Carol Hurley's Story

How I Survived Breast Cancer, My Story

I was 46 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, I had three children in school – elementary, middle and high school – and my dad was battling terminal cancer.

The people at the Women’s Breast Center were so supportive during the two weeks of diagnosis, testing and decisions about my surgery and treatment. Michele Speer, the nurse navigator at the Breast Center, was my salvation during two of the worst weeks of my life. She met with me frequently to explain details of pathology reports and provide additional information about the options for surgery and treatment that my incredible doctors had already discussed with me. Michele was a nurse, therapist and friend all rolled into one. She got information for me, scheduled many appointments and let me know about all the support available to me. She hooked me up with the Center for Integrative Medicine,where I learned relaxation techniques in preparation for my double mastectomy and chemotherapy.

Michele also let me know about all the extra services that the Bennett Cancer Center offersduring treatment. I wouldn't have made it through those early weeks without her. She helped alleviate some of the feelings of fear, anxiety and loss of control. More than a year later, I see her at the gym at Tully and she remembers me and asks how I am.

Every nurse, doctor and receptionist both at the Women’s Breast Center and my doctor's offices was so compassionate and understanding. Things moved very quickly and I understood this was so that I could have all the information and make a decision without dragging out the anxiety over time.

I've told so many people that I was overwhelmed at the care I received at the Women’s Breast Center....the compassion, medical expertise and understanding was incredible. This was my nightmare, but they helped me through it!

I have passed the one-year milestone and I feel great. I still have one more small surgery left and I continue to take part in all the support services offered at the Bennett Cancer Center.