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Patient Stories

Melissa Watts: Stronger Today Than Before Cancer

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Melissa Watts of Millsboro remembers feeling terrified when she learned she had bone and breast cancer.

“It was like I couldn’t move. I was frozen and just thought I would never be able to deal with it,” Melissa said. “Then, when my hair started falling out from the treatments, I became scared to even leave the house. I was worried what people would say.”

She credits the team at Beebe’s Tunnell Cancer Center and her husband, Jay, will building her up and encouraging her.

“I attended the support groups and talked to Jude at the cancer center. Listening to the stories of the other people in the group really helped me understand what it meant to have cancer and live through cancer,” she said. “They really built me up and encouraged me.”

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Through her treatments, Melissa struggled with her confidence. However, as she started to feel better, she started to feel stronger both physically and mentally.

“I wasn’t working during most of my treatment, but as I started to feel myself coming back, I got up the courage to apply and eventually get a job at Delaware Technical Community College,” Melissa said. “It’s the perfect job for me and I feel happy every day to go to work.”

Around the same time, Melissa started feeling up to socializing.

She and Jay had originally bonded over bowling when they were dating. They went regularly and bowled with a group of friends. They stopped going during Melissa’s treatments, but recently ventured back out to Millsboro Lanes to bowl.

“It was an incredible experience for me because I really wasn’t sure how people would act or what they would say,” Melissa said. “But everyone was so nice and supportive. They were all just really happy to see me and that wasn’t something I expected.”

At home, Melissa and Jay are also cooking more together. They are more focused on preparing healthy meals at home to support Melissa’s health.

“I don’t know what I would do without Jay because he has really just stopped everything else to focus 100% on me,” Melissa said. “Having that daily support means more than anyone knows.”

Now, that Melissa is finishing treatments, she is ready to give back to other patients.

“I want to mentor others who are going through cancer treatments. I gained so much from the team at Beebe and at Tunnell – more than they will ever know – so I feel I need to give back to others,” she said. “It’s amazing just to talk to others at Tunnell and hear the stories. It’s the stories and the interactions that really give me strength. I feel stronger and better than before. In many ways, I feel reborn and now I am able to live a happy, healthy life.”

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