Winning the Battle

Beloved teacher beat breast cancer


Courtesy of Angie Carraway

Willow Springs history teacher Angie Carraway battles cancer. After a long fought battle, Carraway won her fight with cancer.

Every day, Angie Carraway greets students into her eighth grade history classroom with a warm smile and enthusiastic, “hello.” The bright pink hue of her clothing is a reminder of her triumph over breast cancer. After being diagnosed with breast cancer over three years ago, Carraway has advocated for raising awareness about the disease.

“Other than the few scares I’ve had, I consider myself lucky,” Carraway said. “As far as cancer goes, it’s been an amazing journey.”

Carraway was diagnosed in 2018 with stage 2 breast cancer. To decrease her chances of the cancer returning, she chose to have a double mastectomy. She sought a team-focused support system of doctors at Cancer Center Treatment of America to help her with treatment.

“I decided to go with a complete mastectomy, or a double mastectomy, because with a lumpectomy, [the tumor] could come back,” Carraway said. “With a mastectomy, you can have another cancer, but to have breast cancer again, it’s a very, very minimal chance.”

Although she is cleared as cancer free, Carraway’s life is still influenced by her past breast cancer. 

“I’m going to be on medication for the next 10 years, because my tumor was hormone fueled,” Carraway said. “A few months ago, there was something concerning that came back on my blood work, but it turned out to be nothing. I remember my brother told me to remember that I would always be under a microscope for quite some time knowing that I had cancer.”

My message to other survivors is that they’re not alone and that we’re all willing to listen and help in any way we can. Sometimes sharing your experience is enough to comfort anyone.”

— Angie Carraway

Carraway has a husband and three daughters, and is close friends with her colleagues Allison Novicke and Marty Locke.

“My family, having my husband and three girls, is the ultimate support,” Carraway said. “It was really hard that I couldn’t give my all during my oldest daughter Ally’s senior year. I know that kind of tainted their high school experience, but for sure, I know that family is the one thing that supported me. Lots of people that I work with, like Mrs. Novicke and Mr. Locke, are always there to help in any way that I need help.”

Fellow eighth grade history teacher Novicke and Carraway became friends 10 years ago.

“Honestly, I think that what she went through a few years back made us even closer,” Novicke said. “When things were very difficult, one of the most important things to me was to keep her laughing and find things to make it a positive atmosphere.” 

Carraway’s daughter, Abby Carraway, is a senior at the high school and was a freshman at the time her mom was diagnosed.

“My favorite part of my family is that we come together when we need to, even though we’re not always together,” Abby said. “We’re not always home, but when something happens, we’re always there for each other.”

Carraway is dedicated to educating people about the misconceptions of breast cancer.

“I wish people knew that eight out of 10 women who get breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer,” Carraway said. “The question that everyone asked me when I got diagnosed was ‘Oh my gosh, does it run in your family?’ when I have no family history.”

Although Carraway had to have an implant replacement surgery in May, she is currently living cancer free.

“My message to other survivors is that they’re not alone and that we’re all willing to listen and help in any way we can,” Carraway said. “Sometimes sharing your experience is enough to comfort anyone.”