This is the story of Dorothy Hinson Brandt, 84, and her experience with breast cancer.

Dorothy Hinson Brandt is a woman, mother, wife, soldier, author, poet, Valley resident, cancer survivor... and lover of life!

It’s never great for somebody to be diagnosed with cancer.  At the time I was diagnosed we were in the middle of a crisis with my husband who has prostate cancer.  And this was a double whammy that we did not need at that time.  But, both of us had a wonderful experience. His was a real crisis.  Mine was not.  I was healthy.  I even went to my doctor who said, because of my age, “you know Dorothy I don’t think it is necessary for you to do the mammogram anymore.” 

Then later, I had a minor thing.  The best way I know to say it is that I had a tingling in my left breast.  It wasn’t even too annoying, but I knew something was different.  I went in and told him and he decided maybe we should do a mammogram.  I got the results and he said I had breast cancer. We women know how our bodies feel, but we should always be faithful and check for this type of thing; to be our own best buddy.  When we have a crisis we look for a best buddy, but we can be our best buddy with whatever it is we are dealing with.

My doctor called me with the results of the mammogram.  At the time I was in the hospital in Colorado Springs with my husband who was in crisis state and he said you don’t need this, but you need to know. I didn’t let go.  I was so positive in thinking; we’ll get him home, I’ll go get this surgery, and that’s the way it will be.  We’ve been married for 65 years.  We know how we each feel. My surgery was October 12th.

Not one person recommended that I have my surgery here.  People who didn’t really know me said “I understand you have cancer, don’t have it here.”  I said, of course I’m going to have it here.  This is my home. These are my doctors.  These are my friends.  And so I thought, why would I go away to a strange place? I went to see Dr. Geiger in surgery and talked with him and they happened to have a woman from Minnesota that is an expert in Breast Cancer and suddenly I was overwhelmed with this and they recommended that I should see her. 

Then it hit me that what I am going through with here. But she was wonderful and everyone I met was wonderful.  I felt like everything I touched turned to magic with the care I received. All of these people in ICU and surgery, they never get any feedback unless people have a problem.  They are caring people.  They really are.  I checked in the morning I had my surgery.  I was in the hospital overnight.  I check out in the morning.  I got some pain pills.  I walked out of the hospital and I never even needed an Advil. I think all these people that I came in contact with… if every cancer person is fortunate enough to be in contact with these people at the right and get a hug in the right moment, then they’ll be better.  And it was done in Alamosa Colorado. 

I have seen our hospital change from a tiny hospital to what it is today and I’m so thankful.

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