Melissa Heselmeyer

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Blog | 1 comment

Melissa Heselmeyer

My name is Melissa Heselmeyer, and I am a 3 year breast cancer survivor. My journey began in September of 2008 when I discovered a lump in my breast while taking a shower. I was 27 years old with a little boy who wasn’t even a year old. I went to see my ob/gyn and although he assured me that it was probably just a fibroadenoma he sent me in for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, I decided to have a lumpectomy to see what was going on. That was on October 1, 2008. On October 8th I went to my surgeon’s office to get the results of the biopsy. Everyone kept telling me that it was nothing, just a cyst, so when my surgeon told me it was cancer, I was shocked. It didn’t seem right that a 27 year old with no family history could have breast cancer. I had two more surgeries in the month of October to determine if the cancer cells had migrated into my lymph nodes. I was diagnosed with Stage IIA estrogen receptor positive DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ).  My tumor was 1.3 cm and I also had a few stray cells in my lymph nodes. My oncologist (who is awesome by the way!) decided that I would go through 4 rounds of chemotherapy. After the first round, my hair started coming out, so I had my husband shave my head. He shaved his head along with me, as did my brother-in-law, my step-dad and a co-worker. Besides losing my hair, chemo really wasn’t as terrible as I had imagined. After chemo I went through 7 weeks of radiation (35 treatments). Out of all of the above, radiation was by far the worst. I felt nauseous all the time and the “sunburn” was really painful. When it was all over, I was relieved. My husband and I took a celebratory trip to Hawaii the April after I finished radiation. It was a great way to celebrate the end of that chapter of my life and celebrate the beginning of another. I started my 5 year regimen of Tamoxifen not long after we returned from Hawaii.

I can’t remember exactly when I first saw the commercial for the Breast Cancer 3-Day 2009, but I know it made me bawl, and I decided I wanted to sign up to walk in Dallas in 2009. My best friend in the entire world, Emily, who I have known since we were 9 years old and who came up for one of my surgeries, and sat through chemo with me, signed up to walk with me. I started training and raising money and before I knew it, November had rolled around. The 3-Day was amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed, cried or smiled so much. The support was overwhelming. I think Emily and I cried at almost every cheering station. If you’ve walked or crewed or cheered, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It was truly an amazing and therapeutic experience for me.

The next year I wanted to walk again, but Emily was pregnant and due in late October so I knew she wouldn’t be able to walk with me. That’s when I started looking for a team to join. I found Team Tiara and decided that it was exactly the type of team I would be honored to be a part of. D’Lyn Biggs is an amazing organizer and captain and was able to make me feel like a part of the team, even though I live in College Station. I tented and walked with her awesome sister-in-law Amber the entire weekend. I had the chance to carry the Courage flag in the Survivor’s Circle at the Opening and Closing ceremonies. I was so incredibly honored to carry that flag, and I felt that it was a very fitting flag for me to carry.

I took last year off from the walk but I am signed up for 2012 and ready to go! I never imagined that I would have breast cancer, let alone be a part of the Survivor’s club and there is still that fear that someday the cancer will come back, but I try not to dwell on that. I try to maintain my courage, faith and the hope that someday a cure will be found for this disease.

I am proud to be a 3 year breast cancer survivor and a member of Team Tiara!!!

Melissa

Walker-Dallas- ’09,’10,’12

 

Donate to Melissa Today!!!!

1 Comment

  1. I am so proud of you! Your walk through this journey has been filled with courage and commitment. Love ya! leah

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