We Are Living HOPE: Shirley A. Brown

On the Wednesday before Good Friday in 2011 I had a mammogram. On the following Monday, I received a call from Dr. Cindy Besson's office and her staff said that I needed to see a surgeon immediately. She asked me which surgeon I wanted to see. Without hesitation I requested Dr. Wayne Frei. I went to Dr. Frei’s office the next day. He showed me the X-rays and it looked like a “star burst” scattered all over my left breast. He did a biopsy and set the date for my surgery. Dr. Frei asked me to think about having my breasts removed at the same time. "Shirley you are 75 years old, do you want to go through this again?" I told the doctor to remove both breasts.

On May 16, 2011 I entered the operating room. Dr. Frei removed the left breast and when he began to remove the right breast he found a nodule in my right breast and it was cancer. During surgery I hemorrhaged and lost a lot of blood, and it took them 1-½ hours to wake me up. I did receive blood the day after surgery. I was Shirley Quotein the hospital for two days and went home to be taken care of by my two daughters. I was having a difficult time dealing with food. I had no appetite and was so cold. I could not get warm. Two weeks after surgery, I sent my two girls home to get some rest and that very afternoon, I began to have chills and fever. I went to the emergency room and found out that I had pneumonia. I was in the hospital for five days.

Now started the new life that I had to live with.
I have always been a strong and independent individual. I have always been able to deal with anything that life throws at me. I was there to help those in trouble and give them a boost and talk about dealing with life’s trials. Well this one threw me into a tailspin. I did not know how to deal with myself. I did not know how to put me first. I was a 75-year-old woman who had lost part of her body and didn't know what to do. I went into a deep depression. I cried a lot, prayed a lot, and cried some more. I was not myself and I felt like I had done something wrong. After many weeks of agony, I finally asked God to give me some peace about this situation and knew that I needed to give the whole situation to God and let him teach me how to deal it. My family, church family and friends helped me so much. I am able to thank God that I didn’t need to have chemo or radiation treatments. I am on hormone treatments for five years, but I am so blessed to have God in my life.

Those who may find themselves in this same kind of situation, let friends and family help you. Encourage others, and most of all ask God to give you peace and trust him to help you. When we find the courage within ourselves to cope with our own trials, we will also find our happiness again and we are able to help those around us. Doing for others is what gives us the peace and satisfaction for life.

I want to thank Aiken Regional Medical Centers' staff for the excellent care they extended to me.

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Aiken Regional Medical Centers is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.        

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