Living in the fast lane

Cancer survivor enjoys her life, chemo and all

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Countdown to Relay

Today is Craig's first American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The Relay kicks off at 6 p.m., and at least one member from each team will walk around the Moffat County High School track until noon Saturday.

Those wanting to walk are encouraged to sign up for the relay.

People not on a team are invited to come down and partake in the various events surrounding the Relay, but are not supposed to walk on the track with team members. Volunteers are needed. Contact Elisa Hayes for more information 824-6574.

— As Debbie Sherman-Hurst walks the survivors lap tonight she will remember.

She will remember chemotherapy.

"The first time I got chemotherapy (medication), it was colored red," Sherman-Hurst said. "As I saw it approach my arm I wanted to rip it out. I was not expecting to feel that strongly."

She will remember tea with her friends on the days that followed treatment, and the tingly feeling in her fingers as she reached for her husband, seeking a voice of reason.

"My husband has been my driving force in getting me through this cancer," Sherman-Hurst said. "He is incredible and has showed me how to truly love someone."

When night falls, and the luminarias shed light on the track, Sherman-Hurst will remember.

"As you walk in the middle of the night and see the luminarias illuminated, it keeps you going," Sherman-Hurst said. "It is inspiring to listen to the people's stories as you walk."

She will remember the first time she was diagnosed with cancer. She will remember thinking she beat it.

And she will remember the second time she was told those frightening words.

'This is not a death sentence'

Sherman-Hurst was first diagnosed with malignant Breast Cancer in February 2003. She was 40 years old and going in for her first mammogram.

It was because of the mammogram Sherman-Hurst found out about her breast cancer. Other than the mammogram, there were no visible indications.

"The first thing that I thought was I am going to die. That was for a second," Sherman-Hurst said. In the next second, "The thought was this is not my death sentence. I am going to fight this."

She did. And then December 2005 rolled around.

The second time she was diagnosed with metastasis breast cancer.

Metastasis breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women. It is a tumor that develops in the breast then sheds cancerous cells that spread throughout the body.

After eight rounds of chemotherapy, she still is fighting.

"I just completed another round of chemo on Tuesday," Sherman-Hurst said. " I just take it as it comes."

Living for the moment

Sherman-Hurst's story is more than that of having cancer.

Her story is that of living - living for every moment.

This is the reason she is saving her money to drive a racecar with Richard Petty in Las Vegas.

"Driving a racecar has always been a dream of mine," Sherman-Hurst said.

Having cancer has changed her philosophy on life.

If not now, when, Sherman-Hurst questions.

She no longer puts doing the dishes before lunch with her best friends, or forgets to call her father when she needs a calming voice.

"Having cancer, I have learned not to put off things, make a commitment and to do things you enjoy," Sherman-Hurst said.

And as her blood count numbers go down and her health goes up, Sherman-Hurst is hoping for one word to enter her vocabulary.

Remission.

"Remission is a great word," Sherman-Hurst said.

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