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Carrie shared her experiences of first being a caregiver to her brother and then becoming a cancer survivor herself. She talks about the anger she still feels about losing her brother but how she has been able to channel that anger towards serving others. As a survivor who’s been in the shoes of a caregiver, she’s taken on the added responsibility of stay strong for her family members because she understands the trauma they have already gone through with losing her brother. 

I have so many thoughts about Carrie’s story, mostly because when I started recording the show, I didn’t really consider the dual experience some of us have to go through as caregivers AND survivors. I was so struck by how Carrie had to comfort her mother about her own cancer diagnosis even though it was no less scary for Carrie to think about. 

Also, I loved how she explained that while things are not always “sunshine, unicorn, and roses” as she says, she knew she would be ok. It’s a subtle difference in words but the difference in mindset is huge. This is also why I think Carrie is able to experience anger – as we vividly heard in her words and voice – but not be immobilized by it. 

Lastly, I couldn’t agree with her more about the importance of not compare yours or your loved one’s cancer journey to other’s. It is a destructive mental game for most things in life, and you are certainly not going to win when it’s about cancer. 

Finding an outlet to talk about and process your experience living with cancer is such an important part of self-care for both caregivers and survivors as the cancer journey can often be quite the marathon. And it can be a good idea to find an outlet outside of your family members – like support groups or therapists – so you can get different perspectives and allow the family unit to take a break from one another. 

You can find Carrie at the following places: 

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Thank you for listening!