a double mastectomy with reconstruction, five months of chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, and prophylactic surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes after testing positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation. During that time she continued to run her wine and food marketing and events business. “It was important for me to keep working because I was the primary income producer and it was therapeutic to keep my mind challenged and active despite having bouts of “chemo-brain.”  My goal was to use the experience to build a strong person inside and out, and understand what changes I needed to make to live a healthier,  more balanced life.” Follow: @mightymelanie and at http://www.melanieyoung.com Blog: Getting Things Off my Chest

“Breast cancer is the trip no one wants to take, but it is a road well traveled with one and eight women diagnosed. Like so many women, when I was diagnosed I felt lost. I didn’t know what to ask or expect and I didn’t understand the medical language. I just knew on this trip I wanted to get out alive, keep my quality of life intact and not make a return visit!  Doctors will tell you how they will treat your cancer, but it takes survivors to tell you how cancer treatment will affect your lifestyle; such as how to prepare and what to expect during treatment, how to deal with side effects and body image issues, and how to balance work-family-community while keeping your head together and looking and feeling your best.

“Getting Things Off My Chest” is health-nutrition-beauty-cancer management 101 for women who don’t what to be confined or defined by their diagnosis and who want to make smart decisions about managing their well-being. Melanie interviewed dozens of breast cancer survivors and experts from medical, cancer, and related communities to provide concise, useful information covering a broad range of issues. Some highlights:

  • Five Commandments for the newly diagnosed: understanding your health insurance,  managing finances, getting organized, assembling a health care team and managing communications
  • Selecting a surgeon, medical oncologist and managing treatment: what to ask and expect
  • The “Squeeze Test” – breast reconstruction choices and what to expect; options if you do not reconstruct
  • “The Holy Trinity”- Hydrate, Gyrate and Masticate-  nutrition management and exercise for strength and energy
  • Putting Your Best Face Forward – skin and oral care, hair loss/re-growth and makeup tips to look and feel your best
  • Emotional Rescue –  dealing with managing stress, body image and sexuality
  • Peer support and services to help you along the way and a generous list of helpful resources

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