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October 17, 2013

Survivor shares story of diagnosis, treatment

Part 3 of our Breast Cancer Awareness series


Deb tried to keep her spirits up during her treatments. When she began losing her hair, she had a hair-cutting party where she gave her 4- and 6-year-old granddaughters a pair of scissors and told them to pretend she was a Barbie doll and cut her hair. Now her hair has grown back with curls that she never had before.

Her chemo was followed with 36 radiation treatments at the Mercy Radiation Oncology Center, ending in May. For her, the best part was being treated in her hometown. Deb said most do not realize how lucky Clinton is to have such great treatment opportunities.

“I can’t imagine having to go out of town for any of this,” Deb said. “It made it much easier, knowing the people who would be taking care of me.”

Through the past year, the support of her family, friends and co-workers are what got Deb through. She was surprised by the outpouring of concern and support.

“How people come out of the woodwork to help you,” Deb said.

However, most of her support came from her husband. Larry was the one who took care of her while she was wiped out by the chemo.

“He was right there beside me the whole way,” Deb said. “He never left my side.”

Since finishing her treatment in May, Deb has been returning to her normal life. While doctors will not say she is “cured,” she has not had any relapses.

There has not been a day since her diagnosis that the cancer has not been on her mind. Just looking at her body, the experience is always part of her life. However, she works each day to put it behind her.

“You just have to kind of think of it as a bump in the road of your life,” Deb said.



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