Breast Cancer Patient Dances Her Way To The Operating Room


Rather than sulking into the operating room for a double mastectomy, Doreta Norris chooses to dance.

The 52-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2013 after a mammogram found a tumor in her right breast. The doctors recommended a mastectomy as treatment but fear of cancer appearing in the left breast as well, Norris elected for an aggressive course of treatment — a double mastectomy.

“Staff came up to hug me, dance with me and give me words of encouragement. I truly felt like I could conquer the world.”

Shortly before her surgery in March, Norris, shared a simple request with nurse Brooke Galimore at Piedmont Henry Hospital in Stockbridge, Georgia: On the day of the procedure, Norris wanted to Gangnam Style her way to the operating room. Galimore, being a good nurse, let the rest of the staff know and spontaneously lined the hallways.

“I stepped out of my room and found hospital staff and doctors lining both sides of the hall,” said Norris. “I heard the music playing and began to dance.”


“It was an emotional dance,” Norris said. “Staff came up to hug me, dance with me and give me words of encouragement. I truly felt like I could conquer the world.”

Norris considers the dance a gift.

“The hospital staff could have given me medications, wheeled me into the operating room on a stretcher and that would be that,” said Norris. “But the staff at Piedmont Henry cared about me, acknowledged my struggle and helped me overcome a difficult time.”

Having undergone her last surgery on Tuesday, Norris is now cancer-free and is looking forward to many more dances.


Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
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