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Margaret Williams with Freeman RN Teresa Carpenter

As a longtime registered nurse, Margaret Williams has devoted her career to caring for others. When she received a breast cancer diagnosis in July of this year, Margaret began to see the role of nurses with a new perspective—through the patient's eyes.

To assist her in preparing for her mastectomy, Freeman General Surgeon Dr. Brock Carney advised Margaret to attend Operation Education, a two-hour presurgical education course offered at Freeman. There, she got to know Freeman RN Teresa Carpenter. "As an operating room nurse, I know what takes place during surgery. But after hearing the words breast cancer, I didn't hear anything else. I was stunned and had trouble retaining all the information. Teresa walked me through the entire process—from how to prepare for my surgery to what kind of clothes to wear while recovering at home. She explained every last detail and answered all my questions. She encouraged me and made me feel more at ease," Margaret recalled.

Though Margaret may still need further treatment, she feels thankful that her cancer hasn't spread. She knows now, more than ever, the importance of a yearly screening mammogram. "Women need to make time for their annual mammograms. Doctors found my cancer early before it had time to spread, and that made all the difference in my outcome," she implored.

Fully recovered, Margaret has now returned to work. While she's grateful to have the experience behind her, she will never forget how Teresa, and the others who cared for her in the hospital, made her feel.