“I am Carrie Anderson. Some may know me from my former life in television as the weekend sports anchor at channel 5. Others may know me from my blog, theredleader.com, a page I created just over a year ago to chronical my diagnosis with the ‘Little C.’ I call it the ‘Little C,’ because I refuse to let a crap disease like cancer be bigger than me. I am the BIG C!
So let me tell you a little about my last year. I’ll try and keep it clean. See that’s the thing about Cancer, it tends to make a person swear…a lot! In January of last year, I was about 3 months into my new job at FedEx. I was feeling fantastic. New job, a busy social life, great hair…I had it all. That is, until my yearly mammogram. I never gave this any thought because there was no history of breast cancer in my family. So when it came back showing “something suspicious,” I assumed it was just a cyst. It was not. After meeting with Dr. Fine at West Cancer Center and his wonderful PA Ashley, the short story is I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The good news is, it was “the good cancer,” which is totally NOT a thing, but it is a very treatable form of the disease. My wonderful oncologist at West, Dr. Schwartzberg, AKA “The big man” recommended I do a little chemo, lumpectomy, radiation, and get back to my life. Oh, AND, having always been a rather large breasted woman, I was able to get a breast reduction approved to go along with my lumpectomy. Get rid of cancer, get perky new boobs=WIN, WIN!
So we jump forward to August. I was done with treatment, was growing back my hair (Thank God) and was about to start radiation. There I was, fresh off my ‘win’ over breast cancer, high fiving and feeling pretty good about myself. But as we know, cancer doesn’t play by the rules.
One weekend, after having breakfast with friends, I just wasn’t feeling right all day. That night, I started ralphing like a sorority girl at a mixer. I assumed this was a gallbladder attack. My mom had had her gallbladder out many years ago, as have many other friends and family.
I went to the Minor Med, which in turn sent me to the ER. I was poked, prodded, x-rayed, CT’d, ultrasounded, you name it. Long story short, it wasn’t my gallbladder.
Turns out my easy to cure breast cancer wasn’t so easy after all. It had metastasized to my liver. So back on the cancer train…this time, I get ‘the red devil.’ The hard stuff. All in hopes that I’ll knock the little cancer biotch down again and be on my merry way. But what you all may not know about me…I’M THE RED DEVIL! Meds, disease…none of it’s got anything on me. West FIGHT ON 5K last year…I walked it the day after chemo. 6 rounds of the Red Devil, and my last scan in March…showed no evidence of disease! I kicked cancer’s butt back in the summer, and I’m currently kicking cancer’s butt again!
That’s why I am participating in West FIGHT ON. The last year has been scary, I admit it. I don’t know what the future holds. But then again, no one knows either.
I’ve gone from the end result being a cure, to having metastatic breast cancer. Total BS! The current research says I will never be cured. I don’t exactly understand this, but it’s something I DO NOT accept. Not because I’m special, although I tell this to Dr. Schwartzberg every chance I get, but because I believe in HOPE. That’s what everyone who joins this fight is to me and everyone who’s fighting the little c…HOPE. We are so close! Every day there are advancements made in the treatment of, and the strive for a cure for this crap disease. I’m doing my part by getting the word out that early detection is key, by participating in the Metastatic Breast cancer project in hopes that my tests, my samples can provide the answers needed to give cancer a swift and *lasting* kick to the groin, and by fundraising for West FIGHT ON and telling you that without the West Cancer Center, without Dr. Fine, Dr. Schwartzberg, Nurse Cindy (who I call or email at least once a week!) and all the wonderful people there, I would not be here!! Everyone has, or will be affected by cancer in some way in their lifetime. But with every dollar you give, we are that much closer to a cure. We can make it happen!
I FIGHT ON because I believe that mountains can be moved… I hope you’ll join me in the fight.”
Join Carrie and many others like her as they FIGHT ON against cancer on September 15 at West FIGHT ON at Shelby Farms Park. Registration is now open at www.westfighton.org. Whether you cycle, run, walk or simply donate and cheer us on, YOU are making a difference in the fight against cancer.