At the age of 15, Amy Carrico’s world changed with news that her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She admits the circumstance caused her to grow up more quickly. When she was just 24, her mother passed away. It would be at 38 that Carrico would face the same diagnosis of breast cancer. She, too, was now a mother to four active boys who range in age from 8 years to 7 months old, the wife to Matt, and dentist to many in the community. How could she have breast cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except skin cancer. About 1 in 8 (12%) of women have a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
A factor increasing Carrico’s average risk was having a family history of the disease.
In a YouTube video Carrico posted shortly after receiving her diagnosis, she describes her life roles as a dentist, wife, mother, friend, sister, aunt and child of God.
Though diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, she proclaims, “God has a plan.”
Because of her mother’s diagnosis, Carrico had MRIs after each pregnancy. Just a few weeks before her most recent MRI, she had genetic testing that exposed her breast cancer gene. The MRI then revealed that she, too, had the disease.
Carrico’s optimism is evident, as she knows that her diagnosis is different than her mother’s, and the cancer was detected at an earlier stage. But regardless of the stage, she is gong to fight like it’s a job, because she wants to live for her kids. Her fight might seem strange to some, because it involves surrender. Yes, surrender. In order for her to fight all the physical, mental and emotional effects of her diagnosis, Carrico’s faith in God calls her to surrender to His plan.
Carrico admits she has had a hard time identifying with cancer because she has chosen to face it by focusing on surviving and glorifying God. She knows she is not alone, because her faith assures her of that.
Breast cancer is not was not what she wanted, by any means, but Carrico has seen the good in her circumstance by experiencing the love that others possess for her and her family – a blessing she doesn’t take for granted.
Carrico doesn’t say “if I survive breast cancer,” but “when I survive breast cancer.” Survival is important, as she is raising her four boys and continues her life with her husband, Matt.
She is thankful that her boys are young, because they don’t know what “cancer” means. They just know they are praying for mommy, and that she tires easily. They are maintaining as much normalcy as God allows.
As for her marriage, she is in awe of the love shown to her by her husband, expressing with much affection, “he is such a good man.” She says, “I’m blown away at how much he sacrifices for our family. I wish that for every woman.” Amy and Matt Carrico are best friends. Her faith is the cornerstone of her life, and her marriage is an extension of God’s plan. Because they became one, before God, on their wedding day, the Carrico’s are now one body. They have cancer.
Even in her diagnosis, Carrico said, “I feel lucky to have this opportunity to see how much people love me.” That includes Matt. She does, of course, look forward to the day when they are on the other side of treatment; when she and her husband can return to their normal routine.
Carrico knows that there are people who think faith is irrelevant. She said in moments of struggle (like cancer or other crises), faith will become relevant. She knows she needs her faith in Christ to get through her diagnosis, because He is in control, and the Bible proclaims that He makes all things new. Carrico knows her body, as well as her spirit, can be made new.
Carrico urges those who don’t have a church, or faith in Christ, to find Him, because there is an answer to all life’s problems through trusting Him.
Carrico admits she is not good with having cancer every day. She gets scared or feels hopeless, but she realizes that succumbing to these emotions provides the devil a foothold to her thoughts, and that’s when she throws her problems at the foot of the cross and lets God’s plan unfold.
Though confident in the doctors she has chosen for her care, she says, “Doctors are God’s hands in the healing process, but only God heals.”
Carrico developed a personal relationship with Christ at a young age, and she is grateful for that faith, for it has helped her in many areas of her life prior to cancer. It’s from her history that she encourages that people get busy with their faith now. She says it’s like insurance; invest in a personal relationship before disaster strikes.
It’s safe to say that Carrico is fully invested in His plan. She’s confident that God has the ability to heal her cancer, but also to heal what is ailing you.
Watch Amy’s stirring video produced by Lolek Productions of Owensboro, KY. With almost 10,000 views on youtube, Amy’s testimony has touched the hearts of all who have viewed it.
Credits: Interview by Jenny Likens. Directed, filmed and edited by Fr. Josh McCarty Lolek.