Something she believes she had been living with for some time, but didn't want to face.
"I knew the lump in my breast was getting bigger and I knew at this point in my life I was ready to deal with it, and sometimes you do, you have to wait until you're ready to deal with your circumstances," said Debbie Parker, Cancer Center patient.
After surgery to remove the lump and chemotherapy, Parker is now in her second week of radiation.
"The process has been a whole whirlwind, it really has. As soon as I was diagnosed, Misty said to come down here, and you're going to receive the best of the best, and I did," said Parker.
Parker's daughter, Misty Watts, is a radiation therapist in The Cancer Center at Heartland Hospital, and now she's treating her mom.
"It's really a big privilege to treat her, and know that I'm there to help her," said Misty Watts, radiation therapist.
"Usually over a period of about five and half weeks, we usually give it in conjunction with chemotherapy. The patient just comes in, lays on a treatment table, lays still. It lasts maybe three to five minutes," said Dr. Bonnie Goins, radiation oncologist.
Radiation therapy is a form of cancer treatment that kills the cancer cells.
It's a very localized treatment that only exposes radiation to the area affected.
"With radiation, you don't see or feel anything, it's just like a chest x-ray but only a higher powered beam," said Watts.
Radiation therapy is used to treat multiple forms of cancer, generally those diagnosed with stage two or higher.
A stage one diagnosis can have a cure rate of nearly 85-percent., that's why doctors recommend regular check ups and cancer screenings.
"The key to all cancers is, if you get your screenings, catch it early enough, it's very, very curable," said Dr. Goins.
"You know, nobody asks for cancer, but if you have to get it, I'm one of the lucky ones," said Parker.
Parker has more radiation ahead, but she is expected to make a full recovery.
Experts recommend that anyone over the age of 50 get a colon cancer screening each year and a colonoscopy every ten years.