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My mother and her sister both had mastectomies in their 50's. They both continued to get regular check ups. When my mom was in her late 70's she made a comment that if she ever were to get cancer in the other breast she would let it run its' course because she had lived a wonderful life. At that point I knew there was something she was not telling me.

Not only did she have breast cancer but it had spread throughout her body. They ran all types of tests and sent her to numerous doctors. When it became so painful that she could take no more she asked the oncologist to refer her to the hospice.

From her diagnosis to her passing 6 months later, my 86 year old aunt, Guardian Angel #1, moved from her home and in with my mother to help care for her. She was a pillar of strength- cooking, cleaning, reading to my mother. So many friends and family offered to relieve her but her response was the same "she is my sister, I can not leave her."

In addition to my aunt, when my mother told her friend about her illness her friend asked what she could do. My mother told her a visit from time to time would be wonderful. Well, her friend, Guardian Angel #2, never missed a day.

The Hospice of the Valley was the third guardian angel. They were so kind.

Words can not express how grateful I am to all of the wonderful people in my mothers life. My life is much richer because of them.

Kathi Farmer
Gilroy, CA

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