March 8, 2019

Myton Wants World to Hear Her Story of Hope

UAMS patient

Debra Myton has a story of hope, healing and faith that she wants to share with the world. That’s why the 40-year-old ovarian cancer survivor has decided to share her saga with readers in the form of a book, which she intends to pen sometime this year.

“With the help of UAMS we’re moving forward and not slowing down a bit.”

“Without the strong relationship I have with God, I have my doubts that I ever could’ve gotten through this,” said Myton, a guidance counselor at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School in Little Rock. “I feel like it’s my duty to spread the word to whoever will listen that when life throws you a curve like it did me, that faith can bring you through.”

So much so that writing the book in English isn’t enough. Because she’s always up for the challenge of honing her skills, Myton said she’s going to translate the book herself into Spanish in hopes it’ll keep her sharp for a future family trip to a Spanish-speaking locale.

Chapter One

Myton’s story begins with a routine gynecological checkup in fall 2002 while pregnant with her second daughter, Jamaica, who is now 6 years old.

“When I had a checkup during my second pregnancy, they said my ovaries looked enlarged and that we needed to watch that,” Myton said.

That was the first sign in a series of events that ultimately led to a shocking phone call shortly before she and her husband, Clausey, left the Helena-West Helena School District for jobs in the Little Rock School District in 2004. The call brought news that her CA-125 protein levels had doubled; often an ominous sign that ovarian cancer is present.

The Plot Thickens

And that’s when she believes a higher power began to help guide her.

“My husband’s reaction to that phone call was far more serious in tone than mine,” Myton said. “He immediately feared the worst, while I had an empowering feeling that I would take anything as it came and that it would all work out for the best.”

Though a stage 2B ovarian cancer diagnosis followed, along with surgery and six rounds of chemotherapy soon after, Myton said her positive attitude and graceful aura persevered.

Losing her hair? “I thought to myself, ‘I guess this must be working,’ and took it in stride.”

Six draining chemotherapy treatments? “I’d take them on a Friday and get back to work on a Monday.”

Happy Ending

If faith was Myton’s courage, it was her family that provided the strength.

“My daughters were 2 and 5 at the time. They knew I was sick, but I didn’t have any problems with them,” Myton said. “It was like God was also giving them strength. I didn’t have to worry about them at all.”

Now with Jamaica, 6, and Nia, 9, the Mytons are healthy, fit and planning several international trips to continue their journey through life.

“God was not ready to take me away from my girls or my husband,” Myton said. “With the help of UAMS we’re moving forward and not slowing down a bit.”