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Exercise and staying healthy while going through cancer treatment

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

When I was going through radiation and chemo for my breast cancer, I found that I could walk in place for 10-15 minutes a day. Sometimes I could even do twenty if it was after the two day break in treatment. I would do the walking during commercials of my favorite TV shows. That really made it easy. I could also do some leg lifts, too. I could follow along with Spark videos if I could modify some of them. I continued to lose about a pound as week during my breast cancer treatment after the cancer was out of my body.

Six weeks after the breast cancer treatments had ended they found the cancer on my right tonsil. This time the treatments were harder on my body. The most I could do is stationary walking for 10 minutes or 15 after the weekend. But some days I was even too tired for that. But I still continued to lose the one pound a week.

What the hardest on me was the blood transfusion I had to have and the sickness afterwards that they couldn't find the cause. The oncologist had no idea what was going on during my first hospital stay. After two more stays, more tests, he still couldn't say what the problem was. All he knew for sure was my potassium and magnesium levels were way too low. Back to the hospital I would go. During this time I was so weak I fell numerous times. I vomited every day along with diarrhea. There was no way I could exercise during these months - September through December. Finally my primary doctor called in a specialist and after a 10 day stay, it was found that I had salmonella poisoning that had caused a serious infection. They put me on meds and by this month I was able to do my regular exercising. I kept on losing a pound a week. My oncologist was very concerned because my white blood cell count was at one. But after the infection was cleared and with returning to my exercise and eating habits, I have continued on my way.

Oh, did I mention I had a feeding tube for the second round of treatments? And when it was taken out I lived basically on Ensure and very little food. The food tasted like a handful of salt was mixed in it or metallic. My taste still isn't back. A lot of things make my mouth feel much too spicy. Carb items such as bread, rice, etc just ball up in my mouth. Also I can eat no sweets. I was a chocoholic before, but cannot have any now. This isn't such a bad thing, but I miss a few things such as orange juice. I used to have it daily.

Anyway, this is my story. I do hope it will help someone else who may be going through the same or similar treatments. The support I got from my SP friends really helped me to keep a positive attitude. That is the most important thing - at least it was for me, my faith and my friends' support.


This is me in July. My hair is growing back now. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUFFPASTRY 1/21/2012 1:59AM

    I agree with everyone else here -- you do NOT look like someone who's just been through an olympic trial of satanic infernos -- you look fantastic and radiant and adorable! Are you sure you're not mayyyyybe hiding a skin-tight superhero costume under those mild-mannered blouses? :D

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PENGUINLADY! 1/19/2012 9:32AM

    I am so glad to see you back.

My dad is not one to say how he feels and I thank you for posting this. My dad has esophogial cancer and is going through a lot of the same treatments you went through. Blood transfusions,chemo and radiation. He has done very well with them (especially for his age!) but this week he is quite sick (double dosage). His main problem is that he has a hard time swallowing and has been eating a lot of soup and ensure. His doctor has told him to stay as active as he feels he can be.

Hang in there..


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SUSIEPH1 1/19/2012 12:30AM

    You are looking wonderful! Just love that smile !!.
With yourstrength of will and mind you will be fighting fit in no time at all!
Hugs my friend Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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100LBLIGHTER 1/18/2012 9:27PM

    Wow what a smile...a lesser person would not have a smile after the battle you have just had. My Sister had another form of cancer about 4 years ago. She is alive and as far as we know cancer free. Which is a miracle. I have not seen her since then....she lives too far away...but ...I hope she has a smile as sweet as yours. Blessings to you on your journey to health.

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CELLOPLAYER1 1/18/2012 7:53PM

    I am so glad to see you back. You have had rough year. 2012 has to be a vast improvement.

Take Care!

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PMFISH 1/18/2012 6:06PM

    I am so glad to see you back! Was worried when we didn't hear from you or Bob. Had no idea you were in the hospital for stomach poisoning and infection. STAY WELL LADY! emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 1/18/2012 5:19PM

    OMG! You've been to the inferno and back...breast and tonsil cancers, salmonella poisoning and the infection...and look at that smile, in spite of it all! You're BEYOND amazing!

Thanks for who you are and all you give,

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SARAWMS48 1/18/2012 4:39PM

    While my husband was in the hospital and a nursing home for 6 weeks this fall, he lost 30 pounds. As I'm sure you'll agree, not the best way to lose. I'm glad they finally found out what was wrong. I hope you regain your strength soon.

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JANNERUN 1/18/2012 4:18PM

    Thanks for sharing with us and for the courage of going thru chemo twice. I hope your energy comes back quickly and you are feeling better soon. And able to eat more!
Take care!

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PANSYLADY2 1/18/2012 3:45PM

    Ev, I am so, so glad to have you back. You are gorgeous!!

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COACHPENNY 1/18/2012 3:26PM

    You are a gorgeous Chick!

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MOM2ACAT 1/18/2012 3:01PM

    You are beautiful, especially that smile! emoticon

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SMIDGON 1/18/2012 3:01PM

    You are still a beautiful lady!. And, one spunky woman.

Thanks for a wonderful story.


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1CRAZYDOG 1/18/2012 12:31PM

    HUGS and MORE HUGS to you, dear lady! You have done such a wonderful thing sharing the experiences.

I just had my mammogram yesterday. It was clear, thankfully. But Mom was just diagnosed in June w/breast cancer. She had radiation treatments until August. She is just now getting some of her energy back. But, like you, she isn't a quitter.


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GRACENFAITH 1/18/2012 12:17PM

    Thank you for sharing your courageous story. May God continue to keep you going upward bound!
emoticonWalking with Christ

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Go Gators

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

U of F has some fine sports teams. My husband and I love to follow them, especially football and basketball. Where I came from in Ohio, Ohio State was about the only college team anyone cheered for. Mostly it was pro football. We lived 1/2 way between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, so mostly one was for the browns or the Steelers. Because of this and the fact that we are just 65 miles from Gainesville, we are Gator fans. We have so much Gator "stuff" it gets ridiculous! There is almost as much as there is SP things. And that's a lot!!

One thing I didn't have to worry about this year was snacks. I have learned some healthy ones to fix and I followed my plan. SP gives the right info to help issues such as this. It used to be chips and dips or several pieces of pizza. Now I can make healthy dips and use lower calorie chips or crackers and veggies. I can still have pizza but I watch the toppings and how many slices. I feel full and I don't feel deprived of the things I love. My hubby agrees how good the things are, too. One of our favorite pizzas is:

On pizza crust add:

1 Tbls of olive oil
garlic powder season to taste

Bake at 350 degrees F until crust is browned and veggies are cooked, approx 20-30 minutes. Sometimes depending on your oven, these times may be off.

I'm so glad to be the leader of the Go Gators! team. If you enjoy Gator sports as much as I do, come join us.

Ev who bleeds Orange and Blue

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEPH1 1/17/2012 6:58PM

    Hi Ev!! glad you have worked out how to thin things down!
not a footy fan but glad you enjoyed!
Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon

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JKURJACK1944 1/17/2012 2:29PM

    Not much of a football fan. Used to watch Pro ball when I was younger, but College ball was never my thing. So glad that you are back posting.

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I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaacccccccccccck!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Here I am and praying things will stay the same for awhile and prove I am over the poisoning/infection I had. I am eating a lot better now that I'm not losing everything! Bob was able to stay with me every night during the November and December stays. As I was being discharged in December, I learned it was because my condition was critical, but not so bad I needed to be in ICU. I was what you call a step up. My potassium was at a level 1 as was my white blood cell count. My magnesium was low, too, but I can't recall how low. I also fell so I had to have a bed monitor and help walking. That has continued until the PT started two weeks ago. I have been doing fine until this AM when
I started to fall and Bob was able to catch me. My legs aren't working so well, but I try to remain positive. SP has taught me - after a set back, tomorrow is a new day! I have tried to apply this with everything in life.

I want to thank you my dear friends who haven't given up on me during my breast cancer and tonsil cancers along with this salmonella poisoning and the infection from it. 2011 was a really bad year for me and having the support of so many of you along with my faith and loving husband I have been able to make it through all the bad stuff and realize how very blessed I am.

I'm sure some of you are wondering how I can feel so blessed after everything that has happened. Well, I am blessed that the breast cancer was found so early and hadn't spread. Also that my genetic markers were good enough I was able to have my chemo by pill. Then I was really blessed that the tonsil cancer was found so early it hadn't gone into my jaw, tongue, or throat. And I have been blessed that even though it took so long to find I have made it through this last illness. I also had the blessing of having wonderful doctors who care about me and are wanting only the best. My entire team from my primary doctor on through to all the cancer team were the very best. I honestly feel God couldn't have sent me to a better place than with the care I received. But I don't think I could have made it without that faith, my super wonderful understanding husband, and all of you my friends. I honestly feel like I know so many of you. We have all shared so much of ourselves during our journey to a better lifestyle and becoming healthier.

One sad note. I had just returned from the Sept/Oct hospital stay when my little Pepper went to the Rainbow Bridge. He played one day, went to sleep, and in the morning was gone. On my birthday, Bob took me to a rescue about 60 miles from home to let me pick out a dog. They had a long haired Chihuahua that was nearly 3 yrs old and a male. I think he chose me, and he came home with us. I got to be with him a little over a week before I had to return to the hospital. He is the sweetest boy and sleeps under my comforter all the time.
I'll show him off to you. His name was Bowser, but we thought that was too close to Bruzer, so I changed it to Snuggles. So here he is:

This is my story for today. I'm so happy to be back.

Love and blessings to you all,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUFFPASTRY 1/21/2012 1:55AM

    Oh Ev, your entries always make me smile! And SALMONELLA POISONING?! ICK! I had no idea that was going on!!

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FISHINGLADY66 1/19/2012 4:28PM

    Praise the Lord for all his blessings. Glad your back and doing better.

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VALERIEMAHA 1/18/2012 5:21PM

    I'm so glad you're back too, and I'm also so glad Snuggles is with you and that astounding hubby of yours!

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MEMARE 1/18/2012 6:53AM

    I'm glad you are back Ev emoticon
Snuggles is a cutie pie. I'm sure Pepper had a paw in you two finding one another. emoticon

I wish you a happy, healthy and blessed 2012! emoticon emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 1/17/2012 12:52PM

    Hi Ev, I am so, so happy to see you back. Snuggles looks very aptly named;) Take care my friend and I will catch up with you soon. Susie emoticon

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KENMAC116 1/17/2012 7:23AM

    Welcome Back!!!!

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CELLOPLAYER1 1/16/2012 8:34PM

    Welcome back. The dog is cute.

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PMCFARM 1/16/2012 6:43PM

  Welcome back...you were very missed! And Snuggles is adorable.

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COACHPENNY 1/16/2012 3:38PM

    Attitude is EVERYTHING. Ev, you have it in triplicate! Sorry about your dear, Pepper.

The new little boy in your life is adorable.....he looks right into the camera!
What a sweetheart!

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MOM2ACAT 1/16/2012 12:10PM

    emoticon Welcome back!
I'm so sorry you lost Pepper.

Snuggles sure is cute!

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SUSIEPH1 1/16/2012 9:44AM

    Hi Ev,
So glad to see you back .. what a year you have had . sorry about your wee doggie going to rainbow bridge .. looks like you have a great little pal now to love and care for .
Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JKURJACK1944 1/16/2012 8:56AM

    Ev, So wonderful that you are back and posting. 2012 will be a better year and Snuggles will be a wonderful bed warmer.

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PARKERB2 1/16/2012 8:41AM

    Sorry you have had to go thru a rough time but your positive attitude is great. I love the little dog. I had a Pom who looked a little like him. Loved him dearly as I'm sure you love yours too. Have a good day. emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 8:42:05 AM

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Half the fear is gone

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yesterday I had my first mammogram since my treatments for breast cancer ended. I also had to have a sonogram. The radiologist came and talked to after and said everything was looking good, but after surgery they have to start all over as the look can be so different. End result - return for mammo every six months for two years. But that's ok. I was so nervous that they would find something else "suspicious". And really who could blame after what happened in May? At least half of my fear is gone.

After today's appointment with my radiation oncologist, if he gives me a clear bill on the tonsil cancer, the second half of my fear will be gone. I keep on praying that this will be the case. Until then, I do carry some fear within.

Next week I start my therapy from the tonsil cancer. I'm rather anxious to see how it goes. I can't imagine what I will be doing. Time is the only thing that will bring my tasting back. I'll keep my blog updated.

October 1st brings a huge change in my life. My medicare goes into affect even though my birthday isn't until the end of the month. I don't know why I have dreaded this, but I have. For the past few years I have loved saying I was old enough for social security, but too young for medicare. Now I join the ranks with my brother, SIL, and Bob. Ah well.....time sure flies when you're having fun - or cancer treatments - or re-learning to live a healthy lifestyle.

Speaking of which, although I'm able to eat more, I still have to have one Boost a day to get calories and try to get enough vitamins and minerals. It hasn't been working too well and I wonder if I had the surgeon remove my feeding tube too soon. I can also feel a lot of my strength has left me and sometimes I feel so weak. I have to get any exercising done as early as possible to be able to make it. And I have had to use my walker again even more than before. Yesterday while I was waiting for the radiologist to come in to talk, I did some stretching and leg lifts. I felt good that I didn't use the time to read yet another magazine!

So that has been my fear and issues. I am so thankful I have this site so that I can blog and greet teams and friends. Such a blessing you have all been to me. From Spark Guy to my teams to all of my friends.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATZEYEZ 10/10/2011 4:14AM

    Sending prayers and love for everything to be ok for you, sweetie! I am going through the radiotherapy phase at the moment-every day and a long way to go to get there...feeling very tired...I have my follow-up CT next week-fearing the results, but going for it as i have no other choice...

Hope all goes well for you!

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PMFISH 10/7/2011 9:34PM

    Sounds like all good news to me! WOO HOO!

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EJOY-EVELYN 9/29/2011 5:04PM

    I love your incredible spirit of thankfulness. No matter what hills of life we are experiencing, remind us of our life together in Jesus. In spite of so many obstacles, give us the strength to live faithfully to the gospel. Amen

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SKEETOR 9/29/2011 10:37AM

    Sending prayers your way for your appointment! As for feeling weak, don't rush yourself, but don't give up either. Just start off gradually and I have a feeling you'll recover just fine! emoticon

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TERJEGOLD 9/28/2011 11:35PM

    You are definitely on the road to recovery. You have come so far. You are doing great!

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JKURJACK1944 9/28/2011 7:50PM

    Ev, you sound like you are getting better and better. By doing 5 to 10 minutes of exercise at a time, your strength will come back. God bless you and I am praying for your full recovery.

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CELLOPLAYER1 9/28/2011 7:18PM

    Give yourself time. It will take a while to rebuild your strength.

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MOM2ACAT 9/28/2011 4:39PM

    I'm glad to hear the good results on the mammo! Keeping you in my prayers for the rest.

I started getting my Medicare in April; I have to say, it's the best insurance I have had so far. I am really impressed with how much of my cancer related stuff it covers. Of course, it helps that I have a good supplement plan too.

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COACHPENNY 9/28/2011 2:10PM

    I agree that your strength will return. It will be slow but, every move, every leg lift, every push you give yourself to keep going will get you where you want to be. emoticon

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PANSYLADY2 9/28/2011 9:51AM

    Am praying for you. I pray God will give you peace that passes understanding. I pray that you are so aware of His arms around you and of His love for you. I pray that your body will come into line with God's will for healing for you. In Jesus' Name! AMEN!

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SMIDGON 9/28/2011 6:42AM

    All my hopes go with you!

I know how I feel when my daughter has her follow-ups coming up.

You hope and pray; but, there is one thread of dread there, I understand.



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JENN03275 9/28/2011 6:21AM

    Good luck at your appointment. Strength will return, baby steps. Are you using your feeding tube or is it there jusy in case you are unable to eat? If you are using it, have you had a swallow test done to ensure that you can safely swallow foods? (sorry, sometimes hard not to be a nurse). Best of luck!

Hugs oooo!

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FLORIDAGHOST 9/28/2011 5:20AM

    I pray all goes well with your next appointment. Keep going - it's the only way!

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Did you know you have cheekbones?

Friday, September 23, 2011

I had to laugh when Bob asked me that question. Of course I told him yes. He sat there almost staring at me as if seeing me for the first time. Finally he said he had never seen them before, that they had been hiding. I must admit, it was one of the nicest things I could have ever heard. It's a marker in my healthy eating journey. It made me feel the best I have in days! I just wish we had taken more pictures during this second round of treatments for comparisons.

I still don't have my taste back and I wonder what it is going to like when I do. So far, I can't stand the taste of most anything with starch. ie: pasta, rice, bread. I don't know this is a bad thing, actually. emoticon I DO still love my veggies and fruits with carrots and pears being my favorites. But I really need to have more of a variety. Ahhhhhhhhhh, one day I'll be back to tasting. At least I hope so. I've been told it could take up to a year.

My biggest fear is when I am back to normal, my weight will go back up. But perhaps not. The stronger I get, the more exercise I can tolerate and I hope by then, I'll be back to my hour workouts.

In the meantime, it's nice to have cheekbones - again! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEPH1 9/28/2011 6:01AM

    Oh Sweetie !!
You are doing so well,
Keep that cheerful attitude up and be as positive as you can,
Mindset is half the battle won ..
I have two Daughters that have survived Breast Cancer..
Maureen had a mastectomy 35 years ago, then the other Breast 5 years later She has been cancer free since then.
Kaylene was diagnosed 5 years ago and she just had her 5 years clearance.
They both had such positive attitudes and I think that helped them so very much ..
I am so glad you are feeling so much better.
You will be weak for a while, but just a little gentle exercise each day will help rebuild muscles that have been weakened by inaction.

Take Care Hugs to You and Bob ..
Susie emoticon emoticon

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COACHPENNY 9/26/2011 2:21PM

    You will do just fine because you will have changed your habits. The cheekbones are a bonus!

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PMFISH 9/26/2011 10:33AM

    Way to go lady!! Feeling better and better! I am so happy for you. I really cannot remember how long it took me to get the taste buds buds back, but it will happen!

Have a great week!


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SUSIEPH1 9/23/2011 6:10PM

    Congratulations on finding your Cheek Bones .. I am glad you are feeling better and hope you can find your tastebuds soon too .

I was over the moon when I found my Cheek Bones, and again when I found my Collar Bones.
Have a good day my friend ..
Love and Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon

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JKURJACK1944 9/23/2011 3:59PM

    Great to read your blog. Cheekbones are de regeuer.

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JKURJACK1944 9/23/2011 3:57PM

    Great to read your blog. Cheekbones are de regeuer.

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TERJEGOLD 9/23/2011 1:16PM

    It's so cool when you discover a new non-scale victory! How sweet that Bob noticed too.

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PANSYLADY2 9/23/2011 12:06PM

    Cheeks and collarbones. We have collarbones!! God is good, Ev. So good to see you blogging again. Have a great weekend.

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JAYKAYSTRONG 9/23/2011 10:28AM

    That's wonderful to hear :)

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SMIDGON 9/23/2011 9:05AM

    Don't you love it?


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MEMARE 9/23/2011 8:49AM

    That's Great Ev! Have a great day! Give your hubby hugs for being such a sweet guy! emoticon

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