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On February 21, 2008 I bundled up my 18 month old daughter to meet my husband at our lawyer's office. We had done the "responsible adult duty" to have our wills drawn up, living wills, medical power of attorney, custody of our two girls; All the yucky stuff that you don't want to think about, hate to decide on and hope to never use. After signing those important documents in front of witnesses, lawyers and a notary, we headed home for lunch. That would be the end of our normalcy.

The phone rang and I learned I had cancer. "Its not good" my surgeon said. The next day was full of shock and tests to determine if I was "buying time or a cure," as my oncologist put it.

What a long and short year! I have had four surgeries, six chemotherapy treatments, numerous tests and doctor visits, lost my hair, lost my boobs, grew some hair, bought some boobs, turned 32 and kicked cancer's ****!

I was told I'd be "done" in July, but what does "done" mean? Will I ever really be done with cancer. Nope...

I took a test that showed this cancer is in my genes, even though I was the FIRST to be cursed. My mom learned she has it in her genes & my grandfather was diagnosed with breast cancer. My 54 year old mom had a preventative hysterectomy and masectomy to ensure she doesn't have to battle this cancer, which has been physically just as nightmarish and mentally too.

I have the most amazing family. And my definition of family includes people I'm not blood related to (aren't you glad since cancer is in my genes?!) but choose as family.

Cancer could return, but I'll be ready.

Julie Walton
Midland, TX

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