My name is Melanie Berry. I am a wife and mother to three beautiful children: Teegan, Kaden and Kylee. I work full-time as a Structural Engineer for over 20 years now, designing and inspecting bridges in this wonderful “City of Bridges”, or as I like to call it, job security. I found a lump by chance on the morning of May 6, 2020, and was diagnosed with Stage IIB, ER/PR+, HER2-, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) on May 12, 2020, at the age of 41, right after Mother’s Day. Because of COVID, I had to endure 16 rounds of chemo (4 AC and 12 Taxol) and NUMEROUS doctor’s appointments ALONE as if having cancer wasn’t lonely enough. But I persevered and by the time I had my bilateral mastectomy and sentinel lymph node removal (5 total) in December 2020, my husband was allowed to accompany me in the hospital. I opted for immediate reconstruction at the time of my mastectomy and had my implant swap done in August 2021. I also decided to do the full hysterectomy and oophorectomy in November 2021 in order to decrease the chance of recurrence by forcing my body into menopause. Currently I am on the 10-year plan taking Arimidex and have been fortunate to only have minor side effects. I am a two-year breast cancer survivor and will celebrate being two years NED on December 14, 2022.
Many believe that when you have completed your course of treatment that you are “cured”, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I will continue to fight this monster for the rest of my life but am most thankful that I found 412Thrive in July 2021. This group of women have helped me in so many ways, ways that I didn’t even realize I needed help in. The care and support of everyone, as well as the monthly get togethers, or as I refer to them as my “therapy sessions”, have put me in such a better place than where I was when I first joined. I am forever grateful to Sam for starting this group and am so excited to help it continue to Thrive like all of you wonderful ladies!