My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women

About Me

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I am a wife, mother, actress, arts educator and young woman living with breast cancer.  Even though it is now part of my identity, I will not let it define me.  I am so much more than my cancer.  I hope to share myself with you all here.

One of the awful legacies in my family is that we have a long and strong history of breast cancer; my great-grandfather, grandmother, her sister, my aunts and cousins.  In July of 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the first of my generation in my family and by far the youngest.

The good news is that my cancer is treatable and my amazing team of doctors are going for the cure. The hard news is that I will need a mastectomy in my right breast, chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

I am starting this blog to document my experience but also to create a space to join a discussion about young adults with breast cancer.  The average age for a woman to get breast cancer is 63.  So what about all of us who get it in our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s?  I hope to tackle some of the unique issues we face from treatment to fertility to beauty.

I want to be clear that every cancer is unique.  My experience should never be taken as medical advice.  Always consult the doctors you have trusted with your care before making any decisions but please feel free to use what you read here as a springboard for discussion and advocacy.

I wish all of you who read this blog love, peace and healing, whether you are living with cancer, a survivor, a caregiver, family or friend.  We are all going through this together.

 

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17 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Dear Cary,
    Just wanted to send best wishes and hopes for a full and speedy recovery. Sounds like you are in good hands and on your way. Love to you and the family.
    Ellen

  2. I will be praying for you as you go through this journey. I, too, lost a grandmother, mother and sister to breast cancer. I do not carry the gene, but that doesn’t mean anything. You sound like a survivor and with God’s huge hands and your Doctor’s sound advice, you will be cured. God Bless you and your family.

  3. Hi Carrie,

    I am one of your dad’s old students. Just wanted to wish you all the best. I will be thinking of you.

    Kari

  4. Can you email me? There is something I want to share with you. geekrox@yahoo.com

  5. What part of the country do you live in?

  6. Hi Carrie,

    I’ve read several of your blog posts and you are doing such a wonderful job of sharing your experience. I’m older than you (48) but I was shocked when I found out I had breast cancer. I am very grateful that I caught it very early. I had a mastectomy and there was no cancer in my lymph nodes. The doctor wants me to start Tamoxifen but I don’t want to. I think every one should follow the treatment they feel is best for them. I wanted to recommend a book that my oncologist recommended it is called Anti Cancer A new way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber. Its extremely important to address nutrition and stress.
    I wish you and your family the very best!

    Sincerely
    Marla

    • Hi Maria,

      Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’m glad you find it useful. Yes, don’t do anything you don’t feel is right for you. It’s always such a hard choice when there are side effects to contend with.
      I actually have that book. I took it out of the library, read about half of it but need to start it over again and finish it.
      Do you have a blog or facebook page?
      Carrie

  7. Hi Carrie-

    I love reading your blog. It’s one that feels particularly close to home for me because, like you, I was diagnosed young (last year at age 39–not quite as young as you, I know!); I went through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment as a mom to small kids (I have two, ages 7 and 9); and (knock on wood), my breast cancer was treatable. (I just finished treatment in August, though am currently recovering from a second, unexpected surgery due to what my surgeon thinks was a seroma caused by radiation; it caused my reconstructed breast to triple in size due to trapped fluid–fun times!)

    Oh, and though I no longer live in NYC, I lived there for 15 years before moving to quieter terrain in my early 30s, when I was 7 months pregnant with my second.

    In any case, I want to 1) thank you for your blog and 2) find out whether you’re on twitter? I recently joined and would love to connect with you there, if possible.

    Jenny

    • First of all, 39 is young. I was 37 at diagnosis and I’m looking at 39 in the not so distant future. It must have been such a challenge for your family because they were at an age when they could understand what was happening to you. How are they doing now with it all?
      What’s a seroma? It’s sounds like it’s no fun at all. I’m sorry that happened to you. Cancer sucks and it doesn’t stop! I’m meeting my surgeon tomorrow to discuss reconstruction. I’m looking forward to it and I’m not.
      Where do you live now? We are thinking of moving so we can buy a home but our budget is modest, especially after the year we had.
      I am on twitter but I barely use it. I don’t know how to really. I should try to learn though. I think my name on twitter is @CarrieEllman. Let me know if you find me. I’m also on facebook a lot. It’s under my blog name but I can get you the link if you’re interested.
      Thank you for reading!

  8. I’m not on Facebook if you can believe it! I’m brand new to twitter, a reluctant social media participant who feels fairly inept and totally overwhelmed by it, to be honest. But it’s been so nice to connect with others who have/have had breast cancer—though I still often wish we could all just be in a room together! (I’m curious, how have you built up your blog followers– do you engage in other social media other than FB?)

    I live in Northampton, MA, moved here 7 years ago and love it. And we live on a fraction of what we lived on in NYC, also bought our 4 bedroom home on 1/2 acre of land for less than we paid for our 900 sq foot apt. in Brooklyn. If you ever want a guided tour of the area….

    Have you ever heard of speroforcancer? You can check out their website, and they just launched an app which is not fully public yet. I was invited to be one of the initial “testing” members, and as part of that, to invite two other people with/post/or supporting someone with cancer. I asked about your twitter account because I was going to send you a private message to see if you’d be interested in participating. You don’t need to be on twitter, though, just willing to engage with others through the app. If you’re interested (no pressure at all, thought of you because, as I said, I’ve felt particularly drawn to your blog/experience!), would you email me directly (not publicly through your blog) so I can give you the necessary info?

    • I love Northampton! A few summers ago I worked for a summer program that was housed at Smith. This last summer they were at Mount Holyoke and I did a 3 day arts intensive there. Of course, I made a trip to Herrell’s! Best ice cream ever! I’d love to live there but I don’t think there’s much as far as work for my husband or myself that’s not in a major city. It sucks.
      I might be interested in the app. You can email me at Carrie e larsen at gmail dot com. I’ll look it up.

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