Stockbridge, Ga. (June 16, 2014) – Coffee and a mammogram. Two things that topped the to-do list Doreta Norris’ husband would leave for her every morning. Finally, in November 2013, Norris decided to scratch that second item off her list and went to get a mammogram that led doctors at Piedmont Henry Hospital to discover a “worrisome spot” on Norris’ right breast.
Not long thereafter, biopsy results revealed Norris, 52, had breast cancer. Scott Timbert, M.D., breast surgeon at Piedmont Henry, recommended removing Norris’ right breast. Fear of finding cancer later in her left breast, Norris opted to have a double mastectomy.
"It isn’t uncommon for women to choose to treat breast cancer aggressively by undergoing a double mastectomy," said Dr. Timbert. "By choosing this route, a patient can lessen her chances of developing cancer in the other breast years down the road.”
Norris decided to postpone surgery until after she made a quick trip to care for her mother-in-law in Texas. It was in the airport Norris saw a video of a patient dancing with her operating team just before undergoing a double mastectomy. The video inspired Norris to take up her own battle and dance the cancer away, too.
On the morning of Norris’ surgery at Piedmont Henry, she told her nurse Brooke Galimore that she wanted to dance. Without hesitation, Galimore set out to make that happen and the next thing Norris knew, Dr. Timbert was there to ask her what kind of music she wanted.
“I stepped out of my room and found hospital staff and doctors lining both sides of the hall,” said Norris. “I heard the music playing and began to dance. It was an emotional dance. Staff came up to hug me, dance with me and give me words of encouragement. I truly felt like I could conquer the world.”
Norris considers the dance a gift.
“The hospital staff could have given me medications, wheeled me into the operating room on a stretcher and that would be that,” said Norris. “But the staff at Piedmont Henry cared about me, acknowledged my struggle and helped me overcome a difficult time.”
Norris says her faith has given her the strength she needed to make it through this journey for herself, her husband and her children. Today, she is cancer-free. And, although she is still too weak to dance, she knows she will dance again. See Norris’ dance on Piedmont Henry's Facebook page.