“After much researching I diagnosed myself with fibrotic breast disease,” Carrie wrote on her website. “This is a common benign condition that a lot of women get where their breasts start getting lumpy and sore, but it comes and goes.”
But the spot didn’t go away.
The doctor performed more tests that all came back negative. Then, an ultrasound of the left breast revealed two tumors and another tumor on the right.
“I was fully expecting the tech to tell me that I needed to have the cysts drained,” Carrie wrote. “When the tech told me that I needed to go for a biopsy, I said, ‘You mean a needle aspiration?’ She said, ‘No Carrie, it’s not fluid, it is a tumor.’ Wow, my gut told me immediately that it was cancer. Well, you know the saying ‘It felt like I had a ton of bricks dropped on me.’ I now know the true meaning of this. I could not hold back the tears.”
On October 27, 2011, at the age of 41, Carrie was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (Breast Cancer). On November 8, Carrie had a double mastectomy.
Since the cancer spread to her lymph nodes, Carrie was also diagnosed with Prominent Lymphovascular Invasion. She is considered to have Stage Three cancer. She will find out Thursday if the cancer has metastasized throughout the entire lymphovascular system. If it has, she will have Stage Four cancer.
Carrie and her husband, Sean Barcus, have three daughters, Kayla, 12, Samantha, 10, and Tabitha, 8, and reside in rural Whitley County. Carrie, a 1988 Churubusco High School graduate, is a nurse at Parkview Whitley Hospital. She is the daughter of Jerry and Gloria Addis.
In an effort to support the family, several of Carrie’s friends and family members are uniting to raise money for Carrie and her family.
Churubusco hair salons will unite to support the Barcus Family in their fight against breast cancer. Go to either Hair Solutions (116 W. Washington St.) or Shear Creations (223 N. Line St) in Churubusco to purchase a ticket for $1 for a chance to win a free hair cut. Each salon will be drawing one ticket each week until January 1st, 2012.
Donations may also be sent to Mindy Barnhart at Hair Solutions, 116 W. Washington St., Churubusco, IN 46723.
In addition, Kimbraly (Adams) Pettigrew, a friend of Carrie’s, is sponsoring a Holiday Barn Bazaar Benefit with all proceeds going to the Barcus family to aid them in their fight against breast cancer. A variety of items will be for sale, including Breast Cancer Awareness items, crafts, baked good, jewelry, handmade furniture, home décor, fleece scarves, books and much more. Four items will be up for raffle including a six foot barn siding cupboard, a knotted fleece breast cancer awareness throw, a decorated and lighted 125th anniversary Ball jar, a gift basket and numerous gift cards from area businesses. The Bazaar will be held Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Katy Pequignot’s house at 7551 S. Meridian Rd, Columbia City, Ind., 46725.
Take SR 9 south to Crossroads restaurant. Cross over HWY 14 and go to 700 S. Turn right and go one mile to Meridian Rd. Turn left and go about a mile to a yellow house with cranberry shutters and a large, matching barn. The house is on the left and the mailbox will have pink balloons.
Raffle tickets are available for purchase (need not be present to win) prior to or at the event. Contact Julie Stuckey (625-4327), Ellen Holler (693-2309), Kathy Leazier (693-9661) or Jerry and Gloria Addis (693-6444) to purchase raffle tickets ($2 each), to donate items to sell or with any other questions.
“I am thankful for the fundraisers people are having for me,” Carrie wrote on her website. “I have used words like wow, amazing, humbled, unbelievable, surprised. My feelings have even gone beyond that. I don’t even know how to describe how I feel anymore with all of the support I have gotten. At first I was asking God, what did I do wrong to get this terrible diagnosis. Now I have been asking what did I do right to get this many wonderful friends.”
Carrie said she hopes that her experience will help others become educated about breast cancer and the warning signs for it and to take charge of their personal health. Carrie said she was persistent. She knew something was wrong and didn’t give up even when the doctors couldn’t find anything and all of the tests came back negative. She said she encourages every woman to be checked regularly.
Carrie has a favorite quote from an anonymous source: “Some say trust your head, some say trust your heart, but I say trust your gut because it’s always right. GOD gives you those instincts for a reason!”
“Be persistent if you know something is wrong,” Carrie said. “The sad thing is I am already a Stage Three cancer and maybe Stage Four depending on my PET and CT scan results from this week. If this was found sooner, everything would be different. I would have been a lower stage and probably only had a lumpectomy, not a mastectomy.
Follow Carrie Barcus through her battle against breast cancer on her website, /www.caringbridge.org/visit/carriebarcus.”