Even my boyfriend's dog, Peso, would lay with me when I took naps. I always called him my little "sleep assistant," because he would lay in the crook of my waist and stay with me, without budging. Certain days of chemotherapy were be hard. Just the sheer presence of having an animal at your side, not requiring anything of you, not asking for attention, was enough to make you feel as if you were not alone. And that was the gift I received: unconditional love.
San Diego photographer Adriene Hughes, now 48, created a series of self-portraits chronicling her 2004 diagnosis with stage II estrogen-positive breast cancer and the treatment ordeal that followed. Here, she is pictured with her boyfriend's dog, Peso. To see more of her photographs, view the slideshow.
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