When 40-year-old Melanie discovered a lump in her breast, she approached the situation with composure and got a biopsy done.
"I've always had a rational approach to things. No matter what life throws at me, I keep calm and take control," she said in the interview.
The results showed that she had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), which has the potential to spread beyond the milk duct walls and affect other areas of the body.
"For the first time in my life, I felt I had no control. My body was suddenly turning against me," Melanie says. "Emotionally, I struggled a lot. It was the most difficult thing I have ever gone through."
To navigate this difficult time in her life, Melanie sought out help at a local cancer-support centre. There, she found support from other cancer survivors sharing their experiences on their breast cancer journeys.
"Being able to talk with others who had gone or were going through the same was comforting and helpful," says Melanie.
She also turned to her family and friends, who came together to help, listen, encourage and lift her when needed. "Going through cancer and its treatment has changed me forever. This disease gave me a better perspective on what matters and what doesn't. It also renewed my appreciation for the people in my life."
Today, Melanie is cancer-free. She's a health advocate who supports others coping with a breast cancer diagnosis. "I would tell anyone facing cancer that they don't have to face the unknown alone. They can find support among family and friends, at a local centre or online."