Oct 27, 2012

Greenville Library hosting Breast Cancer Awareness display

Debb is pictured with close
friend and Librarian Deb Cameron. 

GREENVILLE--The Greenville Public Library is hosting a very special Breast Cancer Awareness display this month. Debb Summers, a popular hairdresser at Creations Hair Studio in Greenville, is sharing a photo journal of her experience with breast cancer. The pictures were taken at key points during her treatment by friend and professional photographer Shelley Miller. Information and materials from Wayne Healthcare are also available.

Debb tells her story as an advocate for women to know their own bodies, as it was by self examination she discovered her illness. She also wants to inspire friends and family to be supportive of a woman who is diagnosed. “When you hear someone is doing chemo don’t run away. That’s the time to run to her,” says Debb.

Her friend Sarah Beard set up a “Care Calender” online so people could log on and sign up for such tasks as chauffeuring her to treatments or providing meals. Debb’s boyfriend and kids did housework and kept up school activities. “I really missed their school activities.” Her son was still in high school and is now a student at Ohio State. Her daughter is a sophomore at Arcanum.

The photos chronicle important milestones in her journey. Debb was diagnosed on October 8, 2010 and had surgery on November 11, followed by chemo treatments at Good Samaritan North from December 9 to May 25, 2011. She shaved her head the day after chemo started until last February 11. The chemo was scheduled for every 21 days and she would be “out the first ten.”

Debb then had radiation treatment every day for over six weeks and slept 15-20 hours a day if not at work. “It will take 2-3 years to regain my energy,” she said. As long as she rests well and eats well she now has more good days than bad. Debb said she felt better when she could go to work and focus on other people. She derived a great deal of support and love from her clients and co-workers.

At the one-year mark Debb had a family photo taken, the last in the series. Because her co-pays were so high, she received help from private donations and from The Darke County Cancer Society. Debb plays golf as a hobby so the Union City Golf Course and Stillwater Golf Course held fundraisers as well as the Kenny Monnier Golf Outing.

She is very grateful for having been surrounded by love and support throughout her illness and recovery. As she said, “You can't do it by yourself.” The Library appreciates her sharing her story and photos and hopes the public will gain better understanding as a result of Debb's efforts.

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