The diagnosis of breast cancer sent Deborah Cottrell on a whirlwind journey through chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. But, she says her faith, her family, and trust in her medical care gave her the peace and positive frame of mind she needed.
When Deborah found something in her breast that did not feel right, she immediately scheduled an appointment with her primary care physician. Both her mother and sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer, so it was important that she had been doing regular self-exams and mammograms. Her physician immediately scheduled an appointment for her at the Breast Center, and within a week, she had been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.
Her medical oncologist, Carole Tweed, MD, began a plan for treatment immediately. After chemotherapy, Deborah’s surgeon removed her tumor, and followed up with radiation to ensure all of the cancerous cells were gone.
“It was concerning, but I wasn’t frightened.” She says.”Particularly after I talked to my oncologist and she talked me through it, it brought even greater peace.”
She says everything happened very quickly from that first moment when she noticed a change in her breast. Deborah relied on her belief in God, the support of her family and church, as well as the encouragement from the doctors and medical staff at AAMC. “All those pieces play a part in the journey in terms of not looking at it as the end,” she says. “I am looking toward life.”
“The experience at AAMC was excellent,” she says, “Any of the medical staff, whether they were doctors, nurses, technicians, whatever, they were all very encouraging.”