It’s a Brand New Day… Carol’s Story

Carol Allen’s story is part of UNC REX Healthcare’s Brand New Day patient story series. Carol inspires us when she talks about the role that compassionate care and treatment played in her successful battle with breast cancer… twice.

After having received a breast cancer diagnosis in January of 2006, and enduring a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation, I thought I was finished with the Rex Cancer Center! So upon my yearly mammogram in Nov 2010, I was very surprised to learn that I had cancer again- this time in my other breast! Not exactly the news we wanted to hear two days before Thanksgiving!

Like the first time, I had a choice. I could put my head in the sand and withdraw from life or I could hold my head high, get the necessary procedures done, and GO ON LIVING! I opted for the second choice!

The decision to have a bi-lateral mastectomy was not an easy one. But after talking to my beloved doctor, Dr. Crane at the Rex Cancer Center, and a few women who had already gone down this path, my husband and I came to the conclusion that it was the best choice. Having made up my mind, I was ready to get on with it… after the Christmas holidays!

Dr Kirk Faust, my surgeon, and Dr Rhett High, my plastic surgeon, were both incredible! Also, the whole team of healthcare professionals at Rex was amazing! From the lab techs to the anesthesiologists to the nurses through the night, each one was courteous and professional and made me feel special!

My pathology report a week after surgery was great; the cancer was gone!! Those words were exactly what we wanted to hear! The reconstruction process has gone well and my life is “back to normal!” I will forever be grateful to Rex and the wonderful team of medical professionals there!

–Carol Allen