When Annamarie Melnik first heard the news she had breast cancer back in May 2007, she was overcome with sadness and confusion. How could this happen to her? She was active and athletic – it was a diagnosis that truly shocked her.
Once she got past the initial shock, she gathered all the information she could about the disease. Her doctors offered her rays of hope and excellent care. “They assured me that it was totally curable and treatable,” she says. “They gave me a sense that I could beat this.”
Annamarie received thoughtful notes and encouragement from family and friends, while her strong faith in God kept her calm and gave her “strength to face each day.” Though her experience is not one she would have chosen, she did take away something positive. “I feel I gained a unique perspective about life, and I don’t get upset about the small stuff…each day is precious.”
She wants other women to understand that breast cancer is treatable and that early detection is lifesaving. “Take the time and effort to get tested, because you are worth it.” Reaching out is an important part of the process, she says, and by nature most women have a difficult time with this. “I learned to accept help graciously. Take a deep breath and lean on others who have been there.”
During her journey she found great solace participating in Adelphi’s Breast Cancer Support Group. Now Annamarie gives back by sharing her story with others seeking emotional refuge and guidance.