Wednesday, August 11, 2004
I met a woman today. I had seen her months ago, but she looked different. I thought at first it was her very short hair, but I couldn’t remember what her hair looked like before. She shared so much with me. I told her how I had my first clump of hair fall out today and she smiled at me kindly as tears welled up in her eyes. I told her how laughter makes me feel better and is the “fuel” for my journey. Again, she smiled at me and told me how much she laughs with her family too. I told her how great I feel right now and she understood how important that was. She understood everything all too well.

In two weeks she celebrates one year as a breast cancer survivor. We talked about how no one comes through this journey the same as when it started. I looked at her as tears welled in my eyes because I already understand that. She hugged me tightly and I felt stronger for having talked with her. As I said good-bye I realized why she looked so different today. She had a special twinkle in her eye, and a smile on her face, and a joy in her heart that only a survivor truly feels. She was filled with that deeper appreciation of life and all it has to offer. Her beauty was incomparable.

Thank you for your inspiration today. Thank you for the gift of understanding that you gave me today. Thank you for being a survivor.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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