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Topic Title: Finally, the BIG 3
Topic Summary: UPDATE 30 MONTHS FIN, 13 MONTHS FUE (pics on post #1)
Created On: 04/18/2012 07:01 AM
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 04/18/2012 07:01 AM
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dodgePT
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Posts: 1375
Joined: 03/29/2012

Hi, I already told my story in others threads, but might as well tell it here too, because I'm finally doing it, I'm using the BIG 3.

I don't know why it took me so long to decide. I guess life got in the way and despite being depressed with my hair loss, I never did something about it.

It all started when I was 20/21, someone told me I was going to be bald by 30.
Fortunately, that person was wrong, and I still had a good head of hair by that age even though I did nothing to fight it and had big recession on the hairline.

My hairline kept receding but I did nothing, mostly because I still had success with the ladies and work also kept me busy.
Last Autumn I had a big shed and besides my receded hairline, now I had my scalp for everyone to see (diffuse thinning on top), due to the enormous amount of hair I lost. So I decided I'd do something, and started to research, mainly (of course) in forums like this one.

I'm 36 years old, almost 37 and I know I shouldn't create many expectations. I'm healthy, and I'm never sick (stressed a lot sometimes, maybe, but not sick).
I've been doing minoxidil for the past 70 days, twice daily and nizoral 2% twice a week; my results are good, I see a lot of regrowth and its only been 2 months.
Now, I know minoxidil is elusive, and my mpb will resume in 2 years max.

So I was thinking about ordering the fin online, but took the chance and went to the pharmacy.
I asked if they could sell it to me without a prescription, and they said they could.
I bought a pack of 60 units of 5mg generic Finasteride (Zentiva brand) and it only cost me 13.30€!??? If I split the pills in quarters I'll have Fin for 8 months for only 13 euro!!!

The pills are also very small, I might need a microscope to cut them . The pharmacist also told me she thought that 1.25mg/daily wasn't enough for me to see good results... any ideas on this?

My goal: at least, maintain the hair I have.
Bonuses: regrowth and maintenance of the recently lost hair.

Here goes nothing

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//UPDATE 15 MONTHS FIN//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

So these are my current results, 15 months after starting finasteride.

I know I said I would reveal them earlier, but I felt like finasteride was just starting to work at the one year mark, so I decided to wait.
Now that I look back, I think I suffered from something like reverse BDD, if there is such a thing. I've been fooling myself all these years, thinking it wasn't that bad. It really was that bad, I was reaching my final pattern.
It creeped up on me and I got used to my bald look. The 2011 photo is the result of 19 years (or more) of untreated AGA.
I think that now, fin is really kicking in, my hair is stronger than ever, I just lack density in most areas. The regrowth I have grows very slowly but it's gradually improving.

I bought a new camera 4 months after starting treatments, so all progress pictures prior to july 2012 are either from a shitty tablet I have, or from my hd camcorder, which also takes crappy pictures if the lighting is not right.

By the way, all dates are dd-mm-yyyy format.
In case you want to see my ugly head in higher resolurtion, here's the link to my album at flickr

Me, back in 1991:


This is me, with no signs of hair loss, back in 92 I think. I was 17 and little did I know that I was just about to start losing my hair. Propecia was just about to be approved for hair loss, and I had no clue.
Everybody complimented my hair, and I was proud of it. I was very successful with the ladies and life was good




Two years later, already with some temple recession. I didn't notice it at first.



Fast forward 10 years, me and my 'buzz look'. I didn't think much about hair loss at this stage, it seemed it had slowed down substantially since it stopped receding. I was a NW3 at this stage, but kept thinking it wasn't too bad.
I had no problems getting girlfriends and lived a bohemian life, worked at night clubs as a barman inbetween jobs.




Some more photos of the evolution of my AGA.
You can see the thinning on the crown appearing in 2005, again, I didn't notice it.
Sometimes I would grow it out a little, just to see how things were going. They were going bad if you ask me...










I went through 3 years where I practically just worked and slept and stress was constant.
This is me at work, I was programming java in this pic
I was virtually bald and felt miserable. My hair on top stopped growing, I'd have to cut the sides and back 3 or 4 times before cutting the top.




This is me at my worst. 2 months after starting minox I was balder than ever before.
After my first shed, I was slick bald and thought there was no hope for me. I manned up and did what I should have done back in 94. Twenty days later, I started finasteride 1.25mg.




I'll let the progress pictures speak for themselves, I'm very sorry for the 'baseline ones', they're at a pretty terrible resolution, because my camera was broken.
Also, I don't have real baseline pics, I didn't think at the time I would want to document my progress.









Please note that baseline pictures are taken without flash.













A picture of some of the stuff I used (and I'm still using):




The 'money shot':



Thoughts about my progress:

My progress has been very slow and sometimes I didn't know what to think when I compared baseline pictures.
The results I had at the 1 year mark were good, but nothing spectacular. The quality of the hair never stopped improving after the awful first shed and I had a couple of remarks from my friends about the improved quality of the hair, but that was it.

I improved and got worse during the treatment, I had waves of growth of vellus/miniaturized hair, that I'd shed 2 or 3 months later.
Those were hard times, I was desperate and never been so bald in my life. I knew I was doing the right thing, so I just kept with it, but I started thinking maybe it was too late for me to stop my hair loss.
Whenever I felt down about the treatment, I'd read the fin studies we all know, just to keep reminding myself it works. Some posts from the more knowledgeable users on this forum also helped me go through the hard times, I'd usually feel more reassured after reading them (thank you D2, Farrel, Bryan, morgan, to name a few).


I also found out the minoxidil I've been using was of poor quality or wrongly formulated. It was manipulated at the pharmacy, I should have noticed almost all minoxidil would stay on the skin and not penetrate it, my scalp would look white when it dried.
I don't know if the problem was the vehicle or maybe the minoxidil wasn't well dissolved, but it wasn't working. So I switched to kirkland and spectral mx5 and have been using them for the last 2 months. I never got a case of "white scalp" again and I'm noticing more improvements.


I'm happy to have found this site and grateful for all the help you guys gave me. I never thought I'd get a result like this and although I'm an atheist, I feel blessed.
I know I still look bald and heavily receded, but I managed to stop my hair loss and improved my scalp coverage after 19 years of balding, and that's more than I could ask for.
I feel and look younger and I'm sure finasteride helped me on the mental department. I never had a panic attack again, only good and bad days, as usual.
Now I'm considering a HT to fill in the front and the crown, my donor area is thick as hell, I got a lot of 4 haired follicles there. By the end of this year, I'll take the journey or at least I hope so.


Btw, I kept a personal log which helped me being objective when comparing pictures. I know what my feelings were at the time, and how I perceived my progress, it's very useful.
I'm still compiling the micro photos, but they look a bit ambiguous and it was hard to find the same spot everytime when matching in photoshop, so I'm still deciding if I'll post them. I might post more photos from now on, if something good or bad happens and I'll surely post them if I undergo the HT. I'm still growing new hair everyday and I don't think my progress will stop here, I think thecrown is finally starting to respond.


My advice:
Believe in science and what's clinically proven. You can't go wrong.


//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//UPDATE 13 MONTHS AFTER 1ST FUE//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

So, here we go again.

Another update, this time, 13 months after my first hair transplant, 30 months after starting treatment.
I've been contacted by some users requesting pics from my procedure and current progress, so here they are.
For those who asked earlier who my surgeon was, sorry, but I won't be revealing it, mainly because I'm not advertising an unfinished work and also because I've been quoted for my 2nd hair transplant and I didn't get a discount...
Maybe I'll reveal my surgeon's name after my 2nd HT, but only if I feel completely satisfied about the final result, which I'm currently not, because I have some thinning to address behind the hair line.
Sorry about the quality of the pics, I took them with my phone (my girlfriend accidentally broke my camera), except for some of the procedure ones. Also, I must warn some of them are bloody, so don't scroll down if you're susceptible.

Enough talk, here are the pics:

THE PROCEDURE///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////








DONOR AREA, 6 DAYS AFTER THE PROCEDURE////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




2 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////








3 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////






4 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE, WHEN THINGS STARTED HAPPENING//////////////////////////////////////////









5 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////









6 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE, I WAS ECSTATIC AT THIS POINT!////////////////////////////////////





7 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




8 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




9 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




10 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////




11 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////







12 MONTHS AFTER THE PROCEDURE, WITH SOME CONCEALER//////////////////////////////////////////////////////




So, here's where I'm at.

It's not perfect, but if you compare the before and after:



... it's pretty amazing, isn't it?

My surgeon said I still have at least another 3000 grafts available.
I feel my hair is still thickening from the treatment, those hairs I saved with fin/minox become stronger at each cycle and I just wish this trend continues.

I wish this post brings hope to some of you, I never thought I'd have hair at 40, but now, I just want more and more


Cheers!

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}

Edited: 12/15/2014 at 04:27 PM by dodgePT
 04/18/2012 07:27 AM
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daniel1978
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You`re crazy buying generic fin..anything could be in it and you`re playing a dangerous game of chance with your body. You may be congratulating yourself on the cheap price but it`s probably cheap for a reason
 04/18/2012 07:33 AM
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dodgePT
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Thanks for the reply, but I'll take the chance anyway. Composition clearly states each pill has 5mg finasteride. Is generic finasteride different from branded one, or you're just saying that because of the 'generic meds low control/quality' myth?

Besides, I bought it in a pharmacy (I may be self-medicated but I didn't buy it on the internet)

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}
 04/18/2012 07:35 AM
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Erick.
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I wouldn't trust any pharmacy that is willing to sell prescription medication without a prescription.

1.25mg is more than enough to see good results... the only reason I take this dose is because I can't be bothered cutting the tabs into 1/8th.

-------------------------
24/M
Piroctone Olamine 0.75%
 04/18/2012 07:36 AM
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dodgePT
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As anyone noticed less body hair while on fin? Is it really true you may shed some body hair?

That would be great for me, since I'm quite hairy in the legs


edit: this is the webpage of Zentiva, they look legit...

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}

Edited: 04/18/2012 at 09:24 AM by dodgePT
 04/18/2012 06:24 PM
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daniel1978
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I`ve been on fin for over 18 months and have noticed a reduction in body hair ...a good thing IMO.

The website you put up or company should I say is based in the czech rep one of the poorer countries in Europe so it`s complete pot luck whether they are genuine or not. As the earlier poster said, anyone selling it without perscription especially a pharmacy must be viewed with suspicion. Eastern european countries and places like India are notorious for selling cheap generic rubbish so be careful.

BTW I`m 33 and fin isn`t strong enough to halt MPB just with minoxidil/nizoral or at least wasnt for me so I added Dutasteride and have seen decent results after 18 months of nothing on the others.
 04/19/2012 03:21 AM
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dodgePT
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Thanks for the feedback, daniel and Erick. I guess time will tell if it works or not, if I notice no results after 6 months, I can always start buying Proscar, at least I know they'll sell it to me w/o prescription on that pharmacy.
And maybe I'll get a taste of the side effects, that would definitely confirm it is legit (if it's not psychosomatic).

I've seen testimonies of guys our age with great results on the BIG 3, one of them was even older then us and he went from NW4+ to NW2 in just 9 months. It all depends on whether you're a good responder or not, if you lost your hair 1 or 10 years ago (that's why the hairline is the most difficult to restore, since usually, it's the first to go), etc. But age is also important, because the most part of the BIG success stories are from guys in their 20s.

As for the body hair, it just gotta be related to mpb... I mean, in the last years, I've notice a growth of body hair, proportional to the advance of my hair loss.
Every single time I noticed a difference for worse in my hair, I also noticed I had more hair in other body parts, like legs, arms, chest, back and even my beard.
Of course, its all part of the aging process, but nevertheless, just as an example, my best friend is the same age as I am, and he's got half the body fur I got, with no signs of mpb...

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}
 04/19/2012 10:14 AM
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Erick.
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If it's legit you should notice more watery ejaculate in the first month or so. I don't think there's any way to avoid that particular side effect.

I think you'll find that a lot of guys with MPB also have a lot of body hair because it indicates high DHT levels.

-------------------------
24/M
Piroctone Olamine 0.75%
 04/19/2012 03:02 PM
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dodgePT
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Originally posted by: Erick.

If it's legit you should notice more watery ejaculate in the first month or so. I don't think there's any way to avoid that particular side effect.


Ok, I'll definitely check that one out

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}
 04/19/2012 07:38 PM
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KO
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Not true...I didn't that particular side, and I'm on propecia.
 04/20/2012 04:28 AM
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dodgePT
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Originally posted by: KO

Not true...I didn't that particular side, and I'm on propecia.


What sides did you have KO, if any?
Am I suppose to feel something from day 1 or does it take time to settle? I read many testimonies, but few are from guys in their thirties.

edit: I know this is my second day on fin, but something is definitely happening, must be from minox... my hair got darker and I'm sure it feels more stiff and full, must be from the countless thin minox hairs all over the top.

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}

Edited: 04/20/2012 at 04:38 AM by dodgePT
 04/20/2012 10:09 AM
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GrowGoddammit
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Hey dodge, I'm a few years younger but our stories are similar in a lot of ways so I'll always keep an eye out for your updates.

I'd guess I've been using Nizoral off and on for a couple years as part of my half-ass stabs to do something about my very slow, but steady loss. Finally started minox mid-December 2011 and rounded out the big 3 by ingesting my first piece of Fincar in mid-January this year.

As far as side effects go, I'd say I've had only one that really stood out...an almost immediate spike in my aggression level. On my second day on fin, I just snapped on somebody like I never have in my life. Before, you'd almost have had to literally punch me in the mouth to evoke that sort of reaction from me. I just completely lost control of myself for a minute...very surreal and pretty scary to be honest. Nothing even remotely close to that has happened since then and now that I've experienced it and aware it's a possibility for me, I feel like I can prevent it from happening again.

My only side effect of minox (I assume it's the minox) was discovering a few eyelash-type hairs sprouting on the INSIDE corners of my eyes a little over a month ago! Pretty bizarre to see that happening, but I just carefully plucked them out and they haven't revisited since.

Didn't *and won't* be taking any pics, but I've been surprisingly pleased with my results already...and that's coming from one of the most skeptical people you'd ever come across. I've noticed an increased darkness and thickness overall and also "the itch" is all but completely gone. I will keep my natural tempered enthusiasm, but I'm genuinely looking forward to what the coming months may bring.

Happy growing.
 04/20/2012 11:30 AM
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daniel1978
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Theres no way you could see results from fin after a few days..give it 12-18 months although the only results I saw was from Dut which literally improved me by one norwood within 6 weeks. I take the 2 together and have noticed some drop in libido although I have no problems getting it up so to speak.

Interesting what people say about agression levels..since starting dut I`ve noticed my aggression levels are higher, maybe to do with the testosterone not converting to DHT so being at a higher level throughout the body.

Minoxidil is an extremely dangerous drug in my opinion..any drug that messes around with blood pressure should be left alone. I was on it for ten years and started getting chest pains,palpitations. Came off it and they went so I restarted minoxidil and they came back, went off it again permanently.
 04/20/2012 12:27 PM
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RSR40
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I'm still getting results even at 26 months into Big 3. I am 40, was a diffuse thinner on top of whole head. First results for me came at 5-6 months, big changes by 10 months. At 18 months, it seems like things started improving faster and it has stayed continually positive until now at 26 months. Good luck Dodge.
 04/20/2012 01:48 PM
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Erick.
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Originally posted by: KO
I didn't that particular side, and I'm on propecia.


How old are you? You probably had a larger than normal prostate to start with.

-------------------------
24/M
Piroctone Olamine 0.75%
 04/20/2012 01:49 PM
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Erick.
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Originally posted by: dodgePT
Am I suppose to feel something from day 1 or does it take time to settle?


My hairline stopped itching within a few days of starting on fin. I didn't notice anything else other than an initial testosterone surge which has since settled.

-------------------------
24/M
Piroctone Olamine 0.75%
 04/20/2012 02:31 PM
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dodgePT
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Thanks for the hints, guys. Nothing to report so far, on the sexual sides I mean

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}
 04/20/2012 04:00 PM
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KO
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Originally posted by: Erick.

Originally posted by: KO

I didn't that particular side, and I'm on propecia.




How old are you? You probably had a larger than normal prostate to start with.


24....I do get acne from it though.
 04/20/2012 04:02 PM
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KO
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Originally posted by: dodgePT




What sides did you have KO, if any?

Am I suppose to feel something from day 1 or does it take time to settle? I read many testimonies, but few are from guys in their thirties.



edit: I know this is my second day on fin, but something is definitely happening, must be from minox... my hair got darker and I'm sure it feels more stiff and full, must be from the countless thin minox hairs all over the top.


I only got acne which is not a "traditional" side, but a hyperandrogenic reaction apparently.

You should not notice any difference in one day. It seems you're likely to hallucinate about seeing hair/growth loss, so I would take pictures with a monthly gap to keep track instead of looking at it daily. Give it at minimum 6 months.
 04/20/2012 04:50 PM
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dodgePT
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Originally posted by: KO

Originally posted by: dodgePT









What sides did you have KO, if any?



Am I suppose to feel something from day 1 or does it take time to settle? I read many testimonies, but few are from guys in their thirties.







edit: I know this is my second day on fin, but something is definitely happening, must be from minox... my hair got darker and I'm sure it feels more stiff and full, must be from the countless thin minox hairs all over the top.




I only got acne which is not a "traditional" side, but a hyperandrogenic reaction apparently.



You should not notice any difference in one day. It seems you're likely to hallucinate about seeing hair/growth loss, so I would take pictures with a monthly gap to keep track instead of looking at it daily. Give it at minimum 6 months.


I've been on minoxidil for almost 70 days now, so I think I'm not hallucinating (at least, I hope I'm not, because these kind of treatment can get you a little paranoid ). I started FIN a couple of days ago, that's why I mentioned minox as being the culprit.

As for the acne, I always had good skin, even in my puberty, no acne whatsoever. But I do have some body hair, mainly chest, arms and legs, sign of hyperandrogeny and a thick beard, have to shave every other day to look presentable, although I was told I looked good with trimmed beard.

-------------------------
Regimen:
[5mg finasteride] 04-18-2012
[keto 2% shampoo]
[FUE 3700 FU] 11-04-2013



for($hair=0; $hair<100000; $hair++) {
echo $hair;
}
Hair Loss Help » Hair Loss Open Topic » Finally, the BIG 3

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