Melissa is one of four Australians who have shared their “shade of pink” in a new documentary (“Shades of Pink”) produced by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). These five stories are told in their own words, and the words of their families. They are moving, inspiring, revealing and above all, deeply human. Their perspectives are rarely heard.
For more information about “Shades of Pink” or to share your “shade of pink” visit the NBCF website www.nbcf.org.au
Click through to watch Shades of Pink.
At 28 I was busy criss-crossing the globe working as a long-haul flight attendant. I was seeing all the places I had dreamed of as a little girl and enjoying a fast-paced life with friends and family, free from cares and “real” responsibilities. A cancer diagnosis was the last thing on my mind.
In October 2010, things changed. I was taken on an unexpected and very unwelcome journey.
It was late at night and I’d just returned home from dinner at my mum’s place. I was just about to jump into the shower when I felt an immense pain in my right breast. As I felt my breast, I found a rock hard lump the size of a golf ball. Looking back, I immediately knew it was cancer but trying to be positive, I hoped it was just a cyst.
The next morning I made an appointment with my General Practitioner. She reassured me because of my age that it was likely to be a cyst but sent me off for an ultrasound and biopsy to be sure. I headed off to work and continued life “business as usual”.
The day I received my results I had just returned from a flight from Los Angles. Convinced it was just a cyst, I went to the appointment by myself. The GP started reading out the report and as I heard the words “invasive ductal carcinoma”, I burst into tears.