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Debora’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep friends and family updated about Deb's progress.

My Story is the introduction to our CaringBridge site.

Be sure to read the latest in the journal, view the photo gallery, and drop us a line in the guestbook.

Deb was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer in mid February 2007. On March 7th Deb had modified radical mastectomy surgery at the U of M Medical Center, Fairview. The left breast was removed along with 37 lymph nodes--the primary and axillary nodes above the armpit and behind the breast. Of those, 7 tested positive for metastatic carcinoma. The maximum size in the lymph was equal to or less than 1 cm and 'extranodal extension' was absent which is very good. The tumor from the breast is infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It was located in the lateral and left outer quadrant of the breast. Measuring 6.8 x 5.7 x 1.8 cm (picture a sort of citrus fruit segment shape). The invasive component is Grade 2 (on the Bloom Richardson scale) which is considered 'intermediate'. The tumor displays a high-grade micropapillary pattern that can be aggressive. However, the margins were negative with the closest edge measuring .3 cm. This means that the surgery was successful in removing the tumor and the affected lymph nodes so no further surgery will be necessary. The overall assessment, of the cancer is stage III A. In medical terms this is often expressed T3/N1 (T refers to the tumor and N refers to the lymph nodes) Deb is recovering from surgery and will soon begin chemotherapy followed by hormone therapy and radiation. She will likely finish the adjuvant therapy by the end of the year.
May 21, 2010. We have learned that Deb's cancer has returned. Please read the journal entry for more detail.

Latest Journal Update

Debora Anne Miller

Debora Anne Miller, a photographic artist who made her home in Minneapolis, MN, died of breast cancer on February 28, 2013. She was 46.
Born a twin into a large family in Portland, Maine on June 7, 1966, she grew up largely in the western United States. She graduated from Wallace High School in Wallace, ID, in 1984 and went on to study international relations at Macalester College in Saint Paul.
After moving to Minneapolis she soon met and fell in love with John Andrew McQuigg of Ohio. They were married in 1992 and settled in the Seward neighborhood. In 2000, she gave birth to their son, Roan Zane McQuigg, whom she lovingly referred to as her Magnum Opus.
An artist who often found the sublime in the mundane, Deb transcended her six-year battle with breast cancer time and time again to create beauty through her photography and installation works. Major works include the solo installation with projection called "Accretion" at ARThouse New London (2009); "MURMUR," a large-scale interactive projection presented as part of the first Nuit Blanche festival (Northern Spark 2011); and her exploration of twinship in "I'm not me, she's over there" at the Susan Hensel Gallery (2013). She shared her ideas about her work on her blog at
Her parting has left a hole in the hearts of many, who take solace in her clarity of purpose, her embrace of joy, and her love of life. She will be dearly missed and always remembered by her husband of 21 years, Andy, and their 12-yr-old son, Roan; her parents, Martha Calabretta and Joseph H. Miller IV, and stepparents, Bennie Calabretta and Dana Roberts; her seven siblings: Joseph Miller V, Patrick Miller, her twin sister Rebecca Miller, John Miller, Ben Calabretta, Lisa Calabretta, and Noe Roberts; many beloved aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; and innumerable friends.
Deb's keen eye, loving embrace, robust humor, and joyful outlook will carry us through our saddest and happiest days. She will be celebrated at a memorial gathering and wake March 30, 2013 in Minneapolis (see details below).
In lieu of flowers, the family is looking for support to endow an arts grant to be developed in honor of Deb ( ). Donations can also be made in her name to the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center ( ).