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‘Doctors told me it was ‘a blocked milk duct.’ It felt like a lemon seed under my skin, close to my areola, and hadn’t hurt at all.’: Woman with breast cancer stays positive, ‘I’ve got this. Everything will be okay.’

“My diagnosis came when I was a 48-year-old, post-menopausal woman with no biological children. I told myself, ‘I have to get my sh*t together quick!’ Things were progressing well until a few days after we moved into a new home. I was experiencing severe shortness of breath, which I’d mistakenly attributed to chemo side effects. Long story short, 840 gallons of propane leaked into our home. By the time the leak was discovered, my treatment plan had been modified.”

‘Why are you involved? Isn’t it depressing?’ I was dying and it wasn’t the cancer. It was the state of my life.’: Woman survives esophageal cancer, jumpstarts organization to help others

“I was separating from my husband, all the while wondering whether I was going to live or die. I was sharing a room with a woman who’d been told, ‘You have an incurable blood disease. Death is certain.’ I recall shrinking beneath my blankets, not wanting to bring attention to myself on the other side of the thin layer of privacy hanging between us. She told them ‘I have no family to call,’ and when the doctors left, we sat there in silence. I knew I was destined to do more.”

‘Dear judgy lady on Facebook, I lost my husband with narcan a truck door away. I hope you never have to.’: Woman pens letter to stranger after husband’s heroin overdose, ‘we are all human, we are all in this together’

“I read the article you shared about narcan. Your opinion and commentary made my pulse pound and my face flush. I get it, you think it was his ‘choice.’ You think he didn’t love me or anyone else enough. You think he was selfish, stupid, and weak. He is the face of a million ‘junkies’ to you. But I know something you don’t know. I have lived it. I lost the most precious person to me without a ‘goodbye’ or a last ‘I love you.’”

‘How could you do this?’ I look at your Facebook profile before I tell your mother you’re dead.’: First responder shares heartbreaking practice to humanize victims, ‘I owe it to you’

“You’re a nameless body. I know nothing about you. We’re trying desperately to save you but right now, all I am is mad at you. Maybe you were texting, or popped a Vicodin at the campus party and should’ve Ubered. In 5 minutes, I’m about to change your mom and dad’s lives. So, I pick up your faded driver’s license, flip to Facebook. I owe it to them to remind myself it is a person I’m talking about.”

‘Do we know each other?’ I remembered the mystery guy’s friend request. I was SO nervous.’: Single mom meets man of her dreams, he adopts daughter after ‘blossoming’ relationship, ‘He hasn’t left’

“I pulled up his profile, scrolled through his pictures, and hit the add button. I waited for at least 3 days. No message, no anything. I went back to assuming he just added ’random blondes.’ I finally decided I would make the first move. I didn’t want my daughter to wind up even more heartbroken.”

‘Rebecca’s at the hospital in labor!’ Please don’t think it’s okay to announce my baby before I do.’: Mom urges us to ‘respect boundaries,’ refrain from ‘breaking baby announcement protocol’

“Why in the world would someone I barely know think it’s appropriate to announce the birth of my child? So much for privacy! The sting of not being the one to announce a pregnancy, gender reveal, or birth sticks with us. Postpartum hormones are strong and unpredictable! Something like this can really set them off. Bottom line: If it’s not your baby, don’t say a word. There are absolutely no exceptions. None. Ever.”

‘If anyone knows how to get in touch with Tom’s family, call the police. Tom passed away at a party.’: Sister discovers brother died of heroin overdose in random social media post, ‘There it was’

“After putting the pizza in the oven, I checked my phone to see if the babysitter had texted me. No text, so I decided to scroll Facebook for a minute or two. There it was. A simple post. It couldn’t be true. My heart started beating. Immediately I called my dad, but no answer.”

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