Denise DeCarlo – 2016 Ambassador
City: Greenfield, IN
Date of diagnosis: June 2012
Diagnosis: Stage 2 invasive ductal cell carcinoma
Denise works at Noah’s Caring Hands Animal Hospital. By nature of the profession, she loves animals and has several pets with her husband of 20 years, Kevin. In her pastime, she enjoys 18th and 19th century reenacting, volunteering with a local reading program called Bentley’s Buddies and Friends, scrap-booking and spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Denise says she in essence owes her life to a dog that hurt her unintentionally at work and caused an “injury.” This accident prompted her to go to the doctor where they caught the cancer early and were able to do treatment quickly following the diagnosis. She underwent a lumpectomy, followed by three weeks of radiation treatment, and will be taking Tamoxifen for the next five to 10 years. Denise is very grateful for the Oncotype DX test because it helped her decide not to get chemotherapy. Still today, Denise feels as though she is currently on a journey to recovery and acceptance.
Denise’s takeaway message for others:
“I was asked why I didn’t just ‘get a mastectomy, make it go away, that would solve all my problems…you know, do like Angelina Jolie did?’ How you fight cancer is your own battle, not based on what a celebrity does. It’s a personal decision, personal journey.”
“Be proud to be a Survivor…of whatever cancer you fought! Even if you don’t like or can’t stand pink…be proud to say you are a Breast Cancer Survivor.”