Sharing Stories of Survival - Carol's Story


Carol Carifio, of Haverhill is living proof that people can survive long into their later years after a cancer journey. 

A woman of deep faith and conviction, Carol, now 84, noticed a lump under her armpit while on vacation in Florida twenty years ago. Her physician at Women’s Health Care referred Carol to Dr. Peter Hartmann, who after a thorough series of tests recommended a single mastectomy. Her family urged her to seek a second opinion, so she went to Dana Farber, where she was provided the same recommendation.

Carol made the decision to return to Dr. Hartmann because he was “so caring”, and she just “felt more comfortable” putting her trust in his skill and manner. Her stage 3 cancer diagnosis required five weeks of radiation and six weeks of chemotherapy. Her family and friends helped her cope and provided tremendous support during her periods of low energy and anxiety.

When Carol lost all of her hair and eyebrows she began to wear a wig. She made the decision never to share her cancer diagnosis with her young grandchildren…she just told them she had a new hair-do. 

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