Faith, Friends Shield Breast Cancer Survivor
While no one prays for cancer, Dorothy “Dot” Autrey’s journey has been an uplifting confirmation of her faith.
“God has put such wonderful people in my path,” said Dot, a retired administrative law judge from Brandon.
She needed those lifelines from the start. Her initial response to breast cancer was terror.
“As soon as I got off the phone with the nurse practitioner,” who called with the results of her August 2020 mammogram, “I just started screaming,” she said.
Out of the blue, a close friend, who also is a breast cancer survivor, called Dot just after she received the news. She and another friend rushed to Dot’s side. “Once I talked to her, I had a peace,” she said. “They prayed with me, and I became calm.”
That peace stayed with her as she prepared for treatment. Her routine screening mammogram had revealed the invasive ductal carcinoma at an early stage.
“Fortunately, it was a very small lump,” Dot said.
Dot had lumpectomy surgery at North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo. The kindness of the staff and the nurses who prayed with her were heaven sent.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful an experience it was,” Dot said. “I just knew everything was going to be okay.”
After surgery and subsequent radiation treatment, it took a little bit for Dot to get back in the swing.
“I couldn’t play golf for about six weeks,” Dot said. “Now I’m pretty much back to doing everything and anything.” The 78-year-old walks 90 minutes every morning with hand weights, plays golf any day she can and works in her yard.
Even though Dot lives in Brandon, she came to NMMC-Tupelo for surgery. Tupelo surgeon Dr. Danny Sanders is Dot’s nephew by marriage, and she trusted him and his team with her health.
“He’s so talented,” Dot said.
Dot has already been able to pay the encouragement she received forward, sharing her experience with others on the same breast cancer journey.
“I just feel humbled to share my story,” Dot said.
“I just knew everything was going to be okay.”