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In addition, I use my "creative voice" to write a newsletter with stories and jokes to my support network regularly, pen some poetry, work on a manuscript, take photographs, do artwork/crafts, and design and craft jewelry to auction off at various fundraisers. I am also in the idea stages of developing a non-profit organization, an internet community that would be helpful to those in my "sisterhood." I intend to keep using "my voice" to educate others and bring awareness to the cause and to show those going through it that you can do it and get beyond it—and actually have a good time while doing so.

When I was diagnosed, I determined that I wanted to maintain positivity, a sense of humor, and creativity in dealing with cancer. I found that laughing more and staying positive helped me get through treatment more easily. In addition, those in my support network generously showered me with good wishes, cheerleading, laughed with me, in fact, mirrored my joking nature, and thus helped me to stay positive. I remember a nurse telling me early on, "you won’t realize this now—but you will down the road—you’ll see the good in people— they’ll come out of the woodwork to help you—let them . . . they’ll want to do what they can to help." She was so right! Being a fiercely independent person, it was very foreign for me to accept help from others, and I found it so humbling to see how kind and giving people were and how creative they became with their ideas—and how much they could do when they worked together. The Moe Money Benefit was the perfect example of that—it was the result of hard work and donated time on the part of so many, and so many benefited—those that helped felt good about what they were doing for the cause, CDIA students gained experience working on the project with the bands, and the bands got some exposure and a professionally produced CD, so it was a win-win situation for everyone. And I was so grateful for not only the fun event and emotional support everyone provided but the funds raised to put toward my exorbitant medical bills and expenses associated with fighting the disease—in addition to helping out the National Breast Cancer Foundation. I’m truly fortunate and very grateful for everyone’s support along my journey to wellness!

So here’s the story behind the reference in my title—I discovered the ultimate purpose of "chemo curls" (when a chemo patient’s hair grows back in, it typically comes in very, very curly) on a day in late August this year—you can go on the #1 rated steel roller coaster IN THE WORLD for 2006, 2007, and 2008 (the Superman ride at Six Flags, Agawam, MA) on a humid day, get splashed with heavy mist, go 77 mph around turns, up and down hills that are over 200 feet—AND go on it seven times in a row—and guess what, your hair still looks the same—those chemo curls are like teflon! ☺

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