Rita is my hero for a lot of reasons! She knows what it means to battled and beat cancer. In November of 2003 she had a routine mammogram that would change our lives forever. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to have the technician excuse herself and see the doctor enter the room looking concerned. The next word she heard will always be emblazoned in her mind - "there is a spiculated mass that significantly resembles a malignancy, you need to see a surgeon right away". I truly believe Rita owes her life to the speed that all of her doctors showed in taking care of her. There was no wasting time. A few days later the first surgery to remove the 1.7 centimeter mass, another to hopefully get clean margins, a third surgery to remove an in situ tumor (not spiculated), and last but not least the surgery to insert a port to deliver chemo. Rita came through all the surgeries like a champ, but I was very worried she wasn't strong enough for chemo - I thankfully was incorrect! Don't get me wrong the chemo made her very sick! She often could not eat and she was very weak, but that didn't stop her from going to work most of the time. She was losing her hair by the handfuls and we shaved the last of it off on Valentine's Day 2004. Who knew she was so cute bald and looked so much like her father! Then on to radiation seemingly the easiest part. Not so much. It creates pain and burning and scar tissue that hurts. But again Rita was a champ and went right through without complaint. Her motto in 2003 and today "I'm great cause It beats the heck out of alternative!" Almost 9 years now and we sometimes have days that we don't even think about it or worry it will return! Rita is health and strong!