One in eight women will develop some form of breast cancer in their lifetime. Carol Price is one such woman.
Carol Price is a Critical Care Nurse and an Associate Professor of Nursing at Sinclair Community College. She is also a breast cancer survivor. Professor Price found her cancer four years ago while preparing for a trip. She had gone in for a mammogram prior to leaving.
“I always did them in the summer,” She stated. “I told them I was leaving so not to call me unless it was urgent.” When she returned home, she had a message. “The lump was very small, only about 3 centimeters which is about pea size.”
Her options were a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. She opted for a lumpectomy instead. “They usually take out about 12 lymph nodes.” Price explained, “mine were all negative, which tells you that it hasn’t metastasized…probably.”
She also underwent one year of chemotherapy. After the initial cancer was removed and it appeared she was in remission, she had to go for mammograms every 3 months at first. Presently, she goes every 6 months.
“I had a year of chemo. Eight hours, every Thursday. Because I was what they call triple positive, it’s an aggressive type of cancer…but they can treat it better.” Price recalled, “I was Herceptin positive and two hormone positive. They use a chemo that works on those hormones and works better…I had to have two types of chemo every Thursday for eight hours. I didn’t miss one day of work.”
She never got nausea or vomiting, but by the next afternoon after chemo, she would stay in bed most of the weekend, getting up on Sunday evening and back to work on Monday. “My oncologist said to me ‘you are rocking this!’”
Price has been a nurse for 40 years, and always did her own breast examinations but never found anything.
She had always worked in cardiac and can read EKG’s which got her hired directly into the cardiac ICU. Price has also always done cardiac, open-heart ICU and heart related medical work, like pacemakers.
“Even though as nurses we learn general stuff, being a nurse as long as I had, this was all new to me.” Price explained. “A lot of the nurses where I got my chemo were old students of mine. A lot of my students would come to help me pass the time, and to study with me.” At those times, she would help the students study and ask them questions.
Carol Price has now been in remission for four years. She still teaches at Sinclair, but will be retiring at the end of the year.