Young, a new mother and metastatic


Carrie Corey

Ever heard anyone say it was a great time in their life to get cancer? No! You'll usually hear people talk about their diagnosis in reference to some other major life event. Either "My daughter was getting married," or "I had just started a new job when I found my lump."

The first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it was a few months after I married the love of my life. We married on Valentine's Day, 2009, and honeymooned in March. I turned 29 in April, and I was diagnosed in May. After a bilateral mastectomy and 18 weeks of chemotherapy, the year was coming to a close. After a particularly rough day, I looked at my husband and joked, "Well, 2009 kind of sucked. 2010 has GOT to be better!"

Chris responded very matter-of-factly, "I for one refuse to think of 2009 as bad - it's the year we got married." He was right then, and now he is even more right.

How many years can be defined as cancer years? 2012 can't be known as the year of my recurrence. It's the year we adopted Henry.

I refuse to let cancer define my life or the way I think about it.

When you have metastatic disease, you have to shift your way of thinking. I will always be in some form of treatment. We are not marching toward the light at the end of the tunnel like I did with the first go 'round. This is not a temporary situation or something I am going through. It's not the path I would have picked, but it is the hand that I have been dealt. And so, THIS IS MY LIFE. I can't think of it in terms of weeks between scans or times in or out of the chemo chair.

Right now, I'm not sure if I am responding or progressing on my new medication (anastrazole) since my last scan had mixed results. But I have a little guy who is learning how to walk, and we just bought and moved into a new house. Cancer is just going to have to take a backseat. I'm too busy to stress about it today. I need to buy a new shower curtain and pick out paint colors for Henry's room ... I'll worry about cancer in a few weeks when I check into the PET scan waiting room.

Carrie Corey is a wife, mom and metastatic breast cancer survivor. She will be reporting in frequently on her journey.

Corey Family



Hi Carrie
Thank you for sharing your metastatic breast cancer story. It means so much to me and I know it will be particularly meaningful to young people like yourself.

Thank you!

I'll be thinking of you as your scans approach. Look forward to reading future installments of your story.


Katherine O'Brien
Secretary and PR Chair
Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (

P.S. MBCN's blog recently highlighted a new study on young people and MBC:
- Posted by Katherine OBrien 4/9/13 7:47 AM

Great post, Carrie. I was diagnosed at 30, then Stage IV at 31. I just celebrated turning 36. I'm looking forward to following your journey.
- Posted by Jen Smith 4/9/13 8:45 AM

I would just like to say that you are a GREAT INSPIRATION for me Carrie. I am sure you are that to a whole lot of people including little Henry and your husband. Thank you for letting us into your life.
- Posted by Sande 4/10/13 1:34 PM

GO TEAM... great article and thanks for being so positive. It's the card we got so move forward and see something wonderful in everyday!!! The sunrise this AM was awesome... flowers blooming and life is good!!!! Upbeat articles give all of us hope who have had this diagnosis!!!!
- Posted by Julie 4/10/13 1:42 PM

Hi Carrie, great post and it was something that I needed to read. Thanks for reminding me that we can still be positive and move forward for those of us with a metastic diagnosis...
- Posted by Sandi 4/10/13 2:24 PM

You reframed your life in such graceful terms - thank you for posting! - I, too, have metastatic breast cancer (it's in my bones) and I learned from you how to continue to view the big picture without letting the "C" get in the way - just a gentle reminder to please consider purchasing paint that is completely zero VOC - check out the newest formulas from some of the paint companies out there - the one we used was Emerald by Sherwin Williams - it has zero VOC's even with the added colors. Best wishes to you and I will send out good vibes that your scans will be clean, too!
- Posted by Sheri 4/10/13 5:40 PM

Thanks for this outlook! I totally get it. I strive for the same everyday. I was diagnosed with IV 5 days before my wedding. And yet, 2008 will be five years of marriage!! And I will be graduating this may with my Phd. Cancer? Yeah, its there, but I just have to keep going. Happy New HOME!!
- Posted by kristen 4/11/13 4:55 AM

Thank you for your story. My husband and I started building a house on December 28, 2012. I was diagnosed with stage iii breast cancer on Feb 4th 2013 at 31. Thought my world was going to fall apart. I realized I had to fight and be strong for our 2 year old son and put cancer in the past. I have two more treatments of chemo then surgery and radiation. My family, the completion of our home and moving in, was a complete inspiration and has kept my mind off cancer and focusing on getting through this hurtle. Congrats on your new home and family.
- Posted by Jessica 4/30/13 4:23 PM


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