Laughter and lip gloss

Carrie Madrid

At the end of 2011, I was walking around Mt. Rubidoux asking my creator what my purpose in life was, aside from being a mom and fulltime conference coordinator. Two weeks later, I rolled over in bed and felt like I rolled onto a golf ball. I discovered two lumps on my left breast and instantly. I had my very first mammogram and biopsies which confirmed breast cancer. Oddly, I had a complete peace about it. My motto became "laughter & lip gloss." Twelve days later, I had a mastectomy and 28 lymph nodes removed with 6, positive for cancer. This confirmed my Stage III diagnosis. I endured a harsh regimen of chemotherapy and 5 weeks of radiation. I continued to have multiple surgeries to include DIEP flap reconstruction and many revisions. The scariest part of all of this was while recovering from a 14-hour surgery, I developed a staph infection which caused me to be septic and fighting for my life. Thankfully, I recovered and went on to create The CARE Project, Inc. (TCP). TCP is a non-profit organization that provides emotional AND financial support to male and female breast cancer patients within the Inland Empire of So Cal. I often say it is ironic I hold the title Survivor now. Before cancer, I was simply surviving life and today I am truly LIVING a life of purpose. Visit if you need support.