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At the age of 36, I discovered I had breast cancer. I wasn't totally suprised as my mother had died of breast cancer at the age of 52, when I was 26 and her mother died of breast cancer at 52 when my mother was only 17. I grew up very aware of breast cancer but it was not a common occurance. Sadly this is not the case now.

My sister last year had breast cancer even though she was part of the tamoxifen blind study. It turned out she was on the drug. My sister-in-law and her sister died of breast cancer. That is just in my family circle and I know so many other women who have had to deal with breast cancer.

My place in this sad arena is to be a hope to anyone who has to deal with this horrible disease. I am not a survivor, I am a living example of hope. It does not matter how long we are here but how we fill that time up. It is the dash between the year you were born and the year our time is up.

Patti Rhodes
Pompano Beach, FL

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