Carol's Story

“My name is Carol and this is my Survivor Story.

In October 2003, I went in for a routine mammogram. A few hours later my family physician called and asked me to come to her office. I received the news that I had a highly suspicious mass in my left breast and I would need a biopsy.

The minutes seemed like hours while waiting for the results - sometimes waiting is the worst part of all of this. My pathology came back as a highly aggressive triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma. That began a whirlwind of surgeries and chemotherapy.

 I tried to remain focused on my five children, ages 8-16 years old at that time. Trying to keep life as normal as possible for them. My family, friends and the Botkins community were all great support systems.

Three years later I noticed some swelling in my chest area that didn’t seem normal. I had a local recurrence, lymph nodes missed during a previous surgery went rogue. Luckily this was caught early, but more surgery, chemo, and this time radiation were all part of my treatment plan. Once again, my friends, family and community were an incredible source of loving support.

Fast forward to December 2016, a routine mammogram on my remaining right breast revealed a suspicious mass. New Year’s Eve day a biopsy revealed, once again, a highly aggressive triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma. And, this set off a new whirlwind of surgeries, chemotherapy, and waiting.

After I got past the ‘why me’ and ‘this isn’t fair’ part, I have come to appreciate everyone has a struggle in their life and this is what has been chosen for me. I have had to ask myself, ‘Why not me?’ It can’t always be someone else.

I now realize that I am so much stronger and I can do so much more than I ever knew. I am lucky to have an incredible support system. My fiancée, children, friends, family, and my work family at Wilson Health have been with me every step of the way. Sometimes they just held my hand, sometimes they pushed me to do things I did not believe I could do. Perhaps we are given these things to make us do something amazing with them. I’m just not sure what my amazing thing is yet.

This is my story, and for all of this I am grateful. I completed chemo in August. This makes me a 3 month survivor and a 14 year warrior.”

Carol is a Call Agent for Wilson Health Medical Group.