Holly's Story

Holly's story of breast cancer survival
The Road I'm on

The Road I’m on

In 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33.  It’s not really something you plan for, or even think could possibly happen to you.  This is my blog to talk about the experiences of my journey.

Pink Tie Guy

Pink Tie Guy

  For the last several years, the Knoxville affiliate of Susan G. Komen has selected 8 men to be community spokesmen, and advocates for breast cancer survivors and breast cancer awareness. The number is significant because one in eight women will be diagnosed...

2013 New Balance Survivor

2013 New Balance Survivor

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is always a special celebration of life and hope for our family, and this year was certainly no different.  What was different this year though, was that Holly was all decked out in brand new New Balance gear! 🙂  Holly was...

Race for the Cure 2012

Race for the Cure 2012

It’s that time of year again, time for the Komen Knoxville ‘Race for the Cure’.  This has become one of those days that we look forward to every year.  It is always such a fun time to hang out with friends and family and it is encouraging and inspiring to see all the...

Holly’s TV Debut

Holly’s TV Debut

    By now everyone is used to me being on TV; well this past week Holly got her time in the spotlight!  Our friends over at Komen Knoxville invited Holly to come on the Fox Morning Show here in Knoxville to talk about her breast cancer story and what the Race for the...

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2012

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2012

This time last year we were celebrating being done with cancer with our friends and families.  It’s hard to believe how quickly the time has gone by.  Holly has been done with everything for over a year now and life is no longer filled with doctor appointments.  It’s...

The Power of Community

The Power of Community

    Two years ago today, Holly was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I still remember that day like it was yesterday.  The Church that Holly and I attend created a video about us and how God ministered to us through our faith community during Holly’s cancer treatments...

The Difference a Year Makes

The Difference a Year Makes

Oh the difference a year makes.  This time last year Holly had gotten fed up with the scarves, and decided her hair was long enough to do without them.  This Easter, life is slowly getting back to normal.  Holly had highlights put in her hair the other day for the...

She did it!

She did it!

It’s funny what cancer will motivate you to do. After Holly completed her last chemo treatment she started making bucket-list type items of things she needed to do.  She needed to “start living” as she put it.  She went zip-lining and tried her hand at rock climbing…...

POTW: Holly’s Hooters!

POTW: Holly’s Hooters!

Last weekend was the annual Susan G Komen Race for the Cure event here in Knoxville and it was just an amazing time as usual.  It’s fun to see all the survivors interacting with each other and celebrating life together.  There is such an energy about downtown during...

POTW: Survivors

POTW: Survivors

This weekend we finally got to meet a couple who have grown very dear to us during Holly’s fight against breast cancer.  Lisa Kavanaugh and her husband Bob drove down from Columbus, OH to participate in the Race for the Cure with our team.  Lisa has been such a great...

POTW: Strides Against Breast Cancer

POTW: Strides Against Breast Cancer

  This weekend has been an amazing weekend!  Holly and I have been wanting to celebrate being done with cancer in a big way with our friends and family who have been so supportive; and Saturday was the day.  Holly and I got the Pearson Springs pavilion and had...

POTW: Tennessee Valley Fair

    So week before last my wife gets a text message from one of her good friends stating that her and possibly some other of her friends wanted to take her to a “secret location” this Friday to celebrate her having her port taken out.  Holly of...

POTW: Holly’s Special Day

    This past Tuesday Holly finished the last of her treatments and we had a totally awesome day!  She had told me some time ago that she really wanted to celebrate when she was finished… and also mentioned something about a cookie cake from Great...

The Best News Ever

Dan’s been on me to write here lately and I’m all about making him happy… 🙂 Today I got the best news since June 18, 2010. I had a CT scan yesterday and it came back normal! I’ve been struggling with whether I should have a scan or not. My thoughts have been I should...

POTW: Holly Climbs… Sort of

    You may remember from a couple months ago that Holly had made a vow to herself to ‘come out of her shell’ a bit and try some new things.  That manifest itself first with her going ziplining despite her fear of heights.  Well, next on her...

I finally have hair again!

I have hair again! After 7 months of wearing something on my head I have finally shed the scarves and started sporting a “boy cut”; though it’s not really a cut it’s just growing back. It’s still way short and not as thick as I thought it would be by this point, but...

POTW: Holly takes flight!

    So this week’s picture of the week is going to be a little different as there is a video to go along with it… there is really just more to this story then just one photo can tell.  Anyway, this weekend Holly and I went ziplining in Sevierville...

POTW: New Beginnings

    Easter Sunday is all about Christ’s love for us, and all about the awesome salvation story of His resurrection.  It’s about new beginnings.  A couple week’s ago, Holly really started getting irritated with wearing hats all the time and so...

My Biggest Support

   I'm using this blog to tell about my journey with breast cancer, but I want to make this post all about my biggest support....  DAN!  So if you don't want to read a bunch of mushy lovey dovey stuff, then skip this one. 🙂    Dan has...

Finally done with chemo!

I’M DONE WITH CHEMO!!! I couldn’t be happier about that, either! I’m about 6 weeks out from my last treatment which was December 27. At this point, my tastes have all gotten back to normal. Food is SO delicious now that I can’t stop eating. 🙂 I feel like I’m finally...

POTW: Done with chemo!

    This week’s picture of the week is really the picture of a lifetime.  It is a picture of success.  It is a picture of accomplishment.  It is a picture of Holly with some of her nurses and her Oncologist after she finished her final...

One bad treatment left

Coming up on my last treatment is huge.  I’m SO excited to get to say that I’m done, but at the same time I’m really dreading doing one more round.  I hate how the treatments make me feel, being run down and totally unmotivated to do anything.  Only one more, but...

Halfway Done with Chemo

Dan has suggested that I write some more since it has been a while since my last post and now I am officially halfway through my treatments. So here goes… Treatment 3 (halfway mark) has definitely been easier than the 2nd round of chemo. Physically I’ve been fine thru...

POTW: The power of pink

    This week’s picture of the week is of survivors… around 200 of them by my count, from the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in Knoxville.  The event was held yesterday, October 30, 2010 at the World’s Fair Park and was absolutely amazing. ...

My hair is gone

Monday (day 14 from chemo start) my hair started to come out just like they had said. It was like clockwork. I got up to go to the gym and as I combed thru my hair with my hands, it just came out. I put a hat on and went on to the gym. Later when I took a shower it...

First Treatment Down

I am officially one week past my chemo start date.  I’m happy to say that the week was much better than I had expected.  I wasn’t sick at all.  The worst part of it was taking the steroids; they really made me crazy.  I’ve had some side effects, but all minor compared...

A Race for the Cure

   Several of our friends and family have mentioned wanting to put together a Race for the Cure team to support Holly in her fight against breast cancer.  Holly's oldest sister Lora has put together a team ('Holly's Hooters') for this year's race in Knoxville.  The...

Treatment decisions have been made

After meeting with 2 oncologists we have decided on the more aggressive treatment.  Both doctors stated I would have to be on Herceptin for a year, so that was not different and both said the same type of chemo drugs (Taxotere and Carboplatin).  We did have to choose...

Today was a better day

Ok, I’m done complaining (for today). Today has actually been a really good day. I thought that I would cry about getting my hair cut short, but I think all the crying from yesterday covered me for today. I had just a little short of 10 inches cut. I was going to...

Today I feel like complaining

Today I really feel like complaining.  So this is my disclaimer… if you don’t want to hear a bunch of whining and complaining, stop reading right now.  Wait until my next post and then start reading again. This morning in the shower I totally cried my eyes out.  This...

Surgery is behind me

A week has passed since I had surgery.  Each day I’m feeling better, but still not feeling like myself.  I have to say that I didn’t know just how loved and cared for Dan and I would be.  I’ve never had so much love showed that I can ever remember before.  We have...

Post-surgery Update

    I thought I would just post a quick update on Holly real quick.  Her surgery went well on Friday; both doctors were pleased with the outcome.  Believe it or not, we got to come home yesterday afternoon.  It is crazy how quick they send you home these days… but as...

Surgery is tomorrow

Well, this is it.  Tomorrow is surgery day.  I can’t begin to express how scared and full of dread that I am right now.  I guess the unknown is always the worst.  It feels like my life is ending and this new life that I don’t want and wasn’t looking for is taking...

Why this treatment.

Dan has suggested that I write about how I (really we; because Dan is in this too) came to the decision of a double mastectomy.  So here goes…  My options were 1) lumpectomy followed by 7 weeks of radiation for 5 days a week; 2) mastectomy to the right breast only...

Decision made, date set

Today we made our decisions on what to do. I’ll be having a double mastectomy with immediate reconstructive surgery. The start of this long process will begin on July 23. This is when the first surgery will be done. The doctor informed us today that he is 90% certain...

Decisions, decisions

We wrapped up all final appointments as of today. All the tests are done. I got good news with the gene testing; I tested negative for the breast cancer gene. I really didn’t know this was good news to start with. I was so convinced that I had the gene that it was a...

I can't pretend for much longer.

I have to confess, I’m really surprised that anyone read this and actually commented on it. I really appreciate all the words of encouragement and support! I guess I should just get it out of the way and say “Dan… you were right.” People read blogs. Today we met with...

It's cancer…

I’m writing this based on Dan’s suggestion. I’ve never read a blog or written one, so it’s probably not going to be that interesting, but here goes. Last week I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Needless to say it has turned our lives upside down. At 33, that’s not...