Breast cancer survivor empowers others

Published: Feb. 7, 2020 at 5:29 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2020 at 5:30 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - WDAM shares stories of strength and inspiration as we continue to focus our attention on breast cancer awareness the seventh of every month.

This month, we introduce you to Pine Belt breast cancer survivor Debbie Matthews.

"I’ve always heard that prayer is the prescription for worry, and that’s definitely true,” Matthews said.

In hopes of inspiring someone else who may be facing the same battles she’s facing, Matthews shares her story of faith and healing.

"I had a small lump. I knew it was there, but I was not too concerned, because I had it before and usually they were related to caffeine,” Matthews said.

In April of 2017, she finally took the next step and had the lump tested.

"Then, of course you, have to wait for the results, which that’s really hard waiting four or five days to get your results. But, then I found out it was breast cancer,” said Matthews,

That’s when her journey began.

“I was afraid, but I had so many people, my family, my church family and my friends, praying for me. So, I had strength from all of those prayers,” said Matthews.

A double mastectomy followed less than a month after her diagnosis.

"After a time of healing, I started my chemo. I was blessed, because I only had to have four rounds of chemo. I finished that up in August, and I rang the bell at the end of August,” Matthews said.

It’s a memory not only in her photo album, but a moment in time that exhibits strength and perseverance.

"You feel so strong. I’ve always heard you will find treasure in your trials and no doubt there have been a lot of treasures along the way,” said Matthews.

Some of those treasures are her support team at Hattiesburg Clinic Hematology/Oncology and the Forrest General Cancer Center.

Now in remission, Matthews, along with her family and friends, have spent time giving back to those going through the same breast cancer journey. From organizing snack drives to donate to cancer center patients to creating tiny packages of inspiration, she wants to bring a smile to those fighting the pink fight.

“If you have found a lump, don’t just assume like I was doing that it’s nothing, because you don’t ever know. Go and have it checked out. You just have to pray and trust in the Lord,” Matthews said. "When I was going through it, I had faith that he was going to take care of me. So, just pray. Ask your family and friends to do the same, and you just cannot believe how much strength you will gain through the prayers they offer up for you.”

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