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Jorge Araujo, Associated Press
In this photo taken Dec. 10, 2011, Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez, right, gestures as her Vice President Amado Boudou smiles after their swearing-in ceremony at the government house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fernandez has thyroid cancer, but it has not spread and will be surgically removed on Jan. 4, and then she will take 20 days of medical leave, during which Boudou will run the country, Alfredo Scoccimarro, Fernandez's spokesman said Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentine President Cristina Fernandez is cracking jokes and insisting she will never give up after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

In her first appearance since the cancer announcement, Fernandez joked about her difficulties in delegating power while warning allies not to sabotage her government's accomplishments in social justice and economic growth.

She also asked for help, saying that, "One person alone can't do it all. ... The body can't handle it."

Fernandez will undergo surgery next Wednesday and then leave her vice president in charge for 20 days, but she has never been comfortable delegating power. Doctors expect a speedy recovery, since this kind of cancer is highly curable without chemotherapy.