Jaime Hurst a is busy young mother of two with a booming photography business. She thought she was the picture of perfect health until one December day in 2008 when she found a lump on her breast in the shower.
She immediately called her primary care doctor and was ordered her to have a biopsy. Three days later she got the phone call no woman wants. She had breast cancer.
“I immediately thought I was going to die and I have two children and at the time they were 3 and 6-years-old. The only thing I was worried about was them,” said Jaime Hurst.
With no family history of breast cancer the news was devastating.
“The radiologist came up to talk to me, she said look you can beat this, consider double mastectomy with your age and the fact that you can’t see anything on your mammogram. She said my MRI was clear and told me to think about it and at that point I thought I have to fight,” said Hurst.
Jaime decided to fight. She went to the Berman Cancer Institute at GBMC. Even though her cancer was detected early she made a major decision to have a double mastectomy
“She opted to have a what’s called a completion mastectomy and a prophylactic mastectomy on the opposite side. It was her choice to be as safe as she could be,” said Dr. Robert Donegan.
Dr. Robert Donegan is a Oncologist and Hematologist at GBMC. He has been caring for Jaime from the start. Dr. Donegan says Jaime’s road to recovery was not easy, filled with multiple surgeries and chemo treatments.
“She then had the initial surgery and then she went on to receive chemotherapy the reason that she received chemotherapy that with her type of cancer is that chemo therapy can sustainably lower her risk of the cancer spreading and recurring in other parts of the body,” said Dr. Donegan.
Doctor Donegan and Jaime Hurst have formed a strong patient doctor bond.
“We weren’t close when we first started I would come in to ask him a thousand questions because I just wanted to know why because everybody wants to know why, which he couldn’t answer all the why’s, but nobody can . Then slowly I realized that he wasn’t trying to hurt me he was really my friend. He had the best interest for me,” said Hurst.
Dr. Donegan follows Jaime’s recovery closely. “I’m cancer free as far as we know that’s always a good thing I feel great I feel back to the new me,” said Hurst.
Jaime success in fighting the disease is credited to early detection. Dr. Donegan says every woman regardless of age should pay close attention to their bodies.
“In 30-year-olds breast cancer is quite uncommon. That’s why it can go unnoticed. That’s also why I think awareness in young women is particularly important even though it is much less common," said Donegan.
Jaime Hurst says she is thankful for her health and she plans on seeing Dr. Donegan until he retires. “I plan on being around to watch my kids get married have grandkids,” said Hurst.
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