This week is a special anniversary for Dr. Dawn Wilhite, an orthodontic specialist at Mooresville.
On Wednesday, she will celebrate five years without bad cancer and want to share what she has learned through experience.
Upon discovering the lump while performing a self-examination in 2013, Wilhite, who was 45 years old at the time, took the following steps of a visit to the doctor and then performed a biopsy. She was at work when the call came and she heard the word cancer for the first time.
"It was the end of the day," he said, because his obstetrician wanted to tell him himself to have time to prepare the questions. "I was still talking on the phone and I said, 'It's cancer & # 39; to my staff We all cried together and hugged each other, "he shared.
Those around her were a great support system through her one-year chemotherapy regimen followed by surgery and radiation treatments that she received daily for seven weeks.
His two daughters, Hannah and Kaleigh, both Liberty Prep students, were a source of help and, in turn, they received great support from their teachers and school staff.
"My staff and my patients were incredible. "Wilhite said," The gifts, the prayer shawls the patients gave me and the album made by my team helped me stay strong. "
Your staff responds that Wilhite is amazing.
Brandie Fox, though relatively new at the Welton Way office that has only been there since January 2017, she said: "Dr. Wilhite is an amazing person both personally and professionally. She is the most patient-oriented doctor I have ever had. he worked with her She is very kind and gives and puts others before herself every day. "
Wilhite noted that, with the exception of surgery, he did not have to take time off from his orthodontic practice. The effect of the treatments, she needed to rest more often, and her staff made it easier by putting a sofa in the rest room on the top floor, where she could go and rest with the patients, and she also received help from the orthodontists. area.
When he heard the news for the first time, he said he was devastated, but then went into fighting mode and then said that he "felt God was telling him he would overcome this." "It was a blessing in disguise as he lined up his priorities
"I love small things," he said.
Now, "when bad things happen," he said, he has a different perspective. It's not "cancer, I can overcome this."
Regardless, Wilhite said he maintained his sense of humor. She observed how she had fun with wigs of different colors and the staff joined in to try them, which in turn kept her laughing and kept her spirits up.
And some days, I wore no wig at all. She noted that by "having the courage to walk bald, strangers would tell me stories to cheer me up." (Always) I had strangers who saw me many times without a wig. God puts certain people on your path at the right time, "said Wilhite.
Friends provided a shoulder to cry and helped facilitate difficult times.
He also wants to help raise awareness as he participates in the annual relay for the life of Lake Norman, scheduled for May 11 at LangTree, she and her staff will wear t-shirts with the name of their team, the Wilhite Warriors, the group will not only walk, but they will organize a table in the place with some gifts.
This is not the first time he is part of the annual event, he walked for the first time in May 2013, just one day after his second chemotherapy treatment.
Today, five years later, he said He is doing it "beautifully and clearly." And now, he sees it as his mission to share his story and help raise awareness about bad cancer and get mammograms.
"Sharing my story is worth it" , he said.