Is moving to the united states a dream come true?

I am currently living in the US.  Personally it was never my dream to come here, But MANY Filipinos see coming to America as a dream come true.  I have written about some Filipinos who are willing to risk everything to come to the US and many Mexican nationals risk their lives for the opportunity to work menial jobs in the US illegally.

But why? Whats up with being in America? Is it really an awesome place? What is so special about this place that people do not want to go back to their own country?

Now that I am here, I can really see why Filipinos and other foreigners decide to stay here for good.  It is much more peaceful. It is 100% more stable economically.  The environment overall is more stable.  There are less catastrophes and calamities.  The disasters that do happen are prepared for in advanced and usually responded to promptly. Unlike the Philippines where every year promises a disaster that will affect the 30% of the inhabitants because of the dense population in such a compact area.  Typhoons, earthquakes, floods can wipe out many homes due to poor infrastructures and lack of preparation.moving-to-the-united-states

Some Americans would say that  United States of America is not a good place to live but for us Filipinos it is still a paradise and way more peaceful than the Philippines.  I feel safe here. I am not constantly guarding myself.  I do not feel worried as much about being robbed.  Philippines  is overpopulated and the crime rate is very high.  Everyday you can see accidents on the road. The news is always shocking. Like somebody killed on a street that you pass by daily.

middle class home

middle class home

The housing here is 100% better. Houses for sale in the market here are not raw and/or barely habitable.  In America, an old house built in 1970’s that would not be considered a first choice can still look attractive.  The prices are also reasonable for what you are getting. You can also get a good deal and a low interest rate if you have a really good credit score or refinance at the right time.  It is a dream come true for me to know that my husband and I will be able to afford a decent beautiful 3 bedroom house.  This would have been impossible for me to do in the Philippines without a ridiculous amount of money.  Being  middle class in the Philippines does not give you buying power to own a house because there is no credit system that is as thorough and consistent as in the US.

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courtesy of

You won’t struggle finding a job. In the Philippines, overpopulation means that many over qualified people are fighting for low paying jobs at fast food places.  The qualifications are getting higher and higher.  For example, a cashier job now in the Philippines requires at least a college degree.  I am not exaggerating.  That is how high the competition is there now. However here in the US, you can get a call center job (which is considered a good job in the Philippines) with a high school diploma.  Or easily get a sales associate job with no job experience.


Medical is expensive but modern.  You will not die in of a common illness in the United States.  As a developing country, it is not uncommon to see people dying of diabetes or pneumonia.  Local provincial hospitals often don’t have the resources to treat major trauma, in fact  they don’t even have a decent ER.  In the US, the medical treatment is so advanced that doctors can still save your life even if its so critical because of the technology.  With or without money your life will be saved. America is always evolving new ways to treat a disease.  In the Philippines, you are unlikely to survive without money.  You are more likely to die in the average hospital and the sad part about it is that many families don’t even have enough money to cover the burial expenses.  Many people are so poor and are barely surviving day to day.

Immigrating to America was definitely a smart move. It is way more advantageous. I feel safe here. I am not constantly fighting for my life and food. My brain is not in survival mode anymore.  I am faced with a wealth of choices everyday.  I do not feel trapped or in danger all the time so I feel at peace here. I do not feel the need of protecting myself everyday from all the dangers of an overcrowded, crime infested city where the police are  reluctant to help.  Women have equality and fair justice.  I do not feel scared that I will be harassed with no one to listen.  If anything does go wrong, I know that I have a better chance for justice.

i129f instructions Audiences questions

We have been getting a lot of questions about the fiance visa process.  A lot of the questions asked might be helpful to others so we decided to publish them for all to see.  Here is the second batch of Answers from my readers questions about the i129f process.

Answer: It takes about 4 months if everything is filed completely without missing documents.  From what we have heard from others who have contacted us the average time seems to be about 5 month, but if there are complications it can take much longer.

  • Q: What is NOA1?

Answer: NOA 1 is a Notice of Action receipt. It is a notification from USCIS that they received your i129f petition application payment.

  • Q: What is NOA 2?

Answer: NOA2 is a Notice of Action Approval Notice. It serves as a notification that your case has been approved.  NOA 2 can also be a request for evidence (RFE) if the petitioner did not send all necessary documents.

  • Q: Do i need a letter of intent from my fiancee with his signature, or just a photo copy of it?

Answer: A phototopy of letter of intent is valid. It is not necessary to bring the original copies of the letter of intent for both you and your fiance.

  • Q: What are the documents that I need to bring with me in my interview?

Answer: The documents that you will need to bring are a copy of DS-160 , your  passport, petitioners Form 1040 or Income Tax Return, I-134, W2 of your fiance from recent year, employment certificate of your fiance, photos, conversations of you and your fiance, divorce decree copy if your fiance has been divorced, an original copies of birth certificate, certificate of no marriage and NBI clearance (if you are from country other than Philippines, this may be called “police record”, “background check” or something like that.)  Interview experience here.

  • Do I need to bring a local police clearance during my interview (Philippines)?

Answer: No. You only need to bring the NBI clearance.

  • What is a background check (US petitioner)?

Answer: Background check is criminal investigation to check if the US petitioner has a criminal record.  The USCIS does this.  There are some crimes that may prevent a US petitioner from getting their beneficiary a K1.

  • Q: As the beneficiary, do I need to send all my original documents to my US petitioner in the submission of I 129 f petition?

Answer: No, you do not have to. You can scan your copies and sent it through email.

  • Q: Are the interview questions hard?

Answer: No, the interview is not hard. However practicing before the interview will help you get through it easily without pauses in answering.  The consular officer just wants to determine if the relationship is real and if the petitioner can care for the beneficiary.

  •  Q: During the interview, who are the interviewers, filipinos or american Consular Officers?

Answer: Both. The initial interview is conducted by a filipino consular officer. Second and final interview is conducted by the American Consular officer.

  • Q: Is sputum test included in my medical examination?

Answer: No. They only conduct a sputum test if something is found in your xray result.

  • Q: If the doctor finds something in my x-ray result during my medical, does that mean I am automatically denied?

Answer: No, you will not be automatically denied. However, more test will be conducted and you will have to undergo a few months of medication and/or treatment.


i-129f Petition Timeline

Below is a sample of i-129f Process Timeline.

The average time frame of an i 129f petition or k-1 visa is 4 months.

i-129 petition is fast when you file everything correctly. Proper documentation and an interview preparation for the beneficiary/applicant are very important for a successful process and in obtaining a quick fiance visa. Good luck to all the couples who are about to do the process! :-)


K1 Visa
Event Date
Service Center : California Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Manila, Philippines
I-129F Sent : 2014-04-22 – The date when the package was sent to USCIS.
I-129F NOA1 : 2014-04-27 – Received the first Notice of Action Receipt
I-129F RFE(s) :
RFE Reply(s) :
I-129F NOA2 : 2014-05-31 – Received the second Notice of Action Approval Notice Valid from 5/28/2014 to 09/27/2014
NVC Received : 2014-06-10 – National Visa Center received the Approval Notice.
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned : 2014-06-12 – Case Number created. Case # is used to track your visa status @
NVC Left : 2014-06-13 – Case sent to US Embassy Manila.
Consulate Received : 2014-06-16 – US Embassy Manila received my visa case mail from NVC.
Packet 3 Received : 2014-06-30 – Beneficiary received a letter from the US Embassy Manila
Packet 3 Sent : 2014-07-07
Packet 4 Received : 2014-07-14
Interview Date : 2014-08-07 – Interview questions here. Interview experience here.
Interview Result : Administrative Review – Approval was pending due to late arrival of medical result.
Second Interview
(If Required):
 If your case gets an AP or RFE (request for evidence) you can send an inquiry at under Provide Feedback section.
Second Interview Result: Approved
Visa Received : 2014-08-29 . Note: CFO Seminar is required before leaving the country.
US Entry : 2014-09-24 . Passport was stamped with a condition of marrying within 88 days. ( Not 90 days)
Marriage : 2014-11-27
Comments : download our checklist
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-129f was approved in 34 days from your NOA1 date.Your interview took 102 days from your I-129F NOA1 date.


i129f instructions & process – reader’s questions

After going through most of the fiance Visa process, making it to the US and posting my journey, I have received a lot of i-129 petition Reader’s questions.  Here are a few of them:


  • In the I-129 F petition, who recieves the NOA 1 (Notice of Action) & NOA 2?

Answer: Only the petitioner (US citizen) can receive the NOA 1 and NOA 2.

  • When the petitioner receives a letter from the NVC, what is the next step?

Answer: Once the case is sent to NVC, it sits there for 2 days.  NVC assigns an visa case number and sends it to the nearest embassy where the applicant’s interview will be held.

  • When does a beneficiary (fiance) receive a letter from the Embassy?

Answer: The applicant will only receive a letter when the visa is already sent to the nearest embassy where the applicant’s interview will be held.

  • What type of letter will the fiance (beneficiary) receives?

Answer: The applicant will receive a letter that contains instruction on what he/she is suppose to do next. It contains government website link and where to go for the medical examination.

  • Are you allowed to petition your fiance if you have not met in person?

Answer: Base on what I read from uscis website, it is stated there that the petitioner and applicant must have met within the 2 year period of relationship. They also require proof of meeting such as photos and as of when and where the meeting took place.

  • In filling out my DS-160, do I print out all the documents I have filled out or only the confirmation page?

Answer: No. You only print the confirmation page.

  • What is the normal process/sequence of the medical examination?

Answer: It is normally X-ray, Blood test, Physical examination where the doctor will also ask for your medical history, drug use, abortion, giving birth and alcohol history.

  • If I admitted experimental drug use during my medical at SLEC, does that mean that my visa is automatically denied?

Answer: No , you will not be. You will only be refused a visa if you are positive in the use of illegal substance during the medical examination.

  • Once I am already in the United states, when can I apply for my uscis i 485 Application to register Status/ AOS ?

Answer: You can apply for register of status as soon as you already have all the papers needed for the application such as SSN, Marriage Certificate, visa copy and the rest listed on the AOS checklist.

filipino nurses scammed

Teachers for Hire

An America processed the papers of filipinos trying to come to America for a large fee.  He advertised “Teachers for Hire” and offered to process their teaching certification and their H1b US working visa.  He was able to get them to the US but upon arrival they were left jobless as there were not enough jobs for them in his daycare center. They struggled for a few months but kept looking for a job.  They now owed thousands the to the guy that got them into the US on an H1b WORK visa with no job.

My cousin is a filipino American living in Washington DC.  She has been living there for almost a decade now.  She has mentioned a couple of times that there are lots of filipinos living around her neighborhood.  I asked her about it because she told me that most of the careers they have there are teaching in daycare centers.  The truth about their career is that they were not teachers by profession but nurses back in the Philippines. Their story all led to a job recruiter who owns a daycare center in Washington DC. The guy promised them a placement in his company for a corresponding price of more than 1 million pesos ($25,000.00).


Meanwhile the filipino teachers who worked at the daycare centers are barely surviving making $14.00 per hour.  They did not make a lot of money so they had to find cheap places to rent at a friend’s basement or a room in a filipino house for about $600.00 monthly.  Once they have settled, they also petitioned their husbands to come visit to the United States.  When their visa expires, they remained in the US.  They became jobless illegal immigrants.

Before the filipino nurses/teachers working visas expire, they were trying to figure out ways to remain in the United States.  A few of the ways they think will work is to find a guy to marry them so they can stay longer and eventually become a US citizen.  Some of the filipino women would even pay American citizens thousands of dollars to marry and stay in the US.

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courtesy of

Poverty and having less opportunities in the Philippines is what pushes filipinos in America to take risks and provide a better life for their family.  Luckily, the husbands who stayed in the United States with an expired visa are now working legally.  It has all changed recently because of President Obama’s program that now allows illegal immigrants to get a working visa in the US.

A difference between K3 visa and cr1 visa

The USA has (2) types of spousal visas:

  • Immigrant visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1) – An immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 is required. Learn more.
  • Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) – It is important to note that application for the nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) who married a U.S. citizen must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place. After the visa process has been completed, and the visa is issued, the spouse can travel to the United States to wait for the processing of the immigrant visa case. Two petitions are required:  Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, and Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F. Learn more.

    sample visa

K-3, nonimmigrant spousal visa and CR-1, immigrant spousal visa.  K-1 is just for fiances. According to  Same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), along with their minor children, are now eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses. Consular officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates will adjudicate their immigrant visa applications upon receipt of an approved I-130 or I-140 petition from USCIS.

Which one you choose really depends on your situation.  K-3 allows the foreign spouse of a US citizen to fly to the USA immediately after being issued a temporary K-3 visa.  Once the K-3 spouse is in the US,  he/she can apply for an adjustment of status to an immigrant and seek permanent residency.  CR-1 is a bit different.  It will take longer for the spouse to get to the US, however once she is there she is an immigrant and does not need a to adjust status.  CR-1 is like a faster track to permanent residency.

CR-1 spousal visa takes 10-16 months. An applicant can receive both CR 1 visa card and permanent residency card during the completion of the application process in her/his home country.  If USCIS is busy or delays the process, it can also prolong the time of when the spousal can receive a visa.

Types of filipino woman

The Philippines is truly a beautiful tropical paradise with hospitable people.  It is full of amazing beaches and tourist attractions.  You will find this country very interesting because of its history, culture and food.  The biggest asset in the Philippines for bachelors is definitely the variety of pretty, petite ladies all over the country.

Filipino women make the best wives in the world.  Why?  Because a filipino woman is trained to be a good wife from a young age.  Teaching girls to be good house wives seems to be a bit of a growing taboo in the Western world as women have had to fight to have the same jobs with equal pay as men and now face a complete change in roles and responsibilities.  But in the Philippines it is quite different.  A filipina already has the world on her shoulders.  She is expected to carry the weight of the the family in many cases.  She is often the bread winner as well as a mother.  A LOT is expected of a filipina at a young age.  Even before Europeans arrived to the Philippines, women had a very powerful role in tribal society.  They could be chiefs, they could do business AND they could divorce a man at will.  The modern filipina is still powerful.  There is still a fight for justice of filipinas, but they have succeeded even with all the odds stacked against them taking on powerful roles in business and politics.  Out of (15) presidents in the Philippines (2) have been women.  This does not sound like many but compare this to the current number male US presidents (44) and female US presidents (0) as of 2015 (Maybe Hilary will change this in 2016).  All that being said, in the Philippines a woman’s most important role is the be a mother and a wife.

If anything, filipinas have too much responsibility on their hands.  In the Philippines parents always nurture kids stressing the importance of family.  Girls are taught to treat their husband well, the importance of serving her husband, how to cook how to clean and care for the family.  In the Philippines, being a wife is a big responsibility. We are taught at home and in school that a mother/wife is the “light of a home.”  And without a good mother everything will not fall apart.  A mother stabilizes the home.  Her responsibility is to ensure everything at home is organized, clean, kids are taken care of and everything else that keeps the home peaceful.  There are several types of filipino women you will encounter during your dating search.  Some will be surprisingly amazing and some are shockingly violent. Not all will be a wife material but many of filipinas are. You just have to find the right one.


  1. Plain submissive filipino girl. They are the kind of filipina who does not have a problem in the world and just keep smiling, laughing and agreeing with what her partner will say. They just say yes all the time and do not take problems too seriously.
  2. Crazy filipina. You might meet crazy ones.  These crazy filipinas can be very violent that seems like they have mental problems.  They may have had a very bad childhood experience that causes them to have a hard time controlling themselves when something goes wrong.  Some are just plainly crazy and take their temper on their husbands.  Generally you cannot fix her problem. Only she can fix it.  If you encounter a filipino girl like that, your only choice is to back out quickly.
  3. Gold digger.  Every race always has the infamous “gold digger”.  I know that filipinas hold one of the world record on this one. The gold digger filipinas target the very kind foreigners. Not just marrying an american for a green card but they also dig into Europeans, Arabs, Japanese and Koreans. They are also good actresses. You should be able to balance yourself between love and lust with your filipina girlfriend. Which means do not trust her with all your bank accounts and assets.  Do not give access to her unless you know all about what she is up to. You would not want to see yourself devastated and broke by the time she leaves you.
  4. Hard Working girls. There are filipino women who are living life working there ass off. They have a job, a happy family and all they search for is a good man. The man does not need to be rich but should not be a deadbeat.
  5. Cam girl. A cam girl do online services, such as getting naked on camera or having an orgasm in exchange for money. They are plainly for business. You cannot expect them a relationship as they do it as a job. You will also not feel at ease because you knew her as a cam girl. You will not be able to trust that she will not talk to other guys anymore.
  6. Trapped or Lost filipina.  This type of filipina does not know what to do yet with her life.  As a result, she may make bad decisions.  She has not figure out yet what she wants in her life.  Your relationship with her will be a limbo.
  7. No strings attached.  Just like other nationalities, there are filipino girls who only want sex.  They might be in a relationship already but are not sexually satisfied or their partner might be overseas.  Some are freely hopping from guy to guy and do not want to be tied down with one person. They are happier with trying many than being with a one man relationship.
  8. Religious/Traditional filipinas.  Religious and Traditional filipinas have a world view based on the Bible.  They will also have a very strong family background. They are attached to their families and make decisions base on their parents advice. Religious filipinas are not likely to marry a person from a different religion.  They strongly believe in marriage before anything else can follow. Marriage comes first before sex and babies.  They are also the kind who will consult their parents before making big decisions.  They ask their parents for advice on what to do with their love life, career and relationships with people. They also have very decent families.  Marrying a filipina with a good family is a positive thing.  These filipinas are very well mannered.
  9. Serving filipina.  These filipinas are usually the submissive type but submissive filipinas are not always “serving type filipinas”.  There is a difference.  These types are “givers” who serve their partners fully.  Their husband always comes first.  These are the type of filipina that always gets things done and don’t need to be asked.  Since they serve to please their loved ones, they always aim to improve in their relationships.  This is not always true of the submissive type.
  10. Overly sweet filipinas.  This is the type of filipina who is overly into their partner. She is always kissing or hugging her guy.  She is always saying “I love you” uncountable times a day.  They may annoy their man by always calling or texting every minute and being overly affectionate.  They have a tendency to be overly jealous since they are overly in love and too attached to their man.  This normally happens to filipinas who are teens and age below 20.  If you are an older guy, it is better not to date a filipina like this since it may be too much for you.
  11. Cold  filipina. This is the total opposite of an “overly sweet filipina”.  They do not want to show any affection in public but show their love by action only when no one is watching.  They are not sweet and feel uncomfortable showing affection.

Detect breast cancer lumps

According to the Philippines Cancer Control Center, “Cancer is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines. Leading cancer sites/types are lung, breast, cervix, liver, colon and rectum, prostate, stomach, oral cavity, ovary and leukemia.”

The top three mortality cancer sites among females were breast, lung and cervix uteri.

How can women prevent Breast Cancer? 

  • Since older Filipino women are more likely to be afflicted by this disease, they should undertake some preventive measures to avoid breast cancer. (
  • Thomas A. Sellers, PHD says, “As many as 70% of known causes of cancers are avoidable and related to lifestyle,” this means having health diet, getting excessive and avoiding tobacco.  Avoid extra oily foods, sugars and switch to fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy whole grains, lean meat and sea fish, to maintain healthy and fit body.
    courtesy of

    courtesy of

  • Avoid the habits of drinking alcohol and smoking, as these habits enhance the risk of breast cancer.
  • Research shows that breast-feeding for one year may lower the risk of the disease (
  • Women should undergo yearly mammograms.

How to detect breast cancer symptoms

Every woman over the age of 40 has and elevated risk of getting breast cancer.  So it is best to get into the habit of checking regularly for any sign of breast cancer.

  •  It is best to check the breasts during baths or showers, for any kind of abnormalities or pain that can be an early symptom of breast cancer. The breasts should be caressed lightly with fingers to note down any form of a lump or any type of change in the breasts.
  • If you spot of any sudden deformity of the breasts, it should be immediately reported to a doctor.  The doctor may want to perform a clinical diagnosis to be sure about the formation of a lump within the breast tissues. Then the doctor may prescribe for a mammogram or MRI or even a biopsy, to be certain if the lump is cancerous or non-cancerous in nature.
  • Again, it is generally advisable to undergo screening mammogram at least once every year, to detect any presence of breast cancer at the earliest stage.

Treatment for breast cancer

The breast cancer is usually treated with the combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Sometimes hormone therapy is also involved, as per the intensity of the growth of cancerous cells within the affected breast. In case of advanced stage of breast cancer, the doctors may opt for the removal of the breasts through surgery, that is medically termed as Mastectomy, to prevent the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

filipino nurses

During President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address, he recognized filipina nurse Menchu de Luna Sanchez.  New York Registered nurse, Menchu, was an honored guest sitting in First Lady’s box.

Menchu’s praise came from her heroic acts of saving babies during a natural disaster. In 2013, Hurricane Sandy took out the power at the NYU Longone Medical Center.  This meant that the infants in intensive care could die.  Sanchez devised a plan to transport twenty at-risk infants to intensive care units around the city.

She also organized the nurses and doctors to carry the babies down eight flights of stairs with only cell phones to light the way.  Menchu’s home was flooding, but she only focused on the protecting the babies in her care.

Like Sanchez, many filipinos in America are working as nurses and care givers.  One of the main reasons that filipino nurses choose America over the Philippines is the economic situation.  The average RN in the Philippines earns only about 5% of what an RN is paid in the US.  Being a nurse is not easy.  It takes years and lots of money to gain their knowledge and experience so of course they expect to be paid a decent wage for their high level of skill. Another reason the choose America is that there is a large market for care givers and nurses in the US.  With such a huge aging population and not enough nurses in the US, there is definitely a demand to look overseas for competent medical professionals.

Since nurses in America earn as much as 20x what they could in the Philippines, and most send lots of money home once in the US, this actually helps the Filipino economy. This is known as “remittance”.  Filipino nurses are able to help their entire extended family (more info at globilization101).  According to globalizaiton 101, “Total remittances to the Philippines have grown substantially in recent years and reached $10.7 billion in 2005″.

The negative side of all the nurses moving to America is the huge nursing shortages in the Philippines.  In fact, across all educated workers, the Philippines is losing a LOT.  In the US, this sometimes called a “brain drain” and it normally happens when one country economy does very bad and workers have better options in another country.

Furthermore, turnover at Philippine hospitals is so high that even operating rooms are staffed with novice nurses. Because of the depletion of skilled medical workers, hundreds of hospitals in the Philippines have fully or partially closed, and medical care is disproportionately distributed, favoring industrialized cities and leaving rural areas with inadequate coverage (Lorenzo et al, 2007). – globalization 101

It is my sincere hope that the Filipino economy gets better so that they can retain heros like Menchu de Luna Sanchez in places that really need it.  In the meantime, at least nurses and other filipino professionals working abroad can stimulate the economy with billions of dollars in remittance.

breast cancer action

The Danger of Breast Cancer in Filipino Women and Its Cure

Breast cancer is now considered a deadly disease among the women.  Asian women other the age of 40 have the greatest risk.  Early awareness of this disease is important to catch the symptoms as quickly as possible.  Proper medical diagnosis at an early stage can save the lives of those affected.

Breast cancer has been on the rise in the Philippines.  A few years back, breast cancer could be diagnosed in Filipino women only in the last stage, mainly due to the lack of awareness about this disease.  But now several health organizations, the media and the government of Philippines has done a better job of spreading this vital knowledge among the Filipino women.

Common symptoms of breast cancer

Generally, unnatural changes of the breasts are regarded as a symptom of breast cancer. Immediate action can save lives.  The following symptoms can be signs of breast cancer:

  • A lump or unusual growth of certain breast tissues
  • The feeling of a pricking pain in the breast tissues or in the armpit
  • The development of rashes or crusts on the nipple of a breast, accompanied by frequent discharge of a liquid or even blood.
  • One breast may seem to be larger than the other one or suddenly sags downwards, unlike the other one.
  • Some changes in the original location or shape of the nipple may occur.
  • Parts of the breast skin may turn reddish.
  • The breast skin may become abnormally puckered or dimpled.
  • The armpit or the areas around the collarbone may be partially swelled too.


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