The Story of Laura Brewer

At the age of 32, I had decided to go back to school; the first one in my family to ever go to college, taking night classes, working in the day time and soon to honor’s college.  Next I am in grad school, hoping to graduate by age 40.   On August 3rd, 2016, I graduated before my 39th birthday with my master’s degree; as you can guess, I was on top of the world!

Then on August 23rd, 20 days after I graduated, I was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer.  And it was the aggressive kind!  The news was unbelievable and I was in total shock. 

“How” – “Why” was it happening to me?  There are so many questions that went through my mind.  I was scared, sad, confused, and angry.  I needed doctors I could trust with my life.  Which doctors are the right ones?  How do you trust what they say?  What about quality of life?  Will I have enough money to pay for my care?  Will my insurance cover this? 

I can honestly say that I didn’t even know that we had a cancer center five minutes from my house.  And I thought, If I was going to have to take medicine that would make me very sick, I wanted to be close to home, to be near my husband, my parents, and my friends.

The first time I walked into the McCreary Cancer Center, I was terrified!  Then after meeting the staff, the nurses and my oncologist, Dr. Hathorn, I began to feel a sense of ease.  We would soon start chemo, and I would have a double mastectomy followed by radiation.  I had a long, hard road ahead of me, but now I had a great support system. That first day, I walked out of the office with a plan and a great understanding of what my diagnosis and treatment would mean.

Being in the office frequently, the staff became my friends and my family.  All I could think about was how hard they were working to save my life and the life of others around me.  Even after my treatments I experienced what was diagnosed as an anxiety attack, my husband rushed me to the center, where I was treated and comforted by everyone.  I was so grateful to know my condition was normal for where I was in my journey.  I cannot say enough good things about the McCreary Cancer Center and everyone who works there.  They are some of the nicest, most genuine people that I have ever met, and I am so grateful I found them.

So, it’s been a year since my last day of chemo, and as I sit here, I am reminded of something that I once heard my grandmother say, “Find your talent and give it away to others.”  Five years ago, my husband I started playing music for benefits for people who had cancer and other terminal illnesses.  I couldn’t explain to my husband why I had to do this, but I had to.  I had no idea that one day there would be a benefit for me.  Don’t you know the McCreary staff and my oncologist came to the benefit!  I mean, how many people would take time out of their lives to do that for a patient?  Well, at McCreary, they do.

If anyone has found their talent and are giving it away, the people at the McCreary Cancer Center have the talent of saving lives and restoring faith and happiness in otherwise terrible situations.   What a blessing to have them here, for us, in our county!