Melanie Begue | Brave & Beautiful

Melanie Begue had a moment of self-revelation when she discovered a lump on her breast in August 2019. “I have had a lot of things throughout my life that have been a little bit traumatic. I try and let things bounce off my back,” said Begue. “When I found the lump, I knew what it was. I knew it wasn’t an everyday cyst. I knew I had to stay mentally clear, otherwise I never would have been able to physically fight it.”

Melanie Begue had a moment of self-revelation when she discovered a lump on her breast in August 2019.

“I have had a lot of things throughout my life that have been a little bit traumatic. I try and let things bounce off my back,” said Begue. “When I found the lump, I knew what it was. I knew it wasn’t an everyday cyst. I knew I had to stay mentally clear, otherwise I never would have been able to physically fight it.”

Life
Begue is 45, single and the mother of two grown children. She left her nursing job at Stow-Glen Retirement Village in Stow in 2013 and went on disability. “I’m bipolar; that’s the whole reason I left.”

Diagnosis
“I had not been feeling good for months before I found the lump in August (2019),” Begue said. “I knew something was not right with my body. They always say if you have a lump and it doesn’t hurt, that’s probably cancer, and it was. I have a history of breast cancer in my family. My dad’s sister and my maternal grandmother both died of breast cancer.”

Treatment
“It was amazing how they got me in so quickly. I went to chemotherapy from September (2019) to March, and ended up having surgery in April of this year. I had a lumpectomy and 21 radiation treatments.”

Experience at Aultman
“You come in there and they all know your name. It’s nice to know they care about you and remember you; you’re not just a number. I had financial difficulties through all this, and Erin Meek, who is a breast care navigator, helped me out quite a bit, trying to find resources for me. She was very sweet.”

“I have a spot on my rib, but it’s small and they’re waiting until the end of (August) to redo the bone scan. The type of cancer I have, the triple-negative breast cancer, is one of the rarest and most aggressive.”

Closing thought
“I know women are afraid of having those mammograms. They’re not fun, but they are necessary. Women need to trust their own instincts. We know our own selves the best. This can happen to you.”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass