Melanie Chezem

Busy mom of three and freelance writer.  My current project is a blog that chronicles my journey through a prophylactic double mastectomy and all the life that happens in between. www.a-life-lived-well.com

An Open Letter to my Children - All you need is Love

My darlings,Of all the posts I will write with you in mind, this one is the most precious.  This is the big one; the most important one.  The ONLY one that will really matter when it's all said and done.  It's so multi-layered, it's going to be hard to condense this into a blog post.  I will try....more

Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy - One Month Later

It's been a month since my double mastectomy. It is entirely cliche but it feels like yesterday and ten years ago, all at the same time. Look at this girl - donning Warrior gear, looking fierce.  All ready to tackle this thing and also, not ready at all. ...more

On Fear, Mother's Day and Wearing Yellow

The last couple of weeks have been tough.  I've been notably absent - busy, I will tell you, but honestly, I've been struggling.  I wish I could tell you I have harnessed all of your wonderfully kind words and become BRAVE.  I have moments.  Fleeting moments when I stand tall and feel "ready" to do this thing.  Most of the time, however, I am just feeling scared.  It's very difficult to give words to the feelings associated with this situation.  It seems like an obvious no-brainer to some people - and others don't understand at all....more

We Can Do Hard Things

Time for some honesty.  Since I "came out of the boobie closet" a few days ago, I've received an amazing amount of support and encouragement.  I've spent a lot time tearing up over just the compassion and kindness that has been expressed to me.  I'm so, so grateful.  Everyone is telling me how brave and strong I am, and the truth is, most days lately I don't feel that way at all.  Quite honestly I feel more crazy or bi-polar.  Some days I am confident and brave.  I think, "Yes!...more

The Turning Point

Back in February, I made my first trip to MD Anderson and met my new cancer prevention doctor, Dr. Powell Brown.  He was a soft spoken man with kind eyes and seemingly had nothing else to do that day other than talk to me.  He made me feel like I was his only patient, which immediately told me I was in good hands.  I told him my story and he listened intently, though he had already familiarized himself with my case via the files sent from KU Med....more

Ticking Time Boobs

So here it is...a story that's been long in the making.  The thought first crept in many years ago, before I got married, before I had kids, before I created a life, so to speak.  At that time it was more of an "F you" to cancer and it's supposed quest to find me.  I was angry and scared and devastated by the loss of my mother.  I am still all of those things.  But now there is an extra layer of worry and fear because I have a life now; a life with a husband and three children and this is a life I want to live for a long time....more
First off, I am very sorry that you lost your mom at such a young age, and that your predominant ...more