A Survivor’s Story: Debbie Jones

Debbie Jones is a full-time Punta Gorda resident. She is originally from Birmingham, Alabama.

When were you diagnosed and at what age?

I was diagnosed in January, 2015 at the age of 63.

What kind of treatment did you receive?

A lumpectomy (two, plus the sentinel lymph node) and radiation; I also chose to take a chemo pill for five years in lieu of chemotherapy.

Did you face any obstacles? If so, how did you overcome them?

The main obstacle was the excruciating pain caused by the skin burn from the radiation. During this time, I discovered essential oils and used lavender and frankincense to cure the burn far quicker than any prescribed medicine could.

What was the most challenging part of your experience?

Dealing with the extreme skin burn caused by the radiation.

Where did you find the greatest support (person, pet, good luck charm)?

My husband was extremely supportive from an emotional point of view, as were my close friends.

The essential oils previously mentioned and chemo pill have provided me with medical support. And the Florida Cancer Institute, specifically Dr. Wright-Browne has also been wonderful.

How has the experience affected your relationship with friends and family?

Having been very healthy all of my life, I think it has made me more sympathetic and aware of issues that arise with family and friends.

How has this experience changed you? What have you learned about yourself?

I’ve learned that you can’t take life for granted. Cancer can strike even a healthy person at any time. I also learned that I need to enjoy life.

What advice would you share with others?

Please, please do your own self-examinations at least monthly. Before my diagnosis, I had just had a mammogram which showed nothing. Several weeks later, I discovered the lump on my own.

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