Cancer is a Scary Word
"As scary as everything is," cancer survivor Carrie Tyriver said. "If you have that support it makes a big difference getting through it. I never felt that death sentence of cancer. They never made me feel like that." Her cancer journey started with a call to come back to the Phyllis Leach Breast Center for more tests after a routine mammogram in late February 2011. "They sent me for an ultrasound and biopsy right then," she said. The results were definitive and less than two weeks later Carrie had a mastectomy with Dr. Robert Weber at Mercy Medical Center. It took a long three months to heal before Carrie could begin chemotherapy. "I was in a hurry to get started and get rid of it," she said. After chemotherapy, Carrie had radiation treatment, also in the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center. Recently, she celebrated her first anniversary cancer free. "I did not have a bad experience at all. I can't say enough nice stuff about the people in our Cancer Center. I never felt like I was bothering them. They became part of my life. They are genuine, caring people—even to my dad. They were just as kind to him." Her retired father accompanied her to every treatment and was at her house every day so her family could continue to do what they needed to do.
She also credits her faith, family and friends for helping to see her through this difficult time. "My husband, Doug, was very, very supportive. He took care of home, kids, and took me wherever I want to go after surgery." Carrie said. She found Mercy's Caring Bridge patient website very helpful in keeping everyone up-to-date on her progress without having to talk about it all the time. "It's very emotional; especially at first," Carrie said.
Carrie and Doug have three adult children. Reed, the oldest, teaches at Lourdes Academy and Carrie now visits his health classes periodically to talk about her experience. "It's nice for them to see someone who has been through it in case a family member is diagnosed with cancer. It gives them hope that it will be okay," Carrie said.