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I lived a quiet life, tended my garden and then one day...I had Breast Cancer. Diagnosis Stage I, triple negative (the hardest kind to beat) and I opted to survive it all.

The Chemo (6) was tolerable but I had horrible shin/leg pain but never a moment of nauseau. The hair disappeared and I learned fun ways to tie scarves. The Radiation (37) was not bad, a little burning, a little infection but that passed quickly.

What kept me going, besides my precious granddaughters Audrianna (4) and Makayla (1-1/2), was my online friends who sent prayers, love, gifts, and 2 of them even flew to be with me for part of it all.

My neighbors cooked for me, took me to Dr visits and I was surrounded by such a "family" that I never knew I had. I had to get up each day, I had company. I had to get out of bed..someone was at the door. They gave me strength to fight!!

On the days I was able, I tended my garden. I communed with the Earth and planted seeds that I just felt I would live to see become flowers. Most of all I took laughter with me. Each Dr visit ended with one of us in tears...usually the Dr or nurses. I wore Halloween masks, they called "here comes trouble" at the UNM Cancer Center and I joked with one and all. Let me tell you, it was much more fun laughing than it was crying and I tried to look forward to each day with a blank slate. I made "to-do" lists and I did them. I had a plan. :>)

Until a few weeks latest MRI found 2 spots. Can I do this again? I am a SURVIVOR! What do you think?

Debbe Ringoi
Albuquerque, NM

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