Passionate traveler and wine and food professional Melanie Young took an unexpected detour in 2009 to a place she refers to as “Cancer Land.” She has written a witty guidebook filled with tips and insights to help newly diagnosed women navigate their journey called: Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide To Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer ($16.99).
Melanie stresses the importance of understanding your rights and options as a breast cancer patient and taking responsibility for eating, hydrating and exercising to build strength and fight fatigue. Melanie interviewed dozens of breast cancer survivors and experts from the medical, cancer and related communities to provide concise, useful information covering a broad range of issues.
Diagnosed with cancer in both breasts in August 2009, Melanie underwent a double mastectomy with reconstruction, five months of chemotherapy, genetic testing and a prophylactic surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. Throughout, she continued to run her wine and food marketing business without revealing her diagnosis to her clients or colleagues. She used her experience to retool her diet, reboot her exercise regimen, rid her life from toxic stress and repurpose through writing and helping other women facing the journey. She still enjoys working in wine and food and focuses on mindful moderation and careful consumption. Today she is speaker/writer/advocate for the empowerment women, women’s health and breast cancer awareness.