Terri Carr, an Englewood resident, grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and spent many years traveling the states before initially retiring to Wilmington, Delaware.
When were you diagnosed and at what age?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2017 at the age of 66. I was fortunate after detecting a lump to quickly have a mammogram.
What kind of treatment did you receive?
I had an excellent surgeon from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa who diagnosed the cancer as ductal carcinoma in situ and recommended a lumpectomy which I had in April 2017. After the surgery the biopsy determined questionable margins. It was strongly recommended to receive chemotherapy for three months and a mastectomy following the chemotherapy. I spent the summer of 2017 having chemo. I am happy to report that I am cancer free.
Did you face any obstacles? If so, how did you overcome them?
Not sure I would call them obstacles but there's an incredible fear of the unknown through the whole process — there are no guarantees you will be rid of the cancer.
What was the most challenging part of your experience?
Probably the most challenging part of it all was the three months of chemo — losing your hair, your appetite, etc.
Where did you find the greatest support?
I was fortunate to have an unbelievable support group – my husband, my children, my siblings, and an incredible group of women friends here in Florida. The other thing that I did was to reach out to the Venice Breast Cancer Networking Group and Sarasota Memorial Cancer Institute Thrive Program. They were a life saver. To be able to talk with other women who have been through this before is priceless. They were a wealth of information and support.
How has the experience affected your relationship with friends and family?
I try to live in the moment; one day at a time. To thank my Higher Power for each and every day. I learned a little about humility and acceptance.
How has this experience changed you? What have you learned about yourself?
I don't take much for granted. I cherish my relationships. The love and support got me through. I am pretty active. I work part time at Ivy's on Dearborn Women's Boutique and love it; have a lot of friends; enjoy the beach and the beautiful weather and travel when we can.
What advice would you share with others?
My advice to other women is to not suffer in silence. Get answers to your questions; make sure you have the right medical attention. Find the right care for you. Utilize the resources available to you and meet other women who got through it before you.