Faces of survival: Annette Dobyne

ANNETTE FRIERSON USRY DOBYNE

FAMILY: Husband: Bob Dobyne. Three grown children: Thomas Usry, Mike Usry and Vicky Bryan; three grandchildren: Savannah Lee Usry, Tommy Jackson and Terri Lynn Jackson; and one great-grandchild: Jordan Lynn Harvey, 9 months.

OCCUPATION: Former World Book Encyclopedia representative

DIAGNOSED: May 2006

WHAT HELPED: Family, friends, church and prayer. That's the most important thing. I tried to be a positive person. I think that's the only thing that gets you through cancer.

OUTLOOK: I learned on Sept. 11 at 10:45 a.m. that I am cancer free. That was a wonderful day. I did not let myself get down during this. I fought to stay well.

ADVICE: Have lots of friends. Go to church. If you don't feel like going, tune in to it on television. Eat five small meals a day. Don't try to make yourself eat big meals. When I got to the point of the metal taste in my mouth, I used plastic utensils. When that didn't work, I just ignored it. Laugh. People who laugh often live more. I kept water with me. No sodas or anything else - just water.

PERSONAL: I am 72. Shortly after my diagnosis, I cut 17 inches of my black hair to donate to Locks to Love. I knew my hair would fall out during treatment. I decided to donate it. My whole neighborhood went with me to cut it. They had wanted me to cut it for years. It's been about an inch long now. I'm letting it grow out. I have a lot hats - about 20 red ones. I've been a member of the Red Hat Classics of Augusta for seven years.

October is breast cancer awareness month