Carrie is a 30-year-old breast cancer survivor from Dallas, Texas.
Tell us about yourself.
I enjoy traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. My husband and I live in Dallas, Texas, with our two dogs, Bingo and Lady.
When were you diagnosed?
I knew that 2009 was going to be a life-changing year for me, but I could have never imagined what was to come. In February, I married the love of my life — we had a beautiful wedding and celebrated with our friends and family. In March, we went on a romantic beach honeymoon, and about a week after we got home, I found my lump.
In May 2009, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I had just turned 29 years old and was a newlywed focused on building a life with my wonderful new husband. I had no strong family history of breast cancer, and I had no reason to think that it would happen to me. But breast cancer did happen to me, and it has changed my life forever.
How has cancer changed your outlook on life?
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer last May, I kept trying to make sense of it all. I kept asking, "Why me?" The only answer I found is that experiences are what you make of them. While I would have never volunteered to be diagnosed with breast cancer — not at any age — the love and support of my family and friends made last year the most uplifting of my life.
So instead of focusing on the scary parts of last year and what "happened to me," I am using my experience as inspiration to raise funds, educate and encourage. My treatment may be over, but my fight against this horrible disease has just begun. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime — I guess I’m lucky and got it over with early.
What words of encouragement would you share with others with cancer?
People will tell you to stay positive and how important that is. The truth is, when you’re in a state of crisis, “having a good outlook” is a choice that you have to make every day. Allow yourself to grieve and be sad, then make the choice to keep moving forward. Let your life be full of love and laughter, and you will be surprised by the goodness in the world and the people who will lend a helping hand when you need it. And know that this too, shall pass.
Support this non-profit in honor of Carrie:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Dallas County, komen-dallas.org
Please support those battling breast cancer by donating.