Where one woman found necessary support after a cancer diagnosis.

Natasha Rossi believed she had the perfect life.

She had two awesome kids — two and a half-year-old identical twins — and the love and support of her boyfriend, Desi. Life, she thought, could only get better.

All photos via Upworthy/Walgreens.

Then, in January 2019, she was hit with some of the hardest news that anyone can hear.


"Hearing those words, 'you have cancer,' my life changed forever," Natasha says. Learning that she'd been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer — one of the most aggressive forms of the disease — challenged Natasha to her core. She didn't know if she'd ever get her fairytale life back. Or if she'd even get to see her twins grow up.

"I broke down and went into a really dark place for a couple of weeks," she remembers. "I stayed in my room and I kept the curtains closed and I kept the phone off. I was left in those thoughts of fear and anxiety and sadness."

Natasha's boyfriend refused to leave her in that place.

Desi knew that Natasha couldn't stay in her room forever, so he tried his best to pull her out of the deep depression her diagnosis had understandably brought on. He told her that no matter what, she needed to be there for her kids. They needed their mom.

"Desi has been my biggest advocate in all of this," Natasha says. "He pushes me when I need to be pushed." With his support, she was ready to take on anything life threw at her.

When she looked in the mirror though, it was hard for her not to see someone living with cancer. Though she was still the same woman on the inside, on the outside many things had become different.

Treatment had caused Natasha's hair to fall out and her skin had changed so much as a result of chemotherapy that she didn't even know how to do her makeup anymore.

Natasha wanted to feel like herself again. She knew she needed help. She didn't know it was available just a few blocks away.

Where do you go when you need to relearn how to apply makeup as an adult? Who can help you adapt to the changes that cancer treatments have caused? A doctor's job is to treat the disease, but who do you go to for help on how to manage the loss of your eyelashes?

For Natasha, the answer was Walgreen's and their "Feel More Like You" program, which gives people living with cancer the tools they need to look and feel the way they want to during the toughest time of their lives absolutely free of charge.

At Walgreens, Natasha met with a specially-trained beauty consultant who helped her choose the right makeup and explained how to apply it. She also met with a pharmacist who had an expert knowledge of chemotherapy to discuss ways in which she could alleviate the side effects of the treatment she's undergoing.

All that support is helping Natasha be the person she was before the diagnosis; a person who loves to put on makeup and feel beautiful when she looks in the mirror.

Feeling better about her appearance, Natasha says, is making her journey easier.

"If you feel good, your body's going to start to react to that," Natasha says. Getting advice on how to feel her very best is helping her regain her confidence and merge "the old Natasha" with who she is today.

"I'm seeing life in my eyes where there wasn't life in my eyes," she says. "I feel more like me."

Whatever her future holds, Natasha's going to see it through with confidence, courage and love for herself.

Natasha is ready for the journey that awaits her. She knows that it's going to be difficult, but she also knows that the support she gets from her loved ones will make living the life that she wants to live possible. And now that she feels more like herself again, Natasha is seeing the positive more and more.

"When you're diagnosed with cancer, it's very easy to fall into the routine of being tired and dealing with your side effects," she says. Now I'm walking away with confidence, feeling beautiful, feeling like I can take on the world."

"When people are looking at me, they're not seeing a woman with cancer. They're seeing a woman."

To learn more about Natasha's journey, check out this video.

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Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

"Can I buy you a drink?" is a loaded question.

It could be an innocent request from someone who's interested in having a cordial conversation. Other time, saying "yes" means you may have to fend off someone who feels entitled to spend the rest of the night with you.

In the worst-case scenario, someone is trying to take advantage of you or has a roofie in their pocket.

Feminist blogger Jennifer Dziura found a fool-proof way to stay safe while understanding someone's intentions: ask for a non-alcoholic beverage or food. If they're sincerely interested in spending some time getting to know you, they won't mind buying something booze-free.

RELATED: States are starting to require mental health classes for all students. It's about dang time.

But if it's their intention to lower your defenses, they'll throw a mild tantrum after you refuse the booze. Her thoughts on the "Can I buy you a drink?" conundrum made their way to Tumblr.

via AshleysCo / Tumblr


via AshleysCo / Tumblr

The posts caught the attention of a bartender who knows there are lot of men out there whose sole intention is to get somone drunk to take advantage.

"Most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality," the bartender wrote. "They're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down."

So they shared a few tips on how to be safe and social when someone asks to buy you a drink.

From the other side of the bar, I see this crap all the time. Seriously. I work at a high-density bar, and let me tell you, I have anywhere from 10-20 guys every night come up and tell me to, "serve her a stronger drink, I'm trying to get lucky tonight, know what I mean?" usually accompanied with a wink and a gesture at a girl who, in my experience, is going to go from mildly buzzed to definitively hammered if I keep serving her. Now, I like to think I'm a responsible bartender, so I usually tell guys like that to piss off, and, if I can, try to tell the girl's more sober friends that they need to keep an eye on her.
But everyone- just so you know, most of the time, when someone you don't know is buying you a drink, they're NOT doing it out of a sense of cordiality, they're buying you a drink for the sole purpose of making you let your guard down.

Tips for getting drinks-

1. ALWAYS GO TO THE BAR TO GET YOUR OWN DRINK, DO NOT LET STRANGERS CARRY YOUR DRINKS. This is an opportune time for dropping something into your cocktail, and you're none the wiser.

2.IF YOU ORDER SOMETHING NON-ALCOHOLIC, I promise you, the bartender doesn't give two shits that you're not drinking cocktails with your friends, and often, totally understands that you don't want to let your guard down around strangers. Usually, you can just tell the bartender that you'd like something light, and that's a big clue to us that you're uncomfortable with whomever you're standing next to. Again, we see this all the time.

3. If you're in a position to where you feel uncomfortable not ordering alcohol:
Here's a list of light liquors, and mixers that won't get you drunk, and will still look like an actual cocktail:

X-rated + sprite = easy to drink, sweet, and 12% alcoholic content. Not strong at all, usually runs $6-$8, depending on your state.
Amaretto + sour= sweet, not strong, 26%.
Peach Schnapps+ ginger ale= tastes like mellow butterscotch, 24%.
Melon liquor (Midori, in most bars) + soda water = not overly sweet, 21%
Coffee liquor (Kahlua) +soda = not super sweet, 20%.
Hope this helps someone out!

RELATED: Permit denied for 'straight pride' parade in California

If you do accept a drink from someone at a bar and you want to talk, there's no need to feel obligated to spend the rest of the night with them.

Jaqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach, says to be polite you only have to "Engage in some friendly chit-chat, but you are not obligated to do more than that."

If someone asks to buy you a drink and you don't want it, Whitmore has a great tip. "Say thank you, but you are trying to cut back, have to drive or you don't accept drinks from strangers," Whitmore says.

What if they've already sent the drink over? "Give the drink to the bartender and tell him or her to enjoy it," Whitmore says.

Have fun. Stay safe, and make sure to bring a great wing-man or wing-woman with you.

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There are reasonable arguments to be had on all sides of America's debates about guns.

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According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer spoke to state economists last week to explain why a proposed assault weapons ban would devastate gun manufacturers in the state. The proposed amendment, which is being led by the aunt of a student killed in the Parkland school shooting, would ban the future sale of assault rifles in Florida and mandate that current owners either register their guns with the state or give them up.

The back and forth between those proposing and opposing the amendment appears to be a pretty typical gun legislation debate. Only this time, the NRA lobbyist pulled out one of the most bizarre arguments I've seen yet.

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is a name you should remember. If you don't follow politics closely, remember his name because he's the first Republican in Congress to openly join the call for a renewed federal ban on assault weapons.

If you're a Democrat or a diehard progressive partisan, remember his name because it's proof that as a nation we can put principles before party and walk across the political aisle to get things done.

If you're a Republican, remember his name as evidence that real leadership in politics sometimes means risking your reputation to do what is right even when most of your colleagues disagree or lack the political courage to go first.

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