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Women Cancer Survivors Take Charge

A new generation of women shake up what it means to have cancer.
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Crazy, Sexy Survivors continued...

"I was petrified at first," she recalls. "It was my ‘needle off the record’ moment." But she turned her fear into action. She founded a corporation called “Save My Ass Technologies, Inc." and began to film a documentary of her search for a cure.

For starters, Carr interviewed potential doctors the same way she’d interview a potential employee. She learned a lot along the way.

"If your doctor has the bedside manner of Dog the Bounty Hunter, it might not be a good partnership," she says. "Look for the person who knows the most."

Don’t let the white coat intimidate you, she says. "Everyone has gut feelings and intuition, and doctors can intimidate you into not using it."

Carr's search for a cure also involved a foray into the sometimes wacky world of complementary medicine.

"If Western medicine doesn't have answers or answers that you like, look elsewhere," she says. "Complementary medicine can give a patient a really empowering feeling," she says.

"Cancer is bigger than a cell count or a tumor," she says. "There won’t be a cure without both members of the team playing together,” Carr says of the marriage between Western medicine and complementary medicine, which includes everything from herbs and yoga to acupuncture and diet.

She also learned that it can be challenging to prove to others that you are OK, she says. "I still get people that say, 'Bless you dear heart, keep up the fight' when I come out and do book signings," she says. "It's never a patient who makes me feel terminal. I often think, 'Did you just miss the whole point? I am more alive than you are.'”

But Carr is not totally fearless. "I learned to manage fear and not allow it to take me down," she says. "If I get scared, it usually means that I am out of balance in another area," Carr says. "Is a cough just a cough? You can become so debilitated and fall into hypochondria, and when I get to those places I know it’s time to do something as simple as go for a walk and change the environment."

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