21 Jul
  • By The Rose
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My Name Is Carrie Swatsell

My name is Carrie Swatsell, I am fifty-five years old and on February 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My entire family was devastated, concerned and in shock. After the heart-shattering news, I sought out a solution thinking, “What can I do to help this situation?”

As a family, we decided to lighten the mood and turned my diagnosis into something positive. We played the “cancer card.” I dressed up in funny t-shirts and bought colored wigs. Each week, I wore a different outfit complete with a matching wig. I used many different colors such as red, green, pink, blue, yellow and any other color of the rainbow I could find. My daughters designed unique t-shirts and alternated taking me to treatments.

We laughed and took pictures in different locations around the hospital. Nurses and doctors began to laugh, and smile as soon as they saw me, amused and curious to see what I would do next. My grandchildren began to laugh and smile saying, “No more tears!”

Soon, my social media following grew significantly. Prayers and positive postings filled my Facebook page. Phone calls became regular events, and the cards and letters poured in. To this day, my mother still sends me get well cards every week. During this time of treatment, I have been blessed to be a part of the “Rose Family.”

The support shown to me frequently brings pure tears of joy. I have had so much love shown to me that at times it is almost overwhelming. You see, as Dorothy lovingly put it into perspective, “The Rose chose me, I did not choose the Rose.”

I’m extremely thankful to The Rose for all the support I received. The Rose became a part of me, has helped me develop into the new me. All women need to get regular mammograms. Mine was found with my yearly mammogram. I am so thankful for all the doctors who took care of me.

I found that others became cheerful by my positive attitude. Daily, hourly, sometimes minute to minute; I talk to God. He held me, He carried me through, I Am Blessed. For that, I thank God every day. Today, I can say that I am cancer free!

Carrie’s story does not end here. She has become an avid advocate for all women to have access to quality care. She reminds women to have their annual mammogram and encourages them to put their health first.

Most of all, she is our Hero.

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