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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...

So far, so good. "I feel fantastic and am about to go for a run in the mountains," she says. In the course of making the documentary, Carr met and married her husband, who served as the editor and producer on the film. "The film ends with me living with cancer and getting married and planning for the future," she says. And that's not all. "I am writing another book and raising money for the Crazy Sexy Scholarship Fund, which provides money for alternative medicine.

"Cancer is a catalyst, and if you let it, it can bring some amazing things into your life," says Carr. "Cancer tells you it’s time to live, not time to die."

Crazy, Sexy Cancer Survivor: Roberta Levy Schwartz

Houston-based Roberta Levy Schwartz, a founder of the Young Survival Coalition, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27. Now, 10 years later, she remains cancer-free and is the mother of three children.

A lot has changed on her watch.

"When I was in the waiting room when first diagnosed, people always thought it was my mother who had cancer, not me," she recalls. "The staff would usher me back quickly, because it freaked people out to have a 20-year-old in the waiting room. And now, just about everyone knows a young person with cancer."

Times have changed. "We are young; we are proud; and we are going to be here next year, and we are going to take our wigs off," she says. And one more thing: "Don't tell us about stats, as we have every intention of living."

Schwartz' organization, the Young Survival Coalition, aims to address many of the unique issues faced by young women with breast cancer. Its other goal is to bring survivors together. There was no such group when Schwartz was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Her best advice to the newly diagnosed is simple.

"Just live," she tells WebMD. "You can’t worry about whether or not tomorrow will be your last day." she says. "It's not about how long you live; it's about how you live. Being depressed at home in the closet because you don't want people to see you is not being alive," she says. 

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