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CARRIE & AMANDA – BREAST CANCER  “Peek a Believe”

Carrie - Bodies of Courage Bodypainted Cancer Survivors

I was diagnosed with bi-lateral breast cancer while breast feeding my 7 month old daughter. I was married for 7 years and had just moved to Florida the year before.

I was away from home and had just heard the worst news a Mom could hear.
I didn’t know where to turn or what to expect, how much time I had, so much goes throughout your head you can’t even imagine.
I called my Mom who then was on the first flight here.
She sat with me through the bone scans, MRI’s and more biopsy’s.
My husband and Mom supported me through it all.
I immediately had to stop breast feeding.
I often wondered how I was going to wean my daughter off the breast and to the bottle.
I never thought it was going to be chosen for me.

I had a radical mastectomy on the left and a partial mastectomy on the right with reconstruction.
I had a port-a-cath surgically installed for the 16 rounds of chemo and 52 weekly treatments of Herceptin.
Through all of this I was able to continue to work from home for the Roofing Co. my husband and I owned.
I lost all of my hair, being a hair dresser, this was hard for me but somehow I took it a lot better than I thought.
I guess I thought well, if I just got through all that, losing my hair was nothing!</p?

Just as I was nearing the end of my treatment my oncologist thought I should look into getting an opinion of having radiation.
I did, and it was confirmed that I would need 35 treatments.

At this point, my husband left me!
I continued to run the company, go to my treatments, take care of my daughter and my step-daughter, the household and everything else.
My husband eventually closed the company due to the economy.
I lost my house, vehicle and job.
My good friend CJ had a place for me and my daughter to stay.
I finally found a job hairdressing again.
In a few short months I became manager and am very successfully still holding that position.
I had to have a complete hysterectomy, and several breast reconstruction surgeries since.

I am so much stronger than I had ever been because I had gone through so much in such a short time and away from home too.

I still reside in Florida and love every minute of it.
I have volunteered for so many events and also raised over $2,300.00 to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3 day in 2009.
I am in a gallery showing my scars. I have been body painted, and featured in Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine.
Every opportunity that I have I do what ever it takes to promote awareness or at least tell my story.
Because my story isn’t just breast cancer it’s all the stuff that happened since the breast cancer as well.

There is so much more and so thankful that I have met Peggie Sherry (Faces of Courage.)
I have attended her women’s camp, and several other events.