My Breast Cancer Journey
by Melissa Basilone
February 22, 2022
I am so honored to be able to share the story of my breast cancer journey, though I might not be if it weren’t for organizations like United Colors of Pink. I am a 47-year-old breast cancer survivor, and I survived thanks to being able to get access to a mammogram in the early stages of my cancer.
In November of 2017, I noticed a change in my left breast, a thickening. I had a feeling that something wasn’t right, and I had yet to have a mammogram. I began searching for hospitals that offered affordable mammograms to uninsured women. I was quoted a cost of $500 on the very lowest end. We could not afford it. I became scared and desperate to get a mammogram. After much difficult searching, I finally found a non-profit organization that offered free mammogram screening to low-income women and was able to make an appointment.
It was this mammogram, my first ever, that saved my life. Without access to this mammogram, I likely would be battling stage 4 cancer or even worse, I might be dead.
After this initial appointment and several others following, I was diagnosed with ER/PR+ HR2- invasive ductal carcinoma of the left breast on January 16, 2018, and had a lumpectomy on February 14th, 2018. I received chemotherapy and radiation treatments over the course of the following 8 months. I survived because I am a fighter, but mainly because I caught it early on.
My husband and I and our two sons, who were 12 and 7 at the time, lived far away from our families, who were in different states. We could not have gotten through this without the help and support of our close friends and the United Colors of Pink, this amazing group of women, who rallied around us and raised funds to help our family make it through the hardest and darkest times. I will never forget the night they showed up on my porch in the chilly air to bring us hugs and gifts through tears and smiles.
One in EIGHT women will get breast cancer.
Think about that. You or someone you know could have it. Help women get access to early mammogram screenings and the support that they need to survive by supporting the United Colors of Pink! Early detection is the best way to beat this cancer. Without my screening, I might not be alive today.