WEEI>On Demand>>D&C - Carol Chaoui, 54, breast and thyroid cancer

D&C - Carol Chaoui, 54, breast and thyroid cancer

Aug 30, 2016|

Carol was training for a marathon in 2009 when she was diagnosed with invasive Stage 3 breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy, 4 months of heavy duty chemotherapy and 7 weeks of radiation. In 2014, on the 5th anniversary of her breast cancer diagnosis, she was diagnosed with an unrelated, stage 3 thyroid cancer. She underwent a total thyroidectomy followed by radiation. Despite battling 2 forms of cancer, Carol hardly slowed down. An avid and competitive runner, Carol ran 7 marathons during those 6 years, including 4 Boston Marathons. Last year, she was diagnosed with a metastatic breast cancer recurrence and this winter she learned that her thyroid cancer had spread as well. Her doctors have told her that she is the only patient they know of with 2 different types of stage 4 cancer. When she shared this unfortunate news of her stage 4 recurrence to her 4 children, they paused for a few moments of fear and sadness, and then in unison, asked ‘Does this mean you won't be able to run Boston next year?’ Carol quickly reassured them that she would be out there on the course running and trying her best. Despite daily chemotherapy, monthly injections, infusions, and follow-up blood tests, Carol completed this year's Boston Marathon once again. While cancer hasn’t been able to keep her from running, it has changed her from a competitive runner to a philanthropic one. She has raised tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research while she has been running. Her amazing spirit and perseverance in the face of 2 difficult cancers has earned Carol her the moniker of "wonder woman" at Dana-Farber.

You Might Like

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

8777381234. Is just Carroll with us tonight. Hello Carol how are. Thanks this is Carol chow sector activist Sally like Nash each shall we shall we dance and she is from Wellesley. And you were you were dealing with the breast and thyroid cancer tell us your story to. I am yes I was diagnosed. I went in for my annual memo July 2009. And expected to add you know go home and have time to kind of hang out differently my kids up from camp. And kept getting called back by the radiologist traditional views and and findings don't really see any thing that we can do some biopsies. Just to be sure of and then the next night they called me to say you know it still inconclusive and do some more slices of the biopsy. And I was on my way to five mile race in the South Boston. It's 48 hours later they said he'd have to have cancer you have to commence tomorrow for an MRI and so that was the Friday and and I found with them the week that followed. I am I found out they had staged to invasive breast cancer Arab. And and so is really shocked because no family history like fun runner a healthy lifestyle it. And I'm I was fortunate to to have the best team of doctors right away at Dana Farber. And went through mastectomy. Four months of not having you daddy to be key mode. And then seven weeks of radiation. And started a ten year plan of not hormonal therapy him. And then on the fifth anniversary to the date of my breast cancer diagnosis I was diagnosed with stage three thyroid cancer are. And that was pretty like tough because I thought OK am on this treatment plan and then everything possible to you know stay healthy. And so I went through total tired act to me. And in three months later radioactive iodine treatment. And then last summer's August to July 2015. I had a lot of pain in my hip. Wallace aid sitting in driving. And email plan college nursed and McKenna says she's at the scheduled MRI just in case since you know. Some sort of information like who weren't even thinking cancer recurrence at all. And it's. Report came back I had a lot of information ten tonight is the oversight as. But there is two centimeter lesion in my hand so they said mr. pets can we were leaving the next day for vacations and I came back from vacation it pet scan which confirmed. Metastatic breast cancer are. Onlookers they had to do skull biopsy because they were in service breasts or thyroid. And turned out of his breast cancer are so I started to like the next day yesterday treatment I spent eight hours it Dana Farber. And you know this is surrounded by my my great team of doctors and nurses. So your great team of doctors and nurses told you that you were the only patient they know with two different types of stage four cancer yes what your nickname lucky. Exactly he. On itself. Yellow what happened is gonna start the treatment right away and felt dead and secured a number for the Boston Marathon. And went from my routine six month nickel to sound. And the radiologist who spent a lot of time on my neck and a cut out something's up. And he handed me the report said highly suspicious for metastatic cancer management are walking up the bridge back to Dana Farber is at the Brigham. In disbelief and by the time I drove announcement announces officer was in tears now how can this happen and they did the biopsy the next Monday. And I waited until May have the surgery because I was in the midst of trading the boxing match on everything. He's so out. It was kind of crazy crazy here this is at least you ram Boston this year and in Boston is yet area and. I'm an minarets scary whether that's what you didn't how's the typing this week in Germany. Did you text your mental notes in the second in my age class act. And it's obvious we've ever more vast for two days now and yes fifteen years ago almost everyone says. They don't say why me. But for you I can't help I won't believe you yeah you know I mean. I didn't say that but I like they did say last August was you know once say I was initially very angry. Not anyone or anything particular just like kind of angry and afraid I was afraid. Thinking you know because I had. You know I knew the statistics for metastatic breast cancer are. And you know it's very scary and then to have to explain to my kids my breast cancer spread to my scholar and my spine in my hip. For them even for adults is a difficult concept to comprehend that you could have breast cancer your skull but Mike hits it was amazing we told an after dinner Arab. And they need today in training for Boston and within seconds you know after crying like does this mean you know running Boston next year so they associate my running with my prognosis. So I I never really asked why me but I thought like. How this happened did I do something Rhonda I'm not you know make the best effort possible to avoid a recurrence. And you have to accept that you know whatever you do and and I really feel OK in a made the effort. But things still happening in the cancer still can come back and I already had you know a stage three with puzzlement notes unions and six years prior so I knew I was at risk. And I feel like now on getting the best possible treatment the best doctors in the world and you know I'm just living each day and you know with great hope that you know through funding for research and everything that keep me alive says he my grandkids. Sounds so so so that so. Even if there's not a why me moment I got to believe that living a healthy lifestyle and eating well running staying active all that there has to be this is kind of an unfair thing to witness they. Yes that's an error but you know I'd I had to like you know someone shared on social media there's a pretty large network of Minnesota breast cancer patients and some lunch at the shirt that says. Everything hurts them die maybe it is I like that sort of like you know I heard I just from like the aches and pains of like aging and running and Ian treatments. And but you have to accept it on my kids I say pain is just weakness leaving your body and I think they must have heard that on Tom and Jerry you something. So you know whatever complain about running they're just like a can't get over it you know just get over the pain and deal with them. And I just have to. It took me a few weeks after my diagnosis last summer to realize a camp not dying from cancer on living with cancer now have you know an over the past you know year. Tuesday's four diagnoses and it just part of my life and nine on getting the best treatment some followed very closely examined Dana Farber once a month for the metastatic breast cancer I do and daily target therapy from home. And then appalled every six months for the town for the thyroid cancer so it's just you know part of who I am now and so that's you know and department when a deal with and when's the next marathon. Boston next year do you do bus and asked him until a few five k's this volatile ten K and I feel like is that a little myself to one match I'm pretty air at the bus the the boss hears them and I got a calf injury notional becomes. And many Hillary look tough guys you looked at or excuses as to not to not run like it was when it came up with some of the sniffles and the guy. Several students from what I object shingles pain and hang nail has he personally when you got lots of excuse to sit applause and watch it means so much. Well. Even when. As a qualifier and I years ago I always tried to raise money for different charities that are close to me and once I secured the Boston number of this year I decide to raise money for her metastatic breast cancer research at Dana Farber. And over the years I've always treachery is 26200. Dollars in campaign thousand dollars from my own. And never succeeded always got in a stock in the new hills at 161000 and always compared to even milder on the course. And this year I think because. The cause was so much more personal and then and previous years you know living with metastatic disease and dining. I ended up raising 73000 dollars aren't in Ohio are coached and humble honorable and I thought that it runners world's shared a story on line and went viral I think we share 151000 times and then people started writing to me missiles like the support I am in support group on the on the runners like those of breast cancer but a year. What's your advice. Then down so I feel like if I can help anyone. You know get through their treatments and run and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyles and in a raise awareness and money for her for breast cancer and. YouTube for the positive approach you look at this this and I'm going to use this as more I guess a lot of Enron executive and make some money yeah I'd look at is saying the loneliness the longest in front. Yup they're training thinking about how bad I have and how unfair this salt as you've turned that page and moved on us on the quality. It's going to be great escape those two and so it is nice yeah training run it definitely because I've run mostly Tyrone with my friends and yet they keep me going had a very positive support group. And then on the days I run by myself it's the time to kind of work through short if I am new afraid of certain treatments or how I'm feeling. But I would say that 99.9 percent of the time I'm. Out their positive surrounded by great friends the training runs are fun and slow it can be these days you know I'd like my mind you know marathon time is so slow but. But I have fun out there doing NN you know raising raising awareness and raising money for Dana Farber she is an eerie shield the Wonder Woman from Wellesley Carole Shelley thanks very much for Jersey north of the brake work again.

News & Analysis