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Topic: Open Letter

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Feb 25, 2013 07:38PM

Colt45 wrote:

I am a husband/ caregiver...

I didn't know where this should be posted---and since my wife is going through treatment now, I just picked here.

I have lurked since my wife's diagnosis and have been posting only for a few days. I can recognize a sisterhood when I see one. An army of kind souls.

I am humbled by your humanity. Your grace. Your power.

My wife says she's just doing what she has to when I tell her I'm proud of her. But she's doing more than enduring treatment for self serving means. She's doing it with a grace that doesn't frighten our 2 small, sensitive girls. THAT is strength. I see my wife comforting our 4 year old over something trivial (the kind of thing only 4 year olds think is apocalyptic) and I see a women of strength and beauty the likes of which I cannot imagine life without.

I read your posts and I see my wife or sister or mom. I see a beautiful woman who is power and grace and humanity.

I read accounts of people letting you down or failing to support you.

It breaks my heart to think that you aren't being held or hugged or listened to to the degree that you deserve or more importantly NEED.

You are beautiful. Worthy of love and support and someone is missing out on YOU. It's not your fault. People with a heart and a soul and a brain are inspired by you. Touched by you... whether you think you deserve it or not.

People in pain don't reach out like you do to comfort others. You ask very little. You deliver day after day for others. And you think you aren't worthy of praise or wonderment or fanfare. You are wrong.

You are to be cherished and held and loved. And even on days when someone in your physical environment doesn't seem to be doing quite enough of this, you are being cherished and held and loved from afar by someone you have touched----even if quite by accident.

Know this to be true.

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Feb 25, 2013 09:33PM liefie wrote:

Colt45, what a touching post., and what a lucky woman your wife is to have someone like you by her side who appreciates her, and who gets what she is enduring, and going through with bc. You are right in that we are a community here who support each other, advise each other, and just listen when it is necessary without judgment. Thank you!

When life knocks you down, roll over, and look at the stars. Dx 12/19/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/7/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/7/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 5/31/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2012 Surgery 5/16/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap
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Feb 25, 2013 10:06PM Mardibra wrote:

Wow...that almost made me cry!

IDC and DCIS. Lumpectomy/AND 10/21/11. Chemo 12/1 - 3/15. UMX 4/13/2012. Rads completed 7/3/12. DIEP reconstruction to begin Jan 2013. Dx 8/31/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2013 10:57PM kjiberty wrote:

Colt, how beautiful. Thank you for caring so much. I sound like a wonderful, caring soul. I, too, am married to one. You both are so lucky to have each other. Hugs to both of you !

Karen Surgery 3/12/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/19/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/25/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 7/25/2012 Breast Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 25, 2013 11:16PM mdg wrote:

I am speechless......that was the best thing I have ever read on here!  Thank you for taking the time to write that.  I am so happy your wife has you and you have come here and gained so much insight into what she is going through.  Few men can do that.  She is lucky to have you.  Hugs and prayers to your wife as she continues to move foward with treatment. 

Maria Visit my BC Blog at breastcancerwontdefineme.blogs... Dx 12/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/22/2010 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 1/26/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/2/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/18/2011 Surgery 6/21/2011 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/9/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Feb 26, 2013 08:13AM stride wrote:

Brought a tear to my eye. I am lucky to have a husband who loves and values me, like the relationship you have with your wife. He helps me so much more than he thinks. He sometimes tells me he feels helpless and I have the hard part of going through treatment. But we have a partnership, and I am so glad he is there. I am glad you are able to be there for your wife, too.

2012: Stage II IDC ER-/PR+ Her2- became triple negative with areas of carcinosarcoma during neoadjuvant TAC. 12/2012: clean PET/CT. 8/2013: Mets to lungs, liver, brain, bones, muscles, kidney, thyroid, adrenal gland, etc. Surgery 11/6/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/15/2013 Radiation Therapy 8/21/2013 Brain
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Feb 26, 2013 08:38AM Maureen1 wrote:

Yes...this needed a "kleenex alert"...God bless the people who love us, care about and comfort us when we are facing this scary disease...our family, loved ones, friends and the wonderful "sisters" we have in these forums. I hope your wife is doing well, she sounds like a wonderful mother and wife...and a very special person. Thank you for posting your thoughts:)

Dx 7/31/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/5/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/18/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/3/2013 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 3/18/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 7/21/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/22/2013 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
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Feb 26, 2013 12:51PM dlb823 wrote:

What a beautiful post!  Your wife and daughters are very fortunate to have such a sensitive and communicative man in their lives!     Deanna

Deanna "The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears" Native American proverb Dx 2/1/2008, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/3/2014, Stage IV
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Feb 26, 2013 04:01PM Jaytee wrote:

Very nice post........you are not only a comfort to your wife and family but you have no doubt touched many on here today.  It is a gift to be able to see past the outside things and see into a person's soul.  Someone who was feeling lonely today feels a little less so because of your kind words. 

Prayers for your wife as she goes through treatment and for your girls and you too......jaytee

Dx 5/2014, IDC, Stage IV, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 6/11/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/13/2015 Kadcyla (T-DM1, ado-trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/30/2016 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Feb 26, 2013 04:20PM SelenaWolf wrote:

How heartbreakingly lovely.  *sniff*

"... good girls never made history ..."
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Feb 26, 2013 04:23PM Lily55 wrote:

Colt - what a wonderful post, thank you for offering support to us as well and I am sure you make it easier for your wife to be as she is - if ever you lose your job you could make a fortune training men to be empathic and pro-active!!!

Dx 4/2012, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/2/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 8/14/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/18/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy 3/7/2019 External: Bone Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Feb 27, 2013 04:08PM heavenschild wrote:

Thank you.

Dx 11/27/2010, DCIS, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/28/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 1/27/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/9/2011 Breast Dx 11/2012, DCIS, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/22/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 6/6/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Feb 28, 2013 12:17PM - edited Feb 28, 2013 12:17PM by Colt45

Not at all, heavenschild... Thank YOU.

Thank ALL of you.




Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Feb 28, 2013 02:02PM Kelloggs wrote:

What a wonderful thing to write to a bunch of virtual strangers.  You are right, we are a sisterhood.  I am blessed to have found my wonderful husband and marry him just 5 months before my diagnosis.  He has gotten me through it all and has called me strong.  I think he (and you) are equally strong.  I imagine it's just as hard to watch someone you love so deeply suffer in any way knowing that there is little you can do to help.  Just know that we who are fighting the battle appreciate your hugs, kisses, words and comfort more than you know.  Your wife is a lucky woman.

Kelly Dx 10/18/2011, IDC, 1cm, Grade 2, 5/8 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/7/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/7/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/30/2012
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Mar 4, 2013 07:11PM Colt45 wrote:

@Kelloggs:

Thank you for your kindness.

I am glad for you that you have support.

Watching my wife suffer is hard. Protecting my 2 little girls emotionally from what they don't need to know right now is hard.

I don't know how strong I am. I just know I have promises to keep. To 3 very special ladies in my home.

Your husband and you are blessed to have found each other.

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 4, 2013 08:50PM Ariom wrote:

Thank you Colt!

The women in your life are so blessed to have you.

Thank you for taking the time to write that for us to see. I have a husband who has been a rock for me too.

You really have no idea how much it means to have that unconditional love. Your wife is a lucky woman to have you on her side!

Wishing you and your family all the very best for the future!

Dx Mondors Disease (cording) after Umx and "Dog Ear" removed 14 months post UMx .................. The Dx shuffles you like a deck of cards and then deals you a new hand! Dx 11/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes Surgery 12/18/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Mar 4, 2013 10:55PM lemon68 wrote:

Colt,

Thank you for your kindness. You and your family are truly blessed. I have one of you at home here and I am thankful everyday.

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, it's all the same .... day. Surgery 12/31/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 1/4/2013, ILC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/18/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/8/2013 Surgery 9/19/2013 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/5/2014 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 8/26/2014 Reconstruction (left)
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Mar 5, 2013 03:41AM Jennt28 wrote:

WOW!

I have loved this support forum since the moment I joined. There are many women and men here that will never know my name that have given me such inspiration over the past year and a bit. Your open letter is wonderful and puts into words the feelings I have for breastcancer.org posters.

Thank you :-)

Jenn

Jennt28 jennt28.wordpress.com/ - 3 x FEC, 11x weekly Taxol, 12 months Herceptin (end March 2013), 12 days rads (quit), BMX with recon, Tamoxifen Dx 12/1/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 12/6/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2012 Surgery 9/27/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap Surgery 1/27/2014 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Hormonal Therapy 3/9/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 5, 2013 03:45PM Colt45 wrote:

@Ariom:

Thank you for your kind words and blessing. It means a lot. I am glad that you have support.

I am glad that Lemon68 has support at home and that Jennt28 feels the love here.

So many of you beautiful ladies have responded to this open letter---and I haven't responded to you all by name... but I have read you all... and your responses have brought tears to MY eyes. I appreciate the grace and well wishes and encouragement. Mondays are tough for me.

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 5, 2013 04:32PM Alicethecat wrote:

Hi Colt

Are you a professional writer? If not, I think you should be one!

Your words brought tears to my eyes.

I hope you wife prevails.

Best wishes

Alice

Dx 1/4/2012, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 2/6/2012 Mastectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 7/18/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 10/2/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 5, 2013 04:33PM - edited Mar 5, 2013 04:33PM by Alicethecat

Jennt28

You are one of the people who have inspired me!

Thank you for all your informative and well-researched posts.

Alice

Dx 1/4/2012, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 2/6/2012 Mastectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 7/18/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 10/2/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 5, 2013 05:10PM Colt45 wrote:

@Alicethecat:

My professional career has been in the field of care providing for developmentally disabled and/ or psychiatrically involved individuals.

I write a lot at work, but it's only part of the job----no books written.

I always thought I might try to write something when I retire. Never knew what, though.

I've added you to my wife's cheering section... and us to your's.

Thank you.

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 5, 2013 08:56PM FilterLady wrote:

Colt45,

What a special man you are!  I do have a DH that has been there for me throughtout this journey.  He thinks I'm the strongest person he knows.....it is easy to be strong when you have God on your side and a good DH as well.

Your daughters and wife are lucky to have you! 

I found that the sisterhood here is amazing and there are a lot of strong women that continue to fight this damn breast cancer.  We can all use more cheerleaders, lol.

God bless you and your family,

LaDonna

Dx 9/16/2011, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/5/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 11/30/2011 Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/20/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 5, 2013 09:24PM - edited Mar 5, 2013 10:10PM by Colt45

@LaDonna: You ARE the strongest person your husband knows.

I am grateful for your blessing. Bless you, too.

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 23, 2013 09:13AM Colt45 wrote:

Bump

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Mar 23, 2013 09:37AM april485 wrote:

Colt45, thank you SO very much for writing this. I am blessed with a wonderful and caring husband too and so I thank you for reminding me that he too is going through this ordeal. His support is the ONLY reason I can feel good most days. This is a scary disease, no matter at what stage you are diagnosed.

You are a gem and I am happy for your wife and family that you are there for them. This post made me go to my husband and give him a huge hug and a kiss this morning to let him know just how much he means to me and how amazing he has been throughout this entire process. He has gone to every single appt (when he could) and he has researched articles when I was at work and sent them to me by email. I know he is afraid for me and yet he puts on his game face with each step. I am terrified of rads which I will start soon as it is my left breast and my heart could be involved. He sent me so many articles on left breast rads and how well they can avoid the heart nowadays!  He is my rock!

Your wife and all of us are blessed by your presence. Thank you for this open letter.

"Fear has been a huge dictator in my life - so I am trying to stage a coup!" ~ a friend Dx 1/30/2013, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/20/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/10/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/21/2013 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 27, 2013 12:43PM Colt45 wrote:

Bump for all those who need to know...

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 1, 2013 03:19PM Colt45 wrote:

Bump for my2boys and anyone else who needs to know...

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 1, 2013 04:29PM veggy wrote:

This touched me and brought tears to my eyes. Thanks

Biography: "Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I'd rather not belong to." - Gilda Radner, Saturday Night Live *********** (Me -stage 4)
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Apr 1, 2013 05:18PM Colt45 wrote:

@veggy: I'm glad you got to read it. It is my wish that everyone gets to read it, though I wish that nobody HAD to.

I will shamelessly bump this occasionally... And more often than that at times.

I just keep coming across more people who have forgotten how much they matter... Forgot how undeniably vital they are to so many---including those they have never met.

You have fans and friends and well-wishers. You really have no idea how special and important you are. Even the ladies WITH the appropriate support-----they should know that their support team isn't alone. There's an army out there recognizing them. Acknowledging them. Saluting.

Bless you all.

Husband Dx 10/9/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/7/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/13/2012 AC Chemotherapy 2/7/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 2, 2013 08:25PM my2boys wrote:

Thank You....

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