I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor: Carolyn Evans
I’m an avid golfer and I was at our opening day luncheon. I made the mistake of going outside to call about my biopsy results from the previous day. I was sure it was going to be fine. The nurse said the pathologist would like to speak to me. He came on the phone and had the kindest voice asking me how I was. I said fine, but knowing that he wanted to speak to me made me a bit nauseated. He said, “Carolyn, I am sorry, but you are positive for breast cancer.” I thanked him, went back to the luncheon, said goodbye to my friends and went home. From there, my journey began.
After hearing horror stories about chemotherapy, I was prepared for the worst. It was not pleasant, but not as bad as I expected. My biggest problem was dehydration after every treatment, no matter what I did. I did not have the strength and endurance as I did before. The hard part for me was losing my hair since I had been a licensed hair dresser for 50 years.
Nurse Navigator, Bobbi Gillis was there for me the entire time, from my first biopsy to the end of treatment. In fact, I was the cover story in the Spring 2011 Renown Journey Magazine, talking about my experience, and Bobbi’s never-ending dedication to me. My family and friends were always by my side, especially my husband. He brought in a folding chair for my chemotherapy treatments and drove me every day for six weeks to radiation. He said from the beginning, “This is our journey,” and it was. We will be married 50 years next June, and I plan to be here to celebrate that wonderful day with him.
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, it doesn’t mean a life sentence. There are new medications, surgeries and treatments out there to help get rid of this cancer. Don’t hide, but talk about your diagnosis with others. There are so many out there in our same position. The more you know and the more you speak about it, the better you will feel. They want to help you, and they will. I would also say, please support Susan G. Komen. I was lucky to have the funds and insurance to take care of my treatments and tests, but there are so many out there who don’t and we need to help them. I was in the top ten last year in fundraising for the walk and I was so proud that my team and I could help others.
I have been a survivor for four years and four and half months and I can only say, you become stronger when you face this journey and you live your life in a different way. You realize how blessed you are to have all the support and love around you and you embrace each day with more enthusiasm than ever. Life, family and friends are so precious to me and I enjoy them so much more—I don’t take anything for granted.
Story by Pypeline Editing
Carolyn Evans and her husband, Skip