I have breast cancer.

I have breast cancer.  It makes it so real to type it.  I have breast cancer.  The same cancer that took Joel’s birth-mom’s life when he was 6 (Alex’s age).  It is terrifying and painful beyond measure.  I am in the early part of diagnosis.  The part where I know that I have cancer, but I don’t know the stage, the prognosis, or the plan.  The part where for the first few moments every morning, I forget, and then I remember.

I’ve always contemplated writing a blog.  I would look into it, and then stop.  I like reading other people’s blogs, but truly wondered why anyone would care what Melissa Fuoss had to say about the world.  I still don’t know the answer to that, but now — I no longer care.  If my story can help one person out there feel less alone, or make one person out there push their doctor to order further tests- then it is worth putting myself out there in the most vulnerable way.

My mind has been wandering to some pretty dark places.  What if the cancer has spread all over my body? What if I die before I get to raise my beautiful boys?  What if they only see me as sick, and not as silly? What if I put my body through hell, and still lose the fight?  It happens to people.  And then I feel angry.  I breastfed both of my boys past the age of one.  I work out, eat organic fruits and vegetables, stay away from high fructose corn syrup, check my cosmetics’ safety on the Environmental Working Group’s webpage, and have never smoked a cigarette in my life.  I also have no genetic history of breast cancer.  What happened? Why did I get it?  I played the game the “right” way, how did I lose?  And that is the ugly truth.  Right now, I feel scared and angry.

Hope.  I know I need to find it.  I know I need to let go of the anger and the fear, and find the hope.  I know that no matter how dark it gets, there is always light.  I even know that I am strong enough to find it.  But if I am being honest, I’m just not there yet.

Love.  I feel the love.  It is surrounds me every second of every day.  The past five days have already brought me more love than some people probably experience in a lifetime.  I have received countless positive texts and voice-mails.  And I have already been blessed with flowers, soup, chocolate, cards, and company.  I am so loved, and so lucky.  I have everything I need to fight this- including my amazing husband who promises to hold my hand through it all.

On Tuesday I have an appointment at Siteman Cancer Center.  Hopefully, after another round of tests, I will have a plan- a map for this journey.


18 thoughts on “I have breast cancer.

  1. You are more than strong YOU ARE AMAZING! And have been your entire life. Your a mom with a desire to raise and love your boys You are a wife with the will to live a long loving life with your husband but most of all you are Melissa Wood Fuoss! And you can beat anyhing so look at it like you are in training for a 500 breastroke Go get it! Im here with many others cheering you on / Deb

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like I told you the other day; just hearing the news took my breath away (I don’t think I’ll get it back until after you have news on Tuesday). One day at a time, one moment at a time is all you can expect from yourself at this point. You are such a strong, brave, multifaceted, fun, beautiful person. You WILL beat this! I know how strong you are… I remember how you’ve fought and given your ALL for those two, little, beautiful faces that you kiss and hold and snuggle everyday. I can only imagine that struggle was your training for what it to come. A battle that you must refuse to loose. Find that tunnel vision you’ve learned to use in the past…. embrace it, use it and BEAT THIS! Lean on your friends and family and keep all of your strength for this journey to healing. YOU WILL BEAT THIS! I love you! I’m here when you need me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa,
    This is SO not fair. And what a tough spot to be in…to have to wait to find out more…. I am glad that you know you are loved, by lots of people, me included. Thank you for writing this blog. We will be with you every step of the way. And we will do the hoping for you, until you find your own. We’ll throw in a bit of faith, too. Not faith in the pious sense, but faith in your own strength, your spirit, your resiliency and your amazing ability to heal. Sending lots of love,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. (this is Molly from LTYM 2013) Melissa, I am so shocked and outraged to hear this! It is doubly unfair when a healthy person like yourself gets cancer. Breastfeeding DOES lower your risk of breast cancer, particularly pre-menopausal breast cancer. It sounds like you got this diagnosis despite doing everything you could to avoid it. As a lactation consultant, I am going to lodge a complaint with….someone. I’m not sure who. I don’t have any words of wisdom for you right now except that it is extremely unfair. I’m very sorry and will be thinking of you and waiting to hear updates. One of Suzannah’s classmate’s moms got breast cancer several years ago. You and she were of similar age and build. She totally beat it and is now cancer-free, looking better than ever! She has a new set of breasts that we are all jealous of! You are going to survive this and emerge stronger, I am sure of that. I hope they give you some answers and develop a treatment plan very quickly. That will make you feel more in control. Keep us updated!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are loved and cared for. Your doctors will use all that they know to make you well. You are young, healthy and strong. You have a fighting spirit. I wish you didn’t have to face this test. Your blog can be a bright spot to other women on this journey. Head up, Melissa…you’re not doing this alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my god, Melissa – I am so sorry to hear this. You are strong and amazing! We will all carry that knowledge, and hold onto all of the hope in the world until you are ready. Some of the most helpful words I’ve ever received were to just honor all the feelings, whatever they may be. And know that we are all out here – even long lost high school pals – sending all of the love and support that we have. And, F#ck Cancer!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Melissa I am so sorry to hear of this. But as I read your blog, the entire time all I could think about is YOU ARE A WOOD! We fight and we fight hard. Adversity is afraid of US because we win every challenge we face. There is so much love in your family, and between love and prayer, amazing things happen. You will be in my constant prayers and thoughts. You got this! Xoxoxox…Shalene ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I wish I had the right words to say to convey encouragement, support, sympathy, hope, and care for you in this battle. I wish there was a way to just take this from you. I wish I could do more. But please know you are greatly loved and not alone. We are here and we are praying and we are going to fight this with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Melissa, I’ve known you since the day you were born. If there is one thing I donknow, is the amazing support you will have during this process. Your husvand, psrenrs, family and friends. You are blessed to have caught this nasty thing early. You will move on and be able to enjoy watching your kids grow. Positive thoughts, prayers and a few good cries will help. Remember, no matter how “strong” everyone says you are, and that you’re expected to be, it is ok to gave weak moments. You are human. Love you and hugs to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Mrs Fouss,
    Don’t be afraid, you are the most beautiful person and you will get through this. Praying that this Tuesday gives you optimistic news and that you leave feeling solace about a plan. Siteman has the best of the best doctors and they will heal you. You will be our thoughts and in many others. We love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have been praying for you since your mom told me on Saturday. This will be a hard fight, but you are strong and courageous. You have a terrific family and a loving husband and many friends; let them help you and know that I will do anything for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Melissa-I am Joel’s cousin. I am so sorry to hear of your prognosis and that as a young mother you have to place your attention on this. Just want you to know that we are sending you healing energy and holding a vision with you of perfect health and wellness, fortitude and courage. We love you and are standing with you through this. XoxoJessica


  13. Melissa, you are such an AMAZING woman, in too many ways to count. There is no doubt that you will beat this and have this all be just a ‘blip’ in your memory. I have way too many to count people in my life that have beaten the shit out of Stage 3 and 4 cancers (my husband, my Mother, my best friend) who are all in total remission. Everyone who knows you at all, knows that cancer doesn’t have the chance to get you down. I love you and will do anything at all to help you during this time. Love and prayers. Laura


  14. Hi Melissa! There is power in writing and hopefully it will help give you the strength to get through this “phase” of life. You’ve got a lot of love and support surrounding you. Prayers for you in this journey and I look forward to reading more posts from you. I was a student of your mother-in-law’s many many years ago when I was in third grade. Mike was also the principal of our little school at the time. Doesn’t quite seem possible that we’re all grown up now, kids of our own and real issues like that nasty C word affecting our lives and loves of those we care about.


  15. Words… they are not my thing. I have deep feelings, but struggle to put just the right words together that would be helpful. I admire your ability to express yourself. I admire how well you have always taken care of your mind & body, not to mention how well you’ve cared for your family. You are a very intelligent, strong, beautiful person and you will get through this. A good friend of ours who has gone through this and beat it, asked that I pass the following on to you “Tell her this is the worst part- not knowing how far it has gone, what the treatment plan is etc. No matter what, once you know the plan and start doing things, however awful those things can be, it eases up the complete angst of the initial diagnosis.”
    Please know that you, Joel and your boys are in our thoughts & prayers. One day at a time… for now, we are focusing on what you will learn tomorrow.

    And… let us know what we can do to help! Love you! Denny & Staci


  16. Melissa,
    Gail and I just found out about your prognosis last night from Tina. We are shocked and saddened, and we will be praying for your complete recovery. Love to you, Joel and the kids. You can do this– just as many other strong women have beaten this. Your blogs are fantastic! Please keep us all posted, and keep on writing–it is cathartic.


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