Breast cancer survivor tells her story during Breast Cancer Awar -

Breast cancer survivor tells her story during Breast Cancer Awareness month

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Melanie Long lost her mother to breast cancer when she was 9 years old. Deep down and in the back of her mind she always feared the day would come when she would be diagnosed.

Because of that deep fear she took every extra precaution one can take.  Melanie got regular mammograms starting at 30 years old.  She did everything doctors told her to do to make sure she didn’t suffer the same fate as her mom.

That all changed in 2015.

“At a routine mammogram in August of last year they did find something.  They did a biopsy and confirmed that I did have breast cancer,” Long said.

She calls it her “worst nightmare coming true.”

“I have never in my life cried the way I did that day.  I had actually been tested for the gene (in the past) and I didn’t have it.  So it was even more of a shock,” Long said.

Since then Melanie Long has utilized every resource imaginable for those diagnosed with breast cancer.  She’s called the American Cancer Society’s free service on a number of occasions.  She’s had surgeries.  She’s had treatments. 

This past weekend she took part in the Making Strides Against breast Cancer walk in Forest Park.  More than seven thousand men and women in St. Louis showed up and raised $325,000. 

 “It was overwhelming emotionally.  Just to know there are so many people out there working to fight against breast cancer and have so many friends and family walking with me was just amazing,” Long said.

Long’s husband has been her biggest supporter.  He vowed to wear a pink tuxedo to work – and even out in public – if he raised more than $2,500 for the walk.  He ended up beating that goal by at least five hundred dollars. 

The tuxedo is in and Long’s husband is prepared to wear it.

As for her prognosis?

“On Friday of this week I get my last treatment.  I will have two more surgeries and then I will probably get a break for a while.”

She’s hopeful.  She’s positive.  She’s fighting.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2016, it’s estimated nearly a quarter of a million women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. 

More than 40,000 will die from the disease.

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