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I was diagnosed with breast cancer on May 25, 2006 at the age of 38. I'll never forget that quiet ride home with my best friend. All I could think about was how I was going to tell my husband and my children, who, at the tender ages of 6 and 8, lost their father to colon cancer. I knew my family was going to be afraid for me, and I was trying to pull myself together so I could put on a strong face for them. Surprisingly, even to me, somehow I managed to break the news and stay tear-free and upbeat. I calmly reassured them that everything was going to be fine, that we were going to get through this together. I decided the best option for me was a mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. On June 20, 2006 I had my surgery. In August I started eight chemotherapy treatments and reconstruction. I had a treatment every two weeks, four treatments with the "red devil" and the last four with Taxitire. The love and support of family and friends helped me through this terrible ordeal. Time alone walking with nature and God did a lot to lift my spirits and kept me active and strong. Come June 2009 I will have been cancer-free for three years. I am doing great! My hair is back, along with an even stronger faith in the Lord and my family and friends than ever before. I am healthy and strong, and I am looking forward to many more years of love, laughter and living. All I can say to any of you going through this is to stay positive, believe in yourself, eat healthy, and maintain your faith in God. You have more strength inside you than you could ever imagine.

Vickey L Matthews
Talladega, AL

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