Blogs

Taking Care of Me (For a Change!)

by on ‎07-08-2015 02:43 PM

My Dear Friends...

 

As most of you know, I have been out on sick leave since the beginning of June. As promised, I would like to share with you what has been going on in my life. But first, I want to again, send you my most heartfelt gratitude for your kind notes, Facebook posts, cards, well-wishes, and most of all, your prayers. I have read every single one and they have meant the world to me and have really helped me to feel much better already!!

 

Now that I am up and about and can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel, I feel it is time to let you know what's up. There have been a few speculations popping up on Facebook and the QVC Community pages (no, I have not had knee replacement surgery) and I know it is only because you have been so worried. I asked my fellow Hosts to keep all of this private until I could tell you myself, which is why you haven't heard anything yet. So here is my story.

 

I have always loved the color pink...it's been my favorite since I was a tiny girl. Pink KitchenAid mixer, pink Ninja, pink peonies in my garden, pink sneakers, pink pedicures, lots of pink in my personal Carolyn's Closet. I have always hated cancer. Cancer took the life of my younger brother when he was only 14. Cancer has tried to take other close family members, but luckily they survived. In February, I went for a regular 3D mammogram, then had an ultrasound, and then another "mini" mammogram, and finally was told I needed a biopsy. I was terrified....I had never had anything but normal mammograms my entire life. My mother is a breast cancer survivor (for over 20 years), so I was always diligent about getting mine done, as one can have a greater chance of getting it if one has an immediate family member who has had it. The doctor said not to worry, the vast majority of biopsies come back totally normal. But they have to make sure if they see something even slightly suspicious on a mammogram. I was starting to "think pink".

 

So, I had the biopsy done in early March and it came back positive for a common, early stage, non-invasive breast cancer called DCIS. My world was getting pinker. My doctor (one of two surgeons that I have come to adore) told me at that point that I would need a lumpectomy, probably followed by radiation treatments. However, because of my family history with breast cancer, and my age (56), he recommended that I have an MRI to make sure there was nothing that they may have missed. So I had the MRI and it showed additional areas of DCIS on the same side. The other side showed nothing abnormal going on.

 

My doctor now told me that because there was more than one area of this non-invasive cancer on that side, he could not guarantee to get it all out with a lumpectomy, and he recommended a simple mastectomy. He also suggested that I think about having a double, or bilateral mastectomy, again, because of my family history and my age. So, after discussing everything with my husband, and my parents and sisters, and a couple of good friends who have been through this, I decided to be brave, to be proactive, to think about my future health and to have the whole thing done...both sides now, as they say. I want to be sure to let you know, this was a very personal decision, and it is not necessarily the right one for everyone, but it was for me. You should always discuss your own situation with your doctor.

 

My husband and I also interviewed several highly recommended plastic surgeons and decided on one amazingly talented doctor, who has made this entire process so much easier for me to get through. My husband especially enjoyed the meeting we had to discuss breast implants, as you can imagine. This doctor injected just the right amount of humor into the discussion, so that we both felt completely at ease and not embarrassed. It could have easily gone another direction. I told my husband that he now has something in common with Brad Pitt and Tom Hanks (other than being handsome and funny)...his wife will now have undergone the same surgery as their wives and he will be taking care of me, just like they took care of Angelina and Rita.  As it turns out, both of my surgeons are Chiefs of Surgery in their specialty areas at the hospital that I chose. I have been VERY well taken care of by these two and their staffs.

 

Now, remember, all of this time (February through May) I was coming to work and not telling anyone anything....going on air, doing my shows with a smile. Thank goodness I am able to "compartmentalize" things in my brain, and was able to just concentrate on my shows and act like everything was fine. I would sometimes actually collapse into a chair in my dressing room at the end of my shift, so I could pull it together for meetings or just to walk down the hall to the cafeteria. I think I must have done a good job of fooling everyone, because when I finally told the Host team in a meeting shortly before I went out on leave, everyone was shocked. We all started crying. Everyone was so scared for me and I can tell you, David Venable's big bear hug was exactly what I needed at that moment. I have such a WONDERFUL family at QVC. The best people on the planet.

 

I left work on the last day of May and I had my surgery on  June 9th and returned home a couple of days later. Many prayers and two very talented surgeons later, everything went perfectly.

 

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Along with my husband, my parents were here, as well as two of my sisters. Siobain (the buyer for Denim and Co), who is like a sister to me, came each day to the hospital. My dear friend, Carolyn Pollack, also came to see me while I was there. After I got home, the first two weeks  were pretty rough...I will spare you the details....but I had lots of wonderful caregivers here, both human and furry, to help get me through.

 

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My fellow hosts have been an amazing support group.  They have cooked me the most delicious homemade meals (which Nancy Hornback, who is also a breast cancer survivor, has so kindly delivered to my door on several occasions)... Shawn Killinger organized a group of the hosts to send us healthy, yummy Blue Apron meals, which I can now cook at home myself. The hosts send me wonderful messages every day to cheer me up! My good friend, and Social partner, Kaitlin, sent over a super fun care package and has also been taking over my FB page for me while I've been out, to post fun and interesting things for me.  I have received the most beautiful flower arrangements from so many thoughtful, caring folks...family, friends and co-workers.

 

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My amazing step-daughter, Erin, comes to the house every single day after work to check on me and help me with pet care. I am forever grateful to her. I've heard from my dear high school and college pals, my California pals, my radio pals. I have received many beautiful get well cards from the kindest people...I have them all displayed on my family room mantel.

 

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And of course the messages from all of you on my Facebook page, which have shown me such overwhelming kindness and caring. I can't even begin to tell you how special you have made me feel and how loved. I am so humbled by your care and concern.  

 

So, how am I doing now? Great! I just got off the phone with my sunshine pal, Phillip Watson, and as I told him, I believe the worst is over for me. At least, the scariest part is behind me.

 

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I am currently undergoing the reconstruction process, which, in my case, will take a couple of months. I should be able to return in late August. I am very fortunate that the cancer I had was found really early, thanks to getting my regular mammogram, and that it was non-invasive. If I had waited, or had skipped my mammogram, the non-invasive cancer could have turned into something much worse. Because I was proactive and had it removed and opted for the bilateral mastectomy, and because nothing invasive was found in the post-surgical pathology tests, I am now considered cancer free. I will not need chemo or radiation. I am very lucky. Many cancer patients have to go through much worse than me. Their bravery and grace are my inspiration. God Bless them.

 

My message to all of you is to please TAKE CARE OF YOU. It is so hard for us women to do that simple thing. We always worry about everyone else and put ourselves at the back of the line. Please start today, to change that mindset. I know sometimes we may put off going to the doctor for one reason or another there’s no reason not to. There is every reason to take care of yourself. That husband, those kids, grandkids, furry kids and friends. All those who love and need you in their life, would agree with me. Be brave. Be smart. THINK PINK.

 

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It's still my favorite color. Smiley Happy If you need or want any additional information about breast cancer, a wonderful source of information is www.breastcancer.org.

 

My love to you all and I'll be back on your favorite QVC programs before you know it!

Thank you again for all of your kind thoughts and prayers. I am going to be fine. Better than new! Smiley Happy

 

See you soon--

 

Carolyn XOXO

 

Comments
by
on ‎07-08-2015 02:55 PM

Thank you for sharing your story.  I am so happy things went well and you are on the road to recovery.  You are a brave lady.  Looking forward to seeing you on the air soon.  Prayers and positive thoughts continue. 

by whirlybyrd
on ‎07-08-2015 02:56 PM

Sending love and prayers your way!! I love pink, too and it's my favorite cause but it's scary as women to know it affects us all!! I know your fur kids are loving mommy being home!!

by
on ‎07-08-2015 02:57 PM

My thoughts are with you Carolyn.  You are very, very brave.  I will continue to send best wishes and prayers out to the universe for a quick and speedy recovery.  Love, a long-time viewer.

by bzynana
on ‎07-08-2015 02:57 PM

Carolyn, get well wishes coming your way.  Thank you for your story.  I will let my mother know (a breast cancer survior) as she keeps aking me if I have heard anything.      

by
on ‎07-08-2015 02:57 PM

Carolyn, this made me cry!! I hope & pray the best for you. Tks for sharing your story. Looking forward to your QVC return. 

by 416jerseygirl
on ‎07-08-2015 02:58 PM

You are a beautiful brave loving woman. You remain in my prayers

 

edie

by
on ‎07-08-2015 02:59 PM

Carolyn, I'm so glad you are ok..and I'm glad to hear your story. It reminds me to get my mammogram soon, even tho I'm 78 yrs old, I still get them at least every two years. Cancer is no respector of age or gender..I have other health issues going on so the mammogram is on the back burner for now but I won't forget . You are so fortunate to have great Drs,so many loyal friends and family members. I pray that for us all. Enjoy your good days and don't rush it.

God bless..

A charter QVC member from Texas.

Mae 

by DinaF
on ‎07-08-2015 02:59 PM

Thank you for sharing with all of us.  Glad you are doing well and cannot wait to see you on QVC soon!!!

by Joey
on ‎07-08-2015 03:00 PM

Thank you for your story.  You will never know the many women you may safe by telling what has happened to you.  God Bless you for being you and taking care of yourself.

by Cockermom
on ‎07-08-2015 03:00 PM

Dear Carolyn,

 

My prayers are with you, this is a very scary difficult time and I'm so happy you are on the up side of your journey.

 

Your lovely spirit with help you on this road and your fur babies with bring you joy as you recover.  I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers each day wishing you all the best.

 

Lori and Chloe (my fur baby)

by Melynda Nell
on ‎07-08-2015 03:02 PM

Carolyn,  Thoughts and prayers being sent your way.  I just read your blog.  I, too, had/have DCIS.  My mother passed away from breast cancer and I can truly relate to you in may ways.  Take good care of yourself and I look forward to reading more of your progress.  Blessings, Melynda Hicks (Orange Beach, AL)

by MelCleme
on ‎07-08-2015 03:02 PM

Carolyn,  So glad to hear that you are doing fine and on the road to a recovery.  My wife went through the same thing some twenty-three years ago, so I know a lot about what you have been through.  I hope and pray that everything will go exactly as it should and that you will be able to be back on your regular shows before too much longer.  Take care., Mel

by pcannedy
on ‎07-08-2015 03:03 PM
Spoiler
 

Many blessings for a great recovery.  My grandma had double breast cancer.  I am so glad you are doing well.  

Patricia

by katzz1
on ‎07-08-2015 03:03 PM
Hi Carolyn.. thank you so much for sharing.. God Bless you and your family. i have breast cancer in my family.. my mother succumbed to it and her three sisters all have had it but survived.. i have a mammogram every year, so far so good. looking forward to seeing you again on the air. i am praying for your speedy recovery.
by Aspen
on ‎07-08-2015 03:03 PM

Dear Carolyn,

Sending lots of hugs, prayers and good wishes on your road to recovery. Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless.

by BlessedGrammy
on ‎07-08-2015 03:04 PM

Thank you for sharing your journey!  I am sure that was a hard thing to deal with and to share.  I know you must be helping lots of folks by just telling your story.  I am a avid Denim & Co show watcher and I love the ones that you present and have missed you.  Looking forward to seeing you in August and will continue to pray for your speedy recovery and for your wonderful attitude.  May God Bless You abundantly!  Chris

by sniknej
on ‎07-08-2015 03:04 PM

You made it! Our prayers have been with you, and will continue to be with you. Please don't hurry the process of getting back to work - just make sure you are strong enough to handle it before you jump! God Bless you and take care. Thanks also for being so open - I am sure you have helped others with your story.

 

by luezee
on ‎07-08-2015 03:05 PM

What an inspiration to us all. Prayers my friend and God Bless you on this journey. 

Lue

by bugandgrit
on ‎07-08-2015 03:05 PM

So glad that you are doing well Carolyn...you are not only beautiful on the outside but also on the inside...LOve seeing all your furbabies...

From one animal lover to another...MIss and love you lots

Joanne...xoxoxo

by bellabacio03
on ‎07-08-2015 03:06 PM

Awww .... This had me in Tears ..... You are such a Strong and Amazing Woman! I read this and learned so much, and I wish you a speedy recovery, and God Bless You Always ..... My best friend went through this about 4 years ago, I dont know how she got through it, But It just shows me how strong we are when we need to be ..... God Only Knows and I will continue my Prayers for you and your Family .... You are So Missed and Loved and Yes you have a Wonderful QVC Family .... I love each and every Hosts .... QVC is such a Down to Earth Family and I been with you guys since the mid 80's .....Carolyn Take Care of You and Thank You for sharing your Story .... Many Blessings and Love!Heart

by Lovecali
on ‎07-08-2015 03:07 PM

Wow, what a journey and what a brave face! I am sending you warm hugs and blessing Heart

by
on ‎07-08-2015 03:07 PM
Hi Carolyn! I'm happy to hear from you, as we've all been concerned. Thank you for sharing with us! It's wonderful to hear that you are happy and healthy!! I appreciate the inspiration and encouragement to us all!!
by PS Lit
on ‎07-08-2015 03:07 PM

You took my breath away with your post!  You are a fantastic person, kind soul and spirited!  Stay strong and keep on shining!  Your kindness and spunk show through your posts......you are loved by so many as demonstrated by the outpouring for you and your family as you traveled this journey.  Peace be with you ~ sending you hugs and well wishes as you take care of yourself! ~ ♥ ~

 

by Buy2much
on ‎07-08-2015 03:08 PM

Fellow animal lover Miss Carolyn,

God has blessed you with your love of all his creatures great and small and will continue to I have every faith in that! Sending prayers your way and hope every day in recovery is better than the previous! What a tough decision you and yours had to make, you are a strong woman! See you in August, God speed!

by QVC Nana
on ‎07-08-2015 03:08 PM

Carolyn I am so happy that you are doing well. I know how scary this is. I went through the same thing. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. I never was more scared of anything in my life. I am happy to report that I have been a survivor for 30 years. Glad they caught it early and that you will not need chemo or radiation. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and looking forward to seeing you back on the air soon. Hugs to you my friend.

by terpel
on ‎07-08-2015 03:09 PM

Carolyn, God bless you. I am an 8 year survivor of advanced breast cancer. So glad you caught it early. Prayers for you. Terri

by moneywoes11
on ‎07-08-2015 03:09 PM

Sept 2014 my sister found out she has lobular breast cancer with nodes.  She is finished with chemo, has had the lumpectomy, just finished radiation therapy, and is continuing with Herceptin for another 8 months.  Hope  this destroys what's in the nodes and she can live.  She is the same age as our mom when she got ductal breast cancer.  Our mom died at age 64.  

by autumn04
on ‎07-08-2015 03:09 PM

Carolyn, I'm so sorry all this happened to you. There is no explaining why these things happen to such sweet, wonderful people. Glad you are doing so well and I'm sure your fur babies are too....Lol lol !! Looking forward to you coming back to the Q for your seasonal decorating shows and D&Co. Prayers and blessings for you and your family.

by Lovemakeup
on ‎07-08-2015 03:09 PM

Your story is inspirational, and reminds us to take care of ourselves, too. Please heal up quickly and thank you for sharing. "See" you soon! ❌⭕️

by pswils01
on ‎07-08-2015 03:10 PM
I've followed you since KOST-ing days. Your strength is amazing, and reading your blog gave me goosebumps. I'm so sorry that you had to go thru this, yet so grateful that you share. I haven't had a mammogram in close to a decade. I'm going this month, thanks to you. Take care and keep that strong, positive outlook!! Hugs!
by Cathy
on ‎07-08-2015 03:10 PM

Bless your heart!  I knew in your own time you would share this with your facebook friends.

I am so proud of you!  What a beautiful and courageous woman you are. 

We are so lucky to know and care about you!

I am so glad you chose the way you did things.  All in proper order.

So, many friends of mine have gone through what you have.  I am so fortunate

to not have this horrible disease we call cancer.  I hate it too. 

So, many loved ones including you have had to go through so much.

I want to send you my prayers and love for a comfortable healing. 

I will be watching for you in August. 

Thank you for sharing your most personal story with your fans.

Much love,

Cathy Ford

by ksuzzieq
on ‎07-08-2015 03:10 PM

Carolyn,  you have been missed on QVC. I'm an avid watcher and you are one of my favorite hosts. Thank you for sharing your story. Praise God that you found out early. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

by nalamama
on ‎07-08-2015 03:11 PM

Dearest Carolyn,  I thank God that you are alright.  You have been through a lot but you are on the way to recovery.  It was very brave of you to share your story with everyone.  I know that this WILL help us ladies be sure and take care of ourselves the way we should.  We do tend to take care of everyone else first.

 

Looking forward to seeing you in August!!   I love pink too!!

 

Noreen

by QVCDEBBIE
on ‎07-08-2015 03:11 PM

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face I just have to tell you how glad I am that you are on the mend.  You have beem in my prayers.  My family thinks I am crazy but I am a in home care giver and I always have qvc on almost 24 hours a day sometimes just for the noise - yes I do buy too much sometimes but alot of the time I just watch.  Over the years you become so attached to alot of the hosts and you are one of my faves - may God continue to bless you each day and I look forward to your return!  Love Debbie

by Pat of LI
on ‎07-08-2015 03:11 PM
Carolyn, Thank you for sharing your story. You are a very brave and sensitive woman and my prayers and good wishes go out to you for a speedy recovery. You are very blessed to have such a loving and caring family and friends who help you get by each and every day. Looking forward to the day that you return to QVC!
by MUNCHKIN
on ‎07-08-2015 03:11 PM

Let me start by saying you look great.  I hope your recovery continues to get better & better.  I will keep sending prayers & positive thoughts your way...looking forward to seeing you in D&Co shows again very soon! God bless!

by
‎07-08-2015 03:12 PM - edited ‎07-08-2015 03:12 PM

 Carolyn, I can't begin to imagine how hard this must be, and has been.  Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your experience, so that we all may learn and empathize.

 

It will be an exciting day when you return to QVC - but that is selfish of me.  I hope the next steps you have to take go as smoothly as possible, and that the next path finds you further along the road to recovery.

by TEECEE
on ‎07-08-2015 03:12 PM

Caroline!

 

   Hi Honey! 

   

  I want to keep it short cause I know a lot of people are writing in to you to wish you the best! 

I will tell you living thru two pre-cancers and two Organ Transplants and was Blind and brought back my

eyesite! That you are a fighter and no matter what come against you Remember that God Loves You ( even if you might not yet understand). One of my favorite songs is God will make a way where there seems to be no way! It helps to keep 

you going on! I am So Proud Of You!

 

  Be Blessed my Dear Friend- much Love-

 

    Justina Wilson

by medrec
on ‎07-08-2015 03:13 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I have missed you a lot. Hope you continue to get well, and God Bless You and take care of you. Glad you had so many friends and family to help you through this.

by LYNNLYNN
on ‎07-08-2015 03:13 PM

Carolyn, you are a total inspiration and will be so in the future.  Hang in, it gets better each day.  Prayers for your continued improvement.  So looking forward to you coming back on air but take of yourself inbetween.  Thank you for sharing your journey.  I am sure you have  helped someone make the decision to make the appointment.

by Kurt003
on ‎07-08-2015 03:14 PM

Carolyn, You are a very good story teller (as it shows as well in your on air work)! We are so glad you shared your story with us. Continued thoughts & prayers come your way. You really are remarkable. I know from family experience the importance of regular & thorough screenings. And I have had friends who have related the positives of reconstruction. Good luck; stay well & continue to grow stronger. We look forward to seeing your positive spirit on camera in August!

by Quackie22
on ‎07-08-2015 03:14 PM

Welcome to the BC Family!  Ya know - the family that no one asks to be a part of but once we are accepted, we can talk about anything!  And we rarely fight, unlike other families.

 

I am glad that you only had DCIS.  In 2005, I was diagnosed with IDC triple negative (aggressive kind - the kind that affects usually younger women, those of African American ethnicity; mind you, I won the lottery because I was blonde, blue-eyed, 55 years old).  

 

I had a feeling that that was your issue.  But you look really great!  I've been reading Sandra Lee's blogs about her journey too.

 

Be careful with trying to lift and command those lovies to stay off of you while you're healing.

 

Now you can participate in all of the great fundraisers and walks and survivor activities!  AND wear pink all October and get yourself a pink blender!  LOL.

 

Many wishes for a quick recovery so we can see your smiling face on air again.

 

Lynn

by TequilasMom
on ‎07-08-2015 03:14 PM

glad to hear you're doing good..my mom is a survivor of "35" fabulous yrs..my niece(36) just went thru a bi-lateral,she has invasive ductoral,after all the chemo is still in Stage 3,but started radiation just yesterday! we are hopeful when she has her scan,the cancer will be gone..prayers to you and stay strong..

by tdough
on ‎07-08-2015 03:14 PM


Carolyn

 

First of all I want to say how glad I am and Thank God that you found the Cancer early enough, but sorry that you had to go through all that. I've known to many people with cancer and recently my sister in law's cousin has been going through breast cancer and finishing up her last round of chemo which so far she is doing great on the last bit. I also want to thank you for sharing your story with everyone. Everyone at QVC is like my family even though we have never met all of you in person we get to know  all of you and about your personal lives. We are all anxious for you to be back on the air, but we want you rested and healthy again. It's awesome how hosts and guests on the show can help you out through this tough road. Everyone seems to have a rough road they are lead down some tougher than others. They say God is testing us all out to see how tough we really are and how we handle what is thrown at us. I pray for a great recovery and good as new. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family as you continue your recovery.

 

Taren

by retired sleeper
on ‎07-08-2015 03:15 PM

There are truly no words that can describe your candor in describing your cross.  I never thought you should have to give an explanation but if it helps other women to face their cross it is a good thing. This is your story so I won't go into mine, besides that is in the past and that is how I choose to look upon cancer.  It's over and done with and now we get on with life.  God bless and continue to speed your health.

Sandra

by BETTY LOU
on ‎07-08-2015 03:15 PM

CONTINUED PRAYERS FOR A SPEDDY RECOVERY AND GOOD HEALTH FOR THE FUTURE. HUGS AND KISSES.

BETTY ANDREWS DAVIS.

by MTBelle
on ‎07-08-2015 03:15 PM

Congratulations on being such a brave woman to make such a hard decision.  I know exactly how you felt when they said breast canceer, although I'm not as lucky as you, mine had all ready gone to the bones.  Yet I am very lucky as I have the good Lord, a fantastic doctor and a good attitude along with all the prayers from friends all over the world.  I know you and I will be just fine as we share all of the above.  We Are Women, Hear Us Roar!!!  Again congratulations, and will be waiting to see you back on air.  (Looks like you have lost weight,  that was a good side effect for me, too.)

by Roxielpn
on ‎07-08-2015 03:15 PM

You are a beautiful woman inside and out! I have truly missed you on QVC but knew there must be a really good reason for your absence. Or a really bad reason. Thank you for sharing your story. It certainly helped put my problems in perspective. Take all the time you need to take care of yourself.  We will all be here waiting for you. 

 

by JAPE
‎07-08-2015 03:15 PM - edited ‎07-08-2015 03:17 PM

Dear Carolyn,  Your story brought tears to my eyes, it also reminded me I am 6 months overdue for my mammogram!  I just called to make the appointment!  Thank you for sharing your story.  JANET GEORGE

by Shortyk
on ‎07-08-2015 03:16 PM

Sweet Carolyn I am praying for you and have missed you so much. I am a 17 year breast cancer survivor and it is very hard in the beginning but there were so many blessings attached to my cancer that I am grateful to have gone through those hard times. You will heal emotionally and physically and be even better than you were before. Looking forward to your return to work. God bless you in the coming days. Kathie