OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Courtney Braam last saw her Oncologist, Dr. Jim Armitage, at Nebraska Medicine, 12 years ago.
“My last chemo treatment was on my 18th birthday,” Braam said.
She made a special trip to Omaha from Minnesota to thank Dr. Armitage for curing her Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
“I remember what you (Dr. Armitage) said when you walked into my recovery room,” Braam said. “You said cancer has taken enough from you, let’s take it back and I live my life by that.”
“It is true,” Dr. Armitage said. “It’s like of like God hitting you alongside the head with a 2x4 and saying you better notice, you're not going to live forever.”
Fighting cancer as a teenager wasn't easy. Braam said Dr. Armitage made it easier.
“My cancer was very progressed and I thought I was going to die,” she said. “I was 17, and my hair was falling out, and it was the end of the world, and he just told me I was a cute little monkey. I just learned humor was a good way to deal with something.”
Especially devastating to Braam was learning the medicines that kill cancer, can also kill fertility.
“The younger you are the more likely you are to recover eventually but it is one of the risks with this treatment,” Dr. Armitage said.
“I wasn't even sure I wanted to try to have kids,” Braam said. “Because I didn't want the heartbreak of not being able to be pregnant. I just put that out of my mind and I said I wanted to be a mom.”
Braam got married two years ago and now has a 3-month-old son, Lucas John.
“I thought it was very important to see Dr. Armitage got to see that,” Braam said. “To see everything come full circle from when I was sick to what he has given me which is a life that I take full advantage of everyday.”
“It’s fun to see her, fun to know she’s well,” Dr. Armitage said. “I have a lot of colleagues who would have done an equally good job treating her.”
Braam said he's just being modest and she's forever grateful he gave her a second chance at life.