When it came time for Doreta Norris’s double mastectomy, rather than being somberly wheeled into the operating room, she chose to dance.
The 52-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2013 after a mammogram, thanks to repeated pestering from her husband. The biopsy revealed a tumor in her right breast. Doctors recommended a mastectomy as treatment, but fear of cancer appearing in the left breast as well found Norris electing for an aggressive course of treatment—a double mastectomy.
After having seen video of another patient dancing with the operation team before her own double mastectomy, Norris was inspired to replicate the moment. The morning of surgery at Piedmont Henry in Stockbridge, Ga., found Norris requesting a last-minute dance party. Her surgeon asked what kind of music she wanted to boogie to. Not long after, Norris was spinning and bopping to the tune of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” with nurses, doctors, and staff lining the wall waiting their turn for a chance to dance with the exuberant patient.
I stepped out of my room and found hospital staff and doctors lining both sides of the hall. I heard the music playing and began to dance. It was an emotional dance. Staff came up to hug me, dance with me and give me words of encouragement. I truly felt like I could conquer the world.