A Cancer Survivor's Next Chapter

Amherst Co., VA - Two years ago, doctors diagnosed an Amherst County woman with breast cancer. Pretty soon, people all over the country are going to read about her story.

Deb Belous grew up wanting to be a writer. Now, one cancer fight and several years later, she's finally going to get that chance.

In September of 2010, breast cancer's was just beginning.

"I was so afraid of not seeing her grow up, of her not having a mom," said Deb Belous.

Belous didn't know how long she'd live.

"The physician's assistant, who worked with the surgeon, grabbed me by the shoulder and she looked me in the eyes and she said 'You are going to beat this,'" she said.

Words became Deb's therapy, and she began writing about her body.

"When 90 percent of my hair fell out and I was left with a few straggling strands, Rick told me I was still beautiful," she said reading from her journal.

Her blood-queasy husband transformed too.

"Rick changed from someone who turned green at the thought of watching an ER episode to someone who bravely performed wound care," she continued to read.

Eventually, the page turned on Deb's cancer. After 12 months of fighting and seven weeks of radiation, she rang the gong on her final day of treatment.

"It was a very strange feeling like, 'What's next? What am I supposed to do? What are my days supposed to be filled with?'" she said.

A few months later, 8-year-old Rachel Belous was playing video games in her room.

"I just heard these shouts and I'm like, 'What is going on?'" said Rachel.

It was another gift about those writings Belous submitted.

"A day or two before my birthday in June, I got the news. It was a wonderful birthday present," said Belous.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is featuring Deb's story in a chapter of their new book about breast cancer survivors.

Belous says she has always wanted to be a published author.

"Whatever life presents us, there are gifts," she said.

All because of the scary chapter she won't let define her.

The book is called "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope and Healing for your Breast Cancer Journey." It's being released on September 4.

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