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Topic: Radiation recovery

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Sep 3, 2011 06:15AM - edited Sep 3, 2011 06:24AM by Merilee

Merilee wrote:

Hi I know there is another thread but I thought, since it is 60 pages old, I would start a new one for those of us just finishing radiation. My hope is that we can discuss remedies to avoid, tight skin, discuss the emotional side of being at this point of treatment, continue to support one another and keep in touch.

breastcancerbeast.blogspot.com & downsyduderescueranch.blogspot... Dx 4/4/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 27, 2019 04:19PM april485 wrote:

They are adorable!!! Here is Aubrey who is 4 going on 40! I cannot believe how fast they grow. The boys are getting so big too.

"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, 2019 08:52PM edwards750 wrote:

Thanks April - so is your little angel Aubrey!

Diane

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Mar 28, 2019 07:40PM josie123 wrote:

April, so glad to hear from you. I’m so sorry you were in a bad car accident. But glad your recovering.

Diane both you and April have such darling grandchildren. Thanks for sharing

Dx 1/2/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/9/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 1/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/6/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2014
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Mar 29, 2019 09:05AM edwards750 wrote:

Thanks Josie. They are precious! How are you doing

Diane

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Apr 3, 2019 11:40PM Joan811 wrote:

Hi ... I did my disappearing act again...

Sew, what a time you have had...now you are the strong one....it seems your family has had a very hard year. I am so sorry to hear your mom had to move...it is often quite traumatic but it sounds like the new facility is keeping on top of things. I hope she is doing ok. Will try to contact you for update.
I am so sorry to hear about your SIL and her battle with BC. I am sad to hear she is having such a hard time with the chemo. I hope she can get through it and enjoy recovery. And with your sister having to be there with her husband during his illness, you must feel quite alone with overseeing your mom's needs. Sometimes life is just more than we can manage...but we do.

Diane, how quickly things change...I am sure it will be difficult for the twins and the daughters to have their mother absent for a time. It is very fortunate that you and your son have spent so much time dedicated to the boys. They should adapt well during this time. One must give their mother credit for recognizing that she needs help. I know it is not what you would have chosen for your son; but your family has been blessed by these beautiful boys (so big!!) and you will always be sure their needs are met. They are fortunate to have you and a great dad.
For someone who is a homebody, it sounds like more travel is on the horizon. That is one thing I missed these past six months...mobility and being able to travel. I did not really feel like it but I miss my grandkids so much. Two of my daughters live 5 hours away in opposite directions (Boston, DC). The other is 2.5 hours away in CT. Soon I will be able to make the trips.

I am finished with chemo at last. I saw the oncologist today. My side effects actually got worse these past few weeks even without the weekly infusions.
I hit a bump -- no, a pothole -- in the road to recovery. I had an emergency blocked intestine (probably related to scar tissue from October surgery). I spent 8 days in New York City in the hospital (7 days with nothing by mouth, just IVs and an NG tube). It was totally unexpected. The plan was to rest my system and hope the blockage resolved without surgery --- and it did. I am very fortunate to have escaped surgery.
I am home now for 8 days and am just now starting to recover. Between the 18 weeks of chemo and not eating for a week, I got very weak. I feel stronger each day and drove yesterday to spend time with friends. I am on low fiber diet which is white flour / bread / pasta; I can have dairy and eggs and meat/fish, but no fresh or raw fruits or vegetables. No whole grains. I had planned a healthy eating regime post-chemo. But I have to rest my system for awhile. I have no choice.

I kind of got over the changes at work. I am planning to go back May 1 until June 15th. Then I will decide whether I want to go back in September and retire in January. There is a lot to think about.
I have had a lot of "losses" from this most recent bout with cancer. I promised myself I would not plan too much but I guess I did...and now i find I have had to cancel some of my plans. DD is going to Disney in mid April, and I was going to join them. But after the hospitalization, I realize I cannot put myself in the situation of crowds, hot days, long lines (Easter week). I am on a restricted diet and it would be very hard to obtain the foods I need and stay hydrated and rested while running around with the kids. So, that is going to be canceled, most likely.

April, I just loved seeing Aubry - how she has grown!!! She's a beautiful girl. So sorry to hear about your car accident. I hope you are recovering well. It is good to hear from you.

Hi Josie, it certainly is difficult to blend families and live in harmony!!! Hang in there...I hope you and your daughter can try not to take it personally when unkind things are said. It is not worth getting offended ... It sounds like the problem lies with the MIL and you probably cannot change that.
I hope things ease up a bit!

Has anyone heard from Fran? I hope she is doing better.
Best wishes to all,

Joan

Courage is not choosing to be brave; it is standing firm in the face of adversity when choice is limited. Dx 7/20/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/30/2011 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/30/2011 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 4, 2019 04:55PM edwards750 wrote:

Thanks Joan. So good to hear from you. Glad chemo is done. So sorry about the blocked intestine. Yikes it must have been scary for you. It’s a shame you can’t go to Disney but given your restricted diet and the fact you are still recovering it’s sounds like the right decision. Our kids are scattered too but at least 3 are here. Naturally the majority of our time is spent with the twins because that DS needs us the most. I do applaud their mother for getting help although actually her family had an intervention to get her to do just that. Still she has some demons from her childhood and adulthood that have to addressed.

I hope you do retire in January so you can travel to see your children more.

Take care of yourself, You are such a strong person.

Diane

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Apr 6, 2019 12:23PM Joan811 wrote:

Thanks, Diane. Your son is fortunate to have your support. I guess it doesn't matter how the twins' mother got into a place for help; I hope for everyone involved she will be better for it.
I think all the women I have met on BCO are strong ladies. There are few choices but to just get up, figure out what the day requires, and do it. And take in the joys in each day as they are revealed to us.

I wish everyone here a good Saturday and week end.
The clouds gave way to sun today here on Long Island, and the temperature is above 60 degrees. I hope to get outside for awhile.
Best wishes!
Joan

Courage is not choosing to be brave; it is standing firm in the face of adversity when choice is limited. Dx 7/20/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/30/2011 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/30/2011 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 6, 2019 08:53PM edwards750 wrote:

No it doesn matter as long as she gets help. Her sister and husband have her 2 girls. They are adjusting well.

There are a lot of strong women on this website. I think we have all learned painfully sometimes, to play the hand we are dealt. Not an easy thing to do.

It’s warm here like in the 80s. DH and I finished up flower beds and mulching. Yea! Exhausting. The twins came over while DS coached his rugby team. Played outside in the backyard in the mud/water. They were caked in the stuff but had fun.

Went to a GW last night for my Lady Irish. GFF went with me. DH didn’t want to go. ND won but it was a nail biter. Tomorrow is the NC game. They play Baylor. Another GW. I’ll be a nervous wreck again.

Have a good what’s left of the weekend! Storms coming our way tonight.

Diane



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Apr 15, 2019 09:51AM mmvillamar wrote:

Good Morning Ladies,

I'm new to this page and cancer. I was diagnosed about a month ago with Mammory invasive carcenoma. So, the oncology doctor kinda talked me into just doing the lumpectomy even though I feel like if I do a mastectomy I have less chances of re-occurrence


Anyhow, I'm self employed and kinda need to keep working to pay bills so any feedback on what to do in order to continue with life as normal would be great.

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Apr 15, 2019 09:18PM - edited Apr 15, 2019 09:18PM by edwards750

Welcome to the club no one wanted to join but this website is a godsend. I was DX in 2011 with IDC stage 1b, Grade 1. I had a lumpectomy because my BS said I had a wimpy cancer and he was all about saving the breast. My scar isn't pretty but I'm here almost 8 years later. I had 33 radiation treatments as well. Thankfully no chemo. I took Tamoxifen for 5 years.

Believe it or not the survival rates are the same for a lumpectomy and MX. Hard to believe but true.

Your chances of a recurrence depend on a variety of factors not just your surgery. I had the Oncotype test which tells you what your chances of a recurrence are based on your particular tumor. Mine is 8%.

You can do this. We are all proof of that. Keep the faith and keep us posted.

Diane

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Apr 23, 2019 06:23PM Naesha wrote:

hello everyone,

My last radiation treatment was on March 20th. I was doing well for the first three weeks but its been a week i am experiencing short breathe, chest pain, dry cough and heart beat starts racing while doing nothing. I did the CT scan of my chest and they found that i had inflammation in my lungs due to radiation. I am not able to do anything except resting a lot and drinking lots of fluids. My OC prescribed me steriods that would help me with this inflammation. I am hoping that i get well soon as this is something i was not aware of.

Has anyone also going through the same who are done with the radiation. Some sharing would help me.

Take care ladies.

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Apr 23, 2019 07:24PM MostlySew wrote:

Naesha, Yes, I got that lung inflammation, although mine was 3 years out and was probably caused by GERD and not radiation but no one really knows. It's a nasty thing, they call it COP (NOT copd) and it used to be called BOOP (as in broncolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia). It is can be caused by about 20 different things, and radiation is one of them. It is a rare lung disease, an interstitial disease, and will leave permanent scaring if not treated quickly. I'm glad you're on steroids. Most of us that have this lung disease find that we had to start with 40 to 60 mg prednisone to start and it takes anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to wean off the steroid without having a flare up. It took me 9 months. My suggestion for you is to find a pulmonologist who is familiar with this disease, and perhaps join the Yahoo group dealing with Boop/Cop. The international group of people who are on the site all have the disease and are well accustomed to dealing with it. I am now cured, but my body is left with lung issues although not debilitating. Any time I feel a flare up coming, I use a steroid inhaler for a month and can knock the inflammation out without starting prednisone although my body just has huge weight gain when on these steroids. Apparently the price I pay to breathe!. You should find that the high dose steroid will help you feel better soon. Good luck.

Dx 6/9/2011, IDC, 2cm, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/7/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 8/15/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 9/14/2011 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 11/3/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 24, 2019 10:17PM edwards750 wrote:

I don’t have lung inflammation from radiation - at least not yet. I’m pretty sure I have scarring though. I feel for you ladies that sounds like a horrific condition to have to deal with. So sorry.

The short term and long term effects from rads were never explained to me by my medical team but I did do my homework so I was aware of what could/might happen as a result of having radiation. I had 33 treatments.

Hope everyone had a nice Easter. We had the twins over for an Easter egg hunt and dinner. My stepson invited us for brunch but we couldn’t do both. Pics below of the Easter egg hunt. James was the clear winner. Jackson wasn’t that interested and in fact gave the eggs he found to James.

They start the Goddard school right after Memorial Day. They are going to start out going Monday’s and Fridays to get them used to school. It’s pricey but it’s hopefully worth it. DS needs a break and they need the socialization. The boys Mom is still in treatment. Things should come to a head in July. Looks like DS will have full custody and she will have visitation. She has to have supervised visits now if that tells you anything.

Son is moving end of July. Different neighborhood thankfully. Nice house but neighborhood isn’t that great.

Diane

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Apr 24, 2019 10:21PM edwards750 wrote:

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Apr 25, 2019 09:03AM Naesha wrote:

Thank you @Edwards750 and @MostlySew for sharing your thoughts. I hope none of you have to go through the same as i am going now. Its been three days today since i started taking my steroids - Prednisone, and looks like its helping me so far. Cough has decreased and shortness of breathe as well. I just want to get back to normal and hit the gym and do my regular workouts.

Btw nice and colorful pictures @Edwards750 :-)

Take care ladies.

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Apr 25, 2019 12:44PM edwards750 wrote:

Glad to hear you are feeling better Naesha and thanks for the compliments about my pics. Those little guys are such a blessing and joy!

Diane

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Apr 25, 2019 12:46PM cassiecanada wrote:

Hi all.. new to this thread

radiation is hitting 2 cm of my lung

during my hypofractionated 3 week treatment.

i am debating about quitting. that sounds

like a helluva lot of lung and i cycle

marsthons- my only vice/outlet.

Does anybody out there knoe hoe much

lung got hit during their rads

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Apr 25, 2019 08:29PM edwards750 wrote:

Welcome Cassie - no idk how much my lung got hit during radiation but I do know I’m at a higher risk because my BC is in my left breast. Since radiation in 2011 - I had 33 radiation treatments- a chest X-ray showed lots of lung nodules. The DR said it could be scar tissue. The radiologist report said there were no lung issues and the X-ray was normal.

I also know lung and/or heart issues may not show up for years but that’s a chance we choose to take. I would talk to your RO about your concerns before you decide to quit treatments.

Diane

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Apr 27, 2019 10:09AM morningdove wrote:

I had my last treatment of 20 on Tuesday of this week. YAY! The last 5 were booster ones. Last weekend I did develop a red bumpy itchy rash just above my breast and was told this is folliculitis which is very common I guess. I still have it and am trying to keep that area dry without slathering it twice a day with Aquaphor like I have been doing for a month now and limit that to my breast only. I also have a number of brown spots, all different sizes on and under my breast. A few times I felt these wierd shooting pains that I guess is common too. I'll be glad to see the swelling, redness and rash fade but understand it could take months. Wishing you all well.

Pleomorphic Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Dx 1/25/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/14/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/26/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/24/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 27, 2019 08:49PM cassiecanada wrote:

Thanks Diane- I am meeting with my RO on Monday- I have heard a few stories that are similar to yours recently- so I think my convo will be at least easier . do you notice this scar tissue ? I am glad your xrays are normal
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Apr 28, 2019 10:54AM BrooksideVT wrote:

HI, Cassie. A slice of my lung was in the field, but five years later I had a chest x-ray and there was absolutely no scarring. Do ask your RO about what damage to healthy tissue you may--or may not--expect. Lots of healthy breast tissue gets zapped, and most of us find absolutely no long term problems.

Dx 11/21/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/21/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/4/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 9/28/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 28, 2019 04:27PM cassiecanada wrote:

Hi Brookside- that is very encouraging! Thx for sharing this. Thats simply fantastic that you have no scarring- My Monday appt cant come fast enough. I am dying to find out why my radiation beam cuts thru so much compared to the light skimming of a mm or so that I believed it was going to be.,- you’re right about the breast zapping- i have heard about how well it rebounds after the radiation. Thats a good reminder, actually.
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Apr 28, 2019 04:43PM edwards750 wrote:

Cassie - no I don’t. Good luck tomorrow!

Diane

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May 5, 2019 09:23PM josie123 wrote:

Hello all,

Glad to see new members getting great advice from our experts . Welcome new members.

I’m sorry I have been MIA lately. Busy working and taking care of grand babies. I don’t remember if I posted in April but I was down in my back for the first 3 days of April. Missed 3days if work, felt the worst pain in my life and glad I’m better. But not 100%. I have to grab my left leg and manually lift it into the car. It just doesn’t want to work for me. Not good. So I insisted on an MRI. That was interesting since I’m closterphobic.I made myself relax and had her put a washcloth over my eyes so I couldn’t see. I couldn’t relax so I guess my back muscles were shaking or spasming because she said Ivwas moving but I wasn’t which forced her to redo part of the scan which added 15-20 min on to it. My results were neuroforamital stenosis and degeneration. Which means the foraminal space in betwee The discs or vertebrae where the nerves come through is compressed and coompresses the nerves in L3-L4 Andy L 4-L5. He suggested PT And I start it Tues.

Josi

Dx 1/2/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/9/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 1/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/6/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2014
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May 5, 2019 09:26PM josie123 wrote:

my new haircut

Dx 1/2/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/9/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 1/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/6/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2014
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May 6, 2019 09:43AM edwards750 wrote:

Glad you dropped by Josie. Sorry about your back issues. Hope the PT helps. I am claustrophobic too. I had a MRI years ago and was k until the techs quit talking to me. Never again. Open one or meds before.

Your haircut is cute. I changed mine too. Will try and post.

I’m babysitting a lot for my twin grandsons too. Their mother has unresolved issues do my son has full custody for now. Exhausting for him and me. He’s potty training them and doing a good job. They are doing really well. They start pre-school right after Memorial Day. They’ll start out 2 days a week. The school is close to my house which helps. It’s expensive so DH and I are paying for the school for now.

Hope things are going well for you at your MIL’s house. We have to find a rental for DS. He can’t afford a house right now. It’s hard for him to work with the twins FT so I keep them a lot. Babysitters are pricey. Also he needs to move to a more central safer location. His lease is up July 31.

Have a good week. Feel better.

Diane

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May 7, 2019 09:28PM josie123 wrote:

thanks Diane. How blessed your son is to have you and your husband.

Im sure you enjoying the boys but its good they are able to be in preschool.

My kids always went to the early childhood center for their school district.

It was wonderful and also cheaper than some private preschools.

I had my first PT tonight exhausting but good enough I came home and walked the dog 1/1 mile after. I have been walking 1-2 miles daily and doing WW so i have lost 9 # since March.

Take care

love Josi

Dx 1/2/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/9/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 1/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/6/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2014
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May 8, 2019 05:31AM BrooksideVT wrote:

I've always had good luck with PT, Josie, and still do some of the exercises from years ago in order to keep away old issues. I hope your back feels way better very, very soon. You are so lucky to have grandbabies nearby.

Dx 11/21/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/21/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/4/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 9/28/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 10, 2019 08:46PM - edited May 10, 2019 08:48PM by josie123

thanks Brookside

Dx 1/2/2013, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/9/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Surgery 1/30/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/6/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2014
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May 10, 2019 09:52PM edwards750 wrote:

She’s just adorable Josie!

Diane

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