Melissa + Jeff
We are thrilled to have selected Melissa and Jeff as the recipients of The Wedding Pink. Their wedding was held on April 17, 2011 at Mile High Station in Denver, Colorado.
Without further adieu, here is Melissa and Jeff's photograph and heartfelt story:
My name is Melissa and I am 31 years old. On July 31, 2010, my boyfriend of two years proposed to me in Breckenridge at the top of Peak 8. Jeff is the most romantic man I have ever met and he is truly my angel. He packed a picnic lunch and we rode the ski lift up to the top to find a secluded place to eat. After lunch, in front of a beautiful summer mountain view, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him.
In September 2009, I noticed a strange lump in my left breast. I quickly visited my doctor who sent me to Women’s Imaging Center for a core biopsy. The shocking, unexpected results came right before Thanksgiving: positive. I had breast cancer. I remember Jeff holding me, as I sat on the phone, crying with my doctor. My head was swimming and I could barely comprehend what she was telling me. On my 31st birthday, December 9, 2009, I was sitting in my surgeon’s office and I made the decision that saved my life: double mastectomy, followed by 6 rounds of T.A.C. chemotherapy. The decision to remove both breasts was prescient because before the surgery, cancer had been identified only in my left breast, but tests run after the surgery identified cancer in my right breast as well. The specifics: 3.4cm Stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma in the left breast and two 0.7cm invasive ductal carcinomas in the right breast. In a few days, 8/13/10, I will have my reconstructive implant surgery. That will feel like the final step in this journey, but, of course, that’s not true. Cancer seems to indiscriminately strike anyone in their prime, as it did for me. Now I will have to check in with an oncologist every 3 months for the rest of my life.
This has been an incredible journey and I believe it has made our relationship rock solid. Jeff and I were lucky enough to be set up by a mutual friend at a party for Memorial Day 2008. We have been inseparable ever since. Since the diagnosis, Jeff has been by my side the entire time. Many couples never have to face anything this challenging but we were faced with it only a year and a half into out relationship. I am certain that if we can survive this, we can survive anything life throws at us. Jeff is truly the love of my life and I will be proud to be his wife. We plan to get married in the summer of 2011, raise healthy happy kids and live happily for the rest of our days. After our engagement, it feels like the sky is the limit for us; we’re unstoppable. After my surgery, the PT Scans came back negative and I was officially cancer free. The chemotherapy was essentially precautionary. Now, with a fresh perspective on life, Jeff and I plan to live it to the fullest.
I was so excited when the email about The Wedding Pink came into my inbox this afternoon. I am so pleased that Cheryl Ungar Gives is offering this fantastic wedding to one lucky bride and I would be honored to be the recipient. Even if I am not the winner of this amazing prize, I would like to say “Thank You” on behalf of all cancer survivors.