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    User: GregP_WN

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    Celebration (Remission): After 11 months of chemo, the cancer was completely gone, both in the abdominal tumor and the spine marrow. As you can imagine, I was extremely happy and grateful to the entire VA Long Beach team and to my family and friends who supported me and prayed for me throughout the ordeal. In fact, I wrote a letter of thanks to the VanGuard, the official magazine for the VA, and it was published. Shortly afterward, the VA held a special thank you luncheon honoring my doctors and nurses. (I guess the VA doesn't get too many thank you letters like the one I wrote.) So far, after four annual CAT scans, I remain in remission. Since I was diagnosed, I have been able to enjoy life to the fullest, including celebrating the birth of my two granddaughters and my 45th wedding anniversary to the Women's Army Corps member I married while serving in the Army during the Vietnam War. Life is good!

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    Side Effects (Weight loss)

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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): When the VA team of oncologists, pharmacists and nurses explained what the side effects might be, I was afraid at first, but then resigned myself to the idea that nothing is easy, that the end justifies the means. Yes, I lost my hair and I lost some weight, but I was surprised and shocked that the side effects were painless. I was able to return to work just two days after each chemo session.

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    Oh No (Diagnosed): As most people, I wondered, "why me?"