Breast Cancer Survivor Blog Series: Life After Cancer Treatment

Writer, business woman, passionate traveler, and breast cancer survivor, Melanie Young is an advocate for the empowerment of women through education, peer support and mentoring… and now she’s offering her words of wisdom to Paula Young customers via a 10-part blog series.

This Q&A interview-style blogs series offers insight on Melanie, her book – Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide To Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer – and her battle with breast cancer.

I hope you enjoy the fifth installment of this series which captures what Melanie experienced once her cancer treatment was complete.

PAULA: How did you adapt to life after treatment?

MELANIE: Life after treatment was in three stages for me: First, the initial euphoria of finishing treatment combined with a careful re-entry. I took the summer to undergo physical therapy for my very weak arms. I continued to monitor my diet and exercise. And I wrote a lot to vent my emotions.

About a year after treatment I had a sudden and sharp bout of post-traumatic stress that took me by surprise. It was my “what the heck just happened to me?” period. I no longer enjoyed my work and wanted to make dramatic changes in my life and career. But, I also needed to pay down a lot of debt, so I had to just deal with it by dialing down my work schedule a bit so I could reflect on where I wanted to go next in my life.

Today, I feel like I have achieved more balance and have simplified my life more. I also “came out of the cancer closet” publicly the end of 2011 and continued writing my book. It was a defining moment being able to say publicly and confidently: “I had cancer. I finished treatment. I am healthy.”

For more about Melanie or to order her book, please visit


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