Early in the summer of 2007, Linda Bull noticed a small knot on the side of her neck. Several months later, she was sitting in a doctor's office at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center, being told she had metastatic squamous cell carcinoma.
Her physician, Greg Krempl, M.D., an otolaryngologist specializing in head and neck cancer, sprang into action and quickly arranged for Bull to undergo a biopsy. Afterward, Bull met the medical team that Krempl had assembled to guide the Oklahoma City woman through chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
"During that visit, Dr. Krempl asked if I had any questions," recalled Bull, 58. "My question was, 'Am I going to die?'
"Dr. Krempl looked right in my eyes and said we all die sometime. I knew he was telling me it was worth the fight and that I could do it. I am thankful for Dr. Krempl being positive and the most gracious doctor I have ever known."
Bull braced herself for what would be a long and difficult road. "There were ups and downs during treatment and recovery," she said. "I lost a lot of weight and suffered with pain and some depression. But I realized I needed both chemo and radiation to fight this disease."
Another tremendous help, Bell said, was joining a Head and Neck Cancer Support Group, where she drew strength from others going through similar experiences.
"I feel I won the worst fight in my life," she said.
"When you are facing a terrible disease in your life, you can become angry. I can truly say with the direction and support of my doctors, family, coworkers, and staffers at the OU Medical Center, I was able to overcome that terrible disease and live life to its fullest."