Friday, 3 October 2014

Stage IV Snapshot: the pill box

Today I had to fill my pill boxes for the week. I count out all the right pills for the right time of day. The little blue set I keep beside the bed. I take those pills as soon as I wake up. They are mostly pain pills, long and short acting, to get me going. I usually awaken very stiff and sore, particularly in my lower back and hips. I also take some stomach pills then. They work best if taken a little while before eating. The other pills pull out of the big case one day at a time. If I will be going out of the house, I transfer them to a smaller daily case that has room for extra short acting pain narcotics to deal with breakthrough pain. I have pulled something in my back or ribs. I am pretty certain it isn't a fracture, so I didn't get an x-Ray, but the pain requires frequent top-ups of my Dilaudid. The daily pills are taken with breakfast, lunch and supper, and finally at bedtime. So, best case, I take a handful of pills five times a day. In reality, because of the breakthrough pain, it is much more often than that.


Here is what I take on a good day. The breakthrough Dilaudid aren't there. See, I told you. Handfuls of pills.

If you were wondering about that little white pill in the middle. That is Tamoxifen. That is the ONE pill I take that fights cancer. One pill. I take it with supper, my biggest meal, because it is very hard on the stomach. Due to the Tamoxifen, I also take two Prevacid and four Maxerand a day to quell the nausea. It usually works. This afternoon I will go to the cancer centre for my treatment. No longer on chemo, I am still getting Herceptin by IV to stop the cancer. I get it every three weeks. I will also get Pamidronate today to help my bones rebuild, I get it every nine weeks, if my creatinine level doesn't creep too high. Pamidronate is hard on the kidneys and my kidneys are showing the strain. Herceptin can damage the heart. Thank God that hasn't happened yet. I get an echocardiogram every three months to check my ticker. So far, so good,

Most of my pills are for pain. Four Naproxen, a NSAID also known as Aleve. Three hydromorphone contin, a long acting narcotic said to be stronger than morphine. Then there are three Lyrica for nerve pain. I also get the occasional epidural to help with nerve pain. Oh, and because all the narcotics make me sleepy, I now take Ritalin in the morning and at noon. Ritalin is a stimulant. It works paradoxically in people with ADD to calm them down. It generally wakes me up. I don't take it every day, so it's not in the picture. I took it yesterday at noon and nevertheless I was groggy by one o'clock. It doesn't work perfectly. And then at night I take an Ativan. It is an anti-anxiety drug that I take to be able to sleep through the night, I think I am hooked on it now, I don't like that much, but I am very cranky when I don't sleep, so I keep taking it

A picture tells a thousand words. That is why I use my Stage IV Snapshot blog posts to give you a picture of my life with advanced breast cancer. I don't believe that the millions that are spent on breast cancer awareness have done much real good. In addition to taking attention away from other cancers unfairly, breast cancer awareness hasn't spread awareness of key facts, like how many of us are at risk of breast cancer. One in nine women will get it. Men get it too. And did you know that nearly a third of patients treated for early stage breast cancer will have it return outside the breast as Stage IV cancer. They thought they were cured, but there is no cure for breast cancer.

I try to raise awareness of life with Stage IV breast cancer, whether it is the emotional side, or like today the pharmaceutical side. I hope I can make a difference. Let me know.

31 comments:

  1. WOW! You are one hell of a strong person chick. - Brad

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  2. dear Kate,

    this post and the photos of your medication regimen does, indeed, speak a thousand words. these are the kinds of effects of metastatic breast cancer that don't get talked about but that people with mets live with every single day. thank you for speaking out, and for real, live pictures that get left out of the daily travails of living with mets. so glad your heart is healthy so far. and I am glad your oncologist is providing you with the meds you need to beat the pain. but even, then, as you speak about the grogginess and the hit or miss of Ritalin, it isn't easy, not at all. thinking of you always and sending you lots of warm hugs.

    with much love,

    Karen xoxo

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    1. I have been thinking of you, Karen. I hope you are well. Thanks for your comment. I do what I can. ~Kate

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  3. Thank you for raising more awareness for us Kate.

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  4. Hello, my name is Tatiana i am Spanish and have cancer of breast with metastasis in the bones, for one year finishes the chemotherapy, AC and taxol. Also radiotherapy and it was taking tablets for the aching bones. The ovaries extirpated me as part of the treatment and I am taking letrozol (femara) and an injection every 6 weeks of denosumab to control the metastases in the bones. Already I do not take any tablet for the pain, do not sit pain. My metastases estan disappearing. Every day I am better.
    I do a normal life. I order you a lot of force. We can win. Believing is to be able.
    A kiss

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    1. Gracias, Tatiana. I wish you health and strength as well. All the best! ~ Kate

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  5. This is a powerful image and an excellent way of educating. Wish it weren't your story but I am so glad to be sharing stories alongside you.
    I have been on Herceptin for 8 years, with no damage to the heart. A cardiac oncologist told me that the risk of heart damage is very low for most women. I'm not staying we shouldn't stay vigilant, it's just a worry I've done my best to let go.

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    1. Thank you, Laurie. I think of you every three weeks when I get Herceptin. I have been lucky to have had few reactions to it. ~Kate

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  6. ... and I was complaining 'cause I haveta take one tamoxifen a day... I think i'll shuddup now.

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  7. Wow, your post certainly is a prime illustration of that old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. Now this is awareness. Thank you. xoxo

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  8. I included a link to this post in one I wrote for BlogHer on Metastatic Awareness Day: http://www.blogher.com/im-sick-cancer-it-wont-be-good-day-when-my-treatment-stops

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    1. I appreciate the share. I'm getting a boost in traffic. Thank you. ~K

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  9. Thanks to Dr Williams I am so happy today, my wife have been suffering from breast cancer for the past 8 years now, and i have spent a lot on western drugs which has all proved abortive, i have tried all means in life to get my wife out of this , but there was no answer until i decided to try herbal solution and i found Dr Williams online and i contacted him and after she took his medication as instructed, my wife is now completely cure from breast cancer within those week of usage, i am so much happy, thanks to Dr Williams for helping me get my wife life back again without any form of crisis, i promise to tell your name and good deeds to the whole world,if you have someone with cancer you can email him on drwilliams098675@gmail.com for more information .

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  10. I am Sophie from Canada, I once suffered from a terrible and Chronic breast cancer ,since 30years now , the doctor told me there was no permanent cure i was given medications to slow down its progress, i constantly felt my health was deteriorating as i constantly go out of breath,and this illness was really terrible especially when am going out with my friends, i have this constant disorder for about 30 years, this was really a terrible illness ,on thin one day that i was going through the internet,and i came across a post of Mrs shelley on how his husband was been cured from colon cancer through the help of Dr Williams herbal product, I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and explain everything to him and make purchase of his product,few days later he sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received the herbal medicine, i used it for 1 months as prescribed by Dr Williams and i was totally cured within those week of usage,on thin now i have not experience any sign or characteristics again . for more information you can email him on drwilliams098675@gmail.com for help

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  11. ALL THANKS TO DR WILLIAMS WITH HIS HERBAL PORTION I WAS COMPLETELY CURED FROM BREAST CANCER.
    I'm here again to appreciate DR WILLIAMS God will always continue to bless you more abundantly, for the good works you done in my life, I will always keep on writing good and posting my testimonies about you on the Internet, I’m Jessica from Orlando, Florida. I was tested breast cancer positive, I saw a blog on how DR WILLIAMS cured people with his herbal portion, i did not believe in natural medicine but i just decided to give him a try, I contacted him,and explain my situation to him,few day later he sent me the herb, after taking doc Williams herbal medicine for few week i also got my healing with his herbal portion, i am so happy. If you have any type of cancer problem ,you can contact him on Drwilliams098675@gmail.com for advice and for his product,i hope this testimony also help some one out there .

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  12. WHAT A GREAT MIRACLE THAT I HAVE EVER SEE IN MY LIFE. My names are Clara David I’m a citizen of USA, My younger sister was sicking of
    breast cancer and her name is Sandra David I and my family have taking her
    to all kind of hospital in USA still yet no good result. I decided to go to
    the internet and search for cancer cure so that was how I find a lady
    called peter Lizzy she was testifies to the world about the goodness of a
    herbal man who has the root and half to cure all kind of disease and the
    herbal man email was there. So I decided to contact the herbal man for my
    younger sister help to cure her breast cancer. I contacted him and told him
    my problem he told me that I should not worry that my sister cancer will be
    cure, he told me that there is a medicine that he is going to give me that
    I will cook it and give it to my sister to drink for one week, so I ask how
    can I receive the cure that I am in USA, he told me

    That I will pay for the delivery service. The courier service can
    transport it to me so he told me the amount I will pay, so my dad paid for
    the delivery fee. two days later I receive the cure from the courier
    service so I used it as the herbal man instructed me to, before the week
    complete my sister cancer was healed and it was like a dream to me not
    knowing that it was physical I and my family were very happy about the
    miracle of Doctor so my dad wanted to pay him 5 million us dollars the
    herbal man did not accept the offer from my dad, but I don't know why he
    didn't accept the offer, he only say that I should tell the world about him
    and his miracle he perform so am now here to tell the world about him if
    you or your relative is having any kind of disease that you can't get from
    the hospital please contact dr.sakuraspellalter@gmail.com or whats app him
    +2348110114739 / via his website https://drsakuraspellalter.weebly.com/ you can follow him up on Instagram herbalist sakura for the cure, he will help you out with the
    problem. And if you need more information about the doctor you can mail me
    davidclara223@gmail.com

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  13. I am Sophie from Canada, I once suffered from a terrible and Chronic breast cancer ,since 30years now , the doctor told me there was no permanent cure i was given medications to slow down its progress, i constantly felt my health was deteriorating as i constantly go out of breath,and this illness was really terrible especially when am going out with my friends, i have this constant breast disorder for about 30 years, this was really a terrible illness ,on thin one day that i was going through the internet,and i came across a post of Mrs shelley on how his husband was been cured from colon cancer through the help of Dr Williams herbal product, I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and explain everything to him and make purchase of his product,few days later he sent me the herbal medicine through courier service, when i received the herbal medicine, i used it for 1 months as prescribed by Dr Williams and i was totally cured within those week of usage,on thin now i have not experience any sign or characteristics again . for more information you can email him on drwilliams098675@gmail.com for help

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  14. I am 29 years old and have been diagnosed with breast cancer, ease of treatment and a similar story, except for my first acceptance as a rejection of herbal medicine. I was not part of the Perseid movement and did not really build relationships with any of them, I just believed in their operation. I say this because it was during the use of Dr. Itua herbal medicine that I now attest that herbal medicine is real, the phytotherapy Dr. Itua heal my breast cancer which I suffered for 2 years. Dr. Itua herbal medicine is made of natural herbs, with no side effects, and easy to drink. If you have the same breast cancer or any type of human illness, including HIV / AIDS, herpes cancer,Ovarian Cancer,Pancratics cancers, bladder cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, Glaucoma., Cataracts,Macular degeneration,Cardiovascular disease,Lung disease.Enlarged prostate,Osteoporosis.Alzheimer's disease,
    Dementia.kidney cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, skin cancer and skin cancer.testicular Cancer, , LEUKEMIA, VIRUSES, HEPATITIS, INFERTILITY WOMEN / MAN, LOT OF LOVE, LOTTERY. ITS CONTACT EMAIL / WHATSAPP: info@drituaherbalcenter.com Or drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com/ +2348149277967

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  15. HOW I GOT CURED OF HERPES VIRUS.

    Hello everyone out there, i am here to give my testimony about a herbalist called dr imoloa. i was infected with herpes simplex virus 2 in 2013, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so i was thinking on how i can get a solution out so that my body can be okay. one day i was in the pool side browsing and thinking of where i can get a solution. i go through many website were i saw so many testimonies about dr imoloa on how he cured them. i did not believe but i decided to give him a try, i contacted him and he prepared the herpes for me which i received through DHL courier service. i took it for two weeks after then he instructed me to go for check up, after the test i was confirmed herpes negative. am so free and happy. so, if you have problem or you are infected with any disease kindly contact him on email drimolaherbalmademedicine@gmail.com. or / whatssapp --+2347081986098.
    This testimony serve as an expression of my gratitude. he also have
    herbal cure for, FEVER, DIARRHOEA, MOUTH ULCER, MOUTH CANCER FATIGUE, MUSCLE ACHES, LUPUS, SKIN CANCER, PENILE CANCER, BREAST CANCER, PANCREATIC CANCER, CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE, VAGINAL CANCER, CERVICAL CANCER, DISEASE, JOINT PAIN, POLIO DISEASE, PARKINSON'S DISEASE, ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, CYSTIC FIBROSIS, SCHIZOPHRENIA, CORNEAL ULCER, EPILEPSY, FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM, LICHEN PLANUS, COLD SORE, SHINGLES, CANCER, HEPATITIS A, B. DIABETES 1/2, HIV/AIDS, CHRONIC PANCERATIC, CHLAMYDIA, ZIKA VIRUS, EMPHYSEMA, LOW SPERM COUNT, ENZYMA, DRY COUGH, ARTHRITIS, LEUKAEMIA, LYME DISEASE, ASTHMA, IMPOTENCE, BARENESS/INFERTILITY, WEAK ERECTION, PENIS ENLARGEMENT. AND SO ON.

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  16. Most prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas, cancers that arise in glandular cells of the prostate’s epithelial tissue. Prostate cancers usually progress slowly and produce no symptoms in the initial stages. Eventually, the tumor may enlarge like mine use too, the prostate gland, pressing on the urethra and causing painful or frequent urination and blood in the urine. So I was so uncomfortable with this prostate cancer diseases then I decided to do online search on how to cure cancer because I well have read a lot about herbal medicine, I came across a lot of testimony how Dr Itua cure HIV/herpes then Cancer was listed below the comment.with courage I contacted Dr Itua and he sent me his herbal medicine through Courier service then I was asked to pick it up at my post office which i quickly did. I contacted Dr Itua that i have received my herbal medicine so he instructs me on how to drink it for three weeks and that is how Dr Itua Herbal Medicine cure my prostate Cancer, The treatment takes three weeks and I was cured completely. Dr Itua is a god sent and I thank him every day of my life. Contact him now On:Email:drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com/ Whatsapp:+2348149277967.
    He listed to that he can as well cure the following diseases below.... Cerebral Amides. Lung Cancer, Alzheimer's disease,Autism,measles, tetanus, whooping cough, tuberculosis, polio and diphtheria Adrenocortical carcinoma. Alma, Uterine Cancer, Breast Cancer, Allergic diseases. Kidney cancer, Love Spell, Glaucoma., Cataracts,Macular degeneration,Cardiovascular disease,Lung disease.Enlarged prostate,Osteoporosis.Generalized dermatitis,Alzheimer's disease,Brain Tumor,Lupus,Endomertil Cancer, cerebrovascular diseases
    Dementia.Colo rectal cancer, Lottery Spell, Bladder Cancer, Skin Cancer,Ovarian Cancer,Pancreatic Cancer, HIV /Aids,Brain Tumor, Herpes, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Inflammatory bowel disease, Copd, Diabetes, Hepatitis

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  17. I really appreciate  DR AKHIGBE,my name is LAURIE HUGHES . I will never stop testifying DR AKHIGBE , Happiness is all i see now I never thought that I will be cured from HIV virus again. DR AKHIGBE did it for me I have been suffering from a deadly disease (HIV) for the past 2 years now, I had spent a lot of money going from one place to another, from churches to churches, hospitals have been my home every day residence. Constant checks up have been my hobby not until this faithful day,  I saw a testimony on how DR AKHIGBE helped someone in curing his HIV disease in internet quickly I copied his email which is drrealakhigbe@gmail.com just to give him a test I spoke to him, he asked me to do some certain things which I did, he told me that he is going to provide the herbal cure to me, which he did, then he asked me to go for medical checkup after some days, after using the herbal cure and i did, behold I was free from the deadly disease,till now no HIV in me again he only asked me to post the testimony through the whole world, faithfully am doing it now,all the testimony of DR AKHIGBE is true  please BROTHER and SISTER, MOTHER and FATHER he is great, I owe him in return. if you are having a similar problem just email him on drrealakhigbe@gmail.com or you can whats App his mobile number on +2348142454860  He can also cure these diseases like HIV and AIDS HERPES,DIABETICS,CANCER, HEPATITIS A&B,CHRONIC DISEASES, ASTHMA, HEART DISEASES, EXTERNAL INFECTION, EPILEPSY, STROKE, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, NAUSEA,VOMITING OR DIARRHEA,PARKINSON DISEASE,INFLUENZA,. COMMON COLD, LUPUS,ECZEMA,BACK PAIN,JOINT PAIN. .ETC .please email drrealakhigbe@gmail.com    or whats APP him  ..+2348142454860  he is a real good and honest man.  
    website...  https:drrealakhigbe.weebly.com

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  18. There are some natural remedies that can be used in the prevention and eliminate diabetes totally. However, the single most important aspect of a diabetes control plan is adopting a wholesome life style Inner Peace, Nutritious and Healthy Diet, and Regular Physical Exercise. A state of inner peace and self-contentment is essential to enjoying a good physical health and over all well-being. The inner peace and self contentment is a just a state of mind.People with diabetes diseases often use complementary and alternative medicine. I diagnosed diabetes in 2013. Was at work feeling unusually tired and sleepy. I borrowed a glucometer from a co-worker and tested at 760. Went immediately to my doctor and he gave me prescription like: Insulin ,Sulfonamides, but I could not get the cure rather to reduce the pain and brink back the pain again. I found a woman testimony name Comfort online how Dr Akhigbe cure her HIV  and I also contacted the doctor and after I took his medication as instructed, I am now completely free from diabetes by doctor Akhigbe herbal medicine.So diabetes patients reading this testimony to contact his email     drrealakhigbe@gmail.com   or his Number   +2348142454860   He also use his herbal herbs to diseases like:SPIDER BITE, SCHIZOPHRENIA, LUPUS,EXTERNAL INFECTION, COMMON COLD, JOINT PAIN, BODY PAIN, EPILEPSY,STROKE,TUBERCULOSIS ,STOMACH DISEASE. ECZEMA, PROGERIA, EATING DISORDER, LOWER RESPIRATORY INFECTION, MALARIA, BACTERIA DIARRHEA, DENGUE FEVER, HERPATITIS A&B, RABIES DIABETICS,HERPES,HIV/AIDS, ;ALS,  CANCER , BREAST INFECTION, MENINGITIS,HEPATITIS A AND B, THYROID, ASTHMA, HEART DISEASE, CHRONIC DISEASE. AUTISM, NAUSEA VOMITING OR DIARRHEA,KIDNEY DISEASE, WEAK ERECTION. EYE TWITCHING PAINFUL OR IRREGULAR MENSTRUATION.Dr Akhigbe is a good man and he heal any body that come to him. here is email    drrealakhigbe@gmail.com    and his Number +2349010754824

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  19. Am Richard, I am here to testify about a great herbalist  man who cured my wife of breast cancer. His name is Dr Imoloa. My wife went through this pain for 3 years, i almost spent all i had, until i saw some testimonies online on how Dr. Imoloa cure them from their diseases, immediately i contacted him through. then he told me the necessary things to do before he will send  the herbal medicine. Wish he did through DHL courier service, And he instructed us on how to apply or drink the medicine for good two weeks. and to greatest surprise before the upper third week my wife was relief from all the pains, Believe me, that was how my wife was cured from breast cancer by this great man. He also have powerful herbal medicine to cure diseases like: Alzheimer's disease, parkinson's disease, vaginal cancer, epilepsy Anxiety Disorders, Autoimmune Disease, Back Pain, Back Sprain, Bipolar Disorder, Brain Tumor, Malignant, Bruxism, Bulimia, Cervical Disc Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Neoplasms , chronic respiratory disease, mental and behavioral disorder, Cystic Fibrosis, Hypertension, Diabetes, Asthma, Autoimmune inflammatory media arthritis ed. chronic kidney disease, inflammatory joint disease, impotence, alcohol spectrum feta, dysthymic disorder, eczema, tuberculosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus disease, mouth ulcer, mouth cancer, body pain, fever, hepatitis ABC, syphilis, diarrhea, HIV / AIDS, Huntington's disease, back acne, chronic kidney failure, addison's disease, chronic pain, Crohn's pain, cystic fibrosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory Bowel disease, fungal nail disease, Lyme disease, Celia disease, Lymphoma, Major depression, Malignant melanoma, Mania, Melorheostosis, Meniere's disease, Mucopolysaccharidosis, Multiple sclerosis, Muscular dystrophy, Rheumatoid arthritis. You can reach him Email Via drimolaherbalmademedicine@gmail.com / whatsapp +2347081986098

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  20. I'm proud to say now that I am finally at a place where I have found something that works for me. Almost four years ago I began seeing a classical Homeopath. I was put on a constitutional remedy by Dr Itua herbal center who reside in west africa, and I am amazed at my healing thus far. I will continue to post what worked for me and what didn't in more blogs to come (as this one is getting quite long... and I'm not writing a book on here - not yet anyway). This discovery has not only helped the way I practice, but it has also given me further insight into the world of Herbal  medicine. I came to know more about Dr Itua on Tv Station when I was taking my regular organic coffee at javamania coffee spot I watched the whole scene on how he uses Natural herbs to cure disease like Herpes, Hiv/Aids, Cancers,HPV,Men & Women Infertility,Melanoma, Mesothelioma, Multiple myeloma, Neuroendocrine tumors,Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,Alzheimer's disease, chronic diarrhea, COPD, Parkinson's disease, Als And Diabetes, I was moved by his words then I took a confident step to contact him regarding my health condition Herpes & Prostate Cancer, He prepared his herbal medicine then sent it to me through Courier which I took as it's was instructed and I found myself healing symptoms are all gone I have being watching my health for years now and I finally confirmed that is a permanent cure like he told me at our first conversations so now I'm healthy and happy I purchase his herbal tea which I usually take in the morning before starting my day because it feels good to find addiction on natural herbs than medical drugs so is what I'm doing and loving it more and More to come later on blogs sooner I will be writing my book.I will advise you to contact Doctor Itua Herbal Center for any kind of permanent cure and herbal remedy.Doctor Itua Email Contact: drituaherbalcenter@gmail.com Also On Whats-App Calls: +2348149277967.

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