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I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994. I chose a modified mastectomy with reconstruction to be done at the same time. Chemo therapy was the next step followed by five years of Tamoxifen. The chemo therapy was the worst part because of the side effects. Loss of hair, appetite, and energy.

During my "Trip Through Cancerland" I had a kidney stone surgically removed, though I had never had the problem before; found out the hard way that I was allergic to the dye they use for a c-scan; was allergic to an acrylic stint used in the kidneystone episode; came down with antibiotic associated colitis; and must now caution doctors for the rest of my life that my body has had this problem.

Fifteen years later I am happy to say that I am a survivor and know that cancer does not own me. A positive attitude, faith, the love of family and friends brought me through.

I had my surgery on the 3rd of March and every year I celebrate that date as my re-birth day. Life is good!

When I know of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer I send them greeting cards to brighten their day. I do this because I enjoyed receiving cards from friends during my trip through Cancerland. A card is not as intrusive as a phone call or a drop in visit. It can be opened when you feel up to it.

Grace Sloan
Escondido, CA

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