Born and raised in Kingfisher, Debbie Daugherty knew that Kingfisher was the place to raise her children. "The quality of life is exceptional, where you feel safe and everybody is like family," says Debbie. She and her husband Darrell have been married 33 years and are active with their children and grandchildren, church, and professional careers.
Debbie, a registered nurse at Kingfisher Regional Hospital for the past 13 years, understands the importance of having yearly mammograms. In October 2004 she had her routine mammogram at KRH. After reading her results, the radiologist contacted her to schedule a second exam and an ultrasound. " I was just a bit anxious. There was something not of the normal routine about the additional testing," Debbie admits. "They informed me I needed to have a biopsy done on my left breast as soon as possible." A couple of days later, a needle biopsy showed malignancy. "Whew----my head went spinning! It was all so quick", Debbie says. "I have cancer!" she realized. "How does one explain it? And you can't. You go through all the emotions----shock, denial, anger, disbelief..." After the results came back, Debbie had a mastectomy----just one month after the first mammogram.
After surgery, Debbie met with Charles Hollen, MD, an oncologist at KRH Specialty Clinic. "I just can't say enough about Dr. Hollen and his nurse Jackie Castonguay," Debbie affirms. "they are wonderful, personable and very professional." Debbie's chemotherapy routine started December 21, with a 2 1/2 hour treatment at the KRH Specialty Clinic. She would work for two weeks, then take a week off for treatment. This lasted for eight cycles. After one chemo treatment, Debbie was in her bathroom and just happened to run her fingers through her hair. A huge clump of hair came out in her hand. She was horrified. "What will people think?" she wondered. "What do I look like? Will people constantly stare?" It wasn't long after that she lost all of her hair. At work she wore a variety of scarves, hats or her wig. "I think I have about every color there is!" she says. After Debbie's last chemo treatment, on May 17, 2005, she arrived home to find a surprise "last chemo" party hosted by her family. "It was so much fun in the midst of my turmoil," Debbie recalls. After chemotherapy came radiation, and when her last radiation treatment was over, the nurses at KRH threw her another surprise "last treatment" party, with beautiful red roses, cards and lots of delicious food.
"I have gained some insight through this phase of my life," Debbie says. "I now have a better understanding and appreciation of what my patients and their famililes go through. To my family, my husband, my kids and grandchildren, my co-workers at KRH and my church, words simply cannot express my appreciation and gratitude. Everybody was so supportive. People from the community----some I knew, and some I didn't----sent me cards, they sent care boxes, they called and they prayed.
"Besides having my family and friends for support, I relied strongly on God. I know for a fact, the strength of the prayers carried me through. My favorite scripture and the one I relied on is located in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.""
Today, Debbie is cancer- free!
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Kingfisher Regional Hospital | 500 S. 9th Street - P.O. Box 59 | Kingfisher, OK 73750 | (405) 375-3141 | Fax: (405) 375-7998