"I was completely shocked. Absolutely, completely shocked," said Debbie Young of her cancer diagnosis.
Young, one of the honorary chairs of Lauderdale County's 2008 Relay for Life, learned she had breast cancer three years ago. It was discovered during a regular checkup.
At the time, her doctor noticed something somewhat strange on the mammogram but advised Young that if she wanted, she could wait until her follow-up visit in six months and see if it was still there.
"I got to the door and she said, but now if you get nervous or you get a phone call or anything happens and you get nervous, we'll schedule a biopsy, no big deal," said Young.
It was only a day after that that she says one of her old friend's called her and said that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. For Young, this was a sign and she returned to the doctor where her fear was confirmed.
"I'm very analytical and I dealt with it through research," said Young. "I did a lot of Internet research and lots of reading and lots of asking questions and made appointments with every doctor in town and they got really tired of me before it was over with because I met with everybody."
Because Young's breast cancer was classified as a stage zero, or in other words, detected at the earliest point that it can be identified, she did not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation, but instead surgery. Now Young says she's glad to be cancer-free and has this advice for others.
"Do your screenings and whatever is recommended for you, go do that," said Young. "And don't be afraid to hear bad news because bad news, early, is good news."