About Me

First let me first start by saying thank you to my wonderful family and loving friends who are helping me through this difficult time.  My “About Me” section would not be complete if I didn’t mention those that mean the most to me first, including Dan, my Little Precious, who has been by my side every day and night and who’s the love of my life; I know this without a doubt and more than ever; we’ve been through a lot together and have never been stronger than we are right now.  I love him with all my heart.  And the other loves of my life, my wonderful Mom, for which words cannot express our mother~daughter bond.  She is the most caring, loving, fun, super-fabulous person I know and the best mother in the world.  I talk to her every day, sometimes 5 times a day and love it that way.  She has been at all my doctor appointments, being there every step of the way, while rallying support troops at her work and with her friends.  Words can go on forever.  And my wonderful Dad, the best dad in the world, with his cheerful, positive and loving attitude, and sisters, Nina and Natalie, who have all been with me to my appointments and helped and cheered me up along the way.  I have an extremely close bond with my entire family (parents are still happily married by the way), full of the most happy childhood memories that we still hold on to every day and laugh about often.  I have the best family anyone could ever want and am extremely lucky for that.  My life has been and always will be blessed and fulfilled because of them.  Sometimes when I think back on our old family memories, which make me so happy and grateful, I get teary eyed at the same time knowing that we’re all grown up and living apart (at least only by 20 miles though).  The tears are also happy tears showing God my gratitude.

I also have a wonderful extended family and the best group of friends ever.  Aunt Lori, our talks have been great and I love listening to your funny, 20 minute long messages, they always cheer me up and I often respond in discussion thinking I’m actually talking to you – which always make me giggle.  I love our real talks too.  Your positive outlook on life is endearing and inspiring.  Thank you to everyone else who has called to wish me well, sent cards, flowers. etc.  I am overwhelmed with love and support and thank you all so much for that.

And my wonderful friends.  Janelle and Kelly, you are my dearest best friends and I am so thankful to have you in my life.  I love you both like sisters.  Heather and Courtney, I think of and love our friendship the same way.  Thank you for all the support, talks, and friendship.    And my other wonderful friends, you know who you are and I’m sorry I can’t name you all but I love you all the same.

And Dan’s family, who I love as my own, is as wonderful as I could ever imagine.  I love you all.  Dad and JoAnne, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us over the past couple years, even through tough times yourselves.  Lisa, Buddy, and all the kids, Judy and Steve, Mark and Heather, Stephanie and Barry, Dave and Kim, you are best family of in-laws I could have ever wanted.  JoAnne, you are truly helpful, a fabulous person and the best, most loving and caring mother-in-law.  I hope you realize how special and loved you are. 

To avoid making my “About Me” section any longer than it already is, I’ve reserved another section for special thank you notes and other “shout outs” (currently being published). 

Ok, now for the “About Me” part.  So this doesn’t become a long drawn out autobiography, I will only explain what is relevant for this blog itself, starting with Dan and I trying to get pregnant.  For the past 3-4 years, we have been trying to get pregnant.  We underwent several fertility treatments, fertility testing, hormone treatments, office visits, etc.   After 3+ years of trying and hoping, we were told “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) was our only option in the fourth quarter of 2008.   We therefore gave up (for lack of a better word) for a while and were just waiting until the time was right, since IVF involves a lot of office visits, hormone injections and thousands of dollars.  To our surprise however, we became pregnant in February 2009 and were so shocked, pleasantly surprised, grateful and super excited.  We got the nursery all set up again (after setting it up years ago and taking it down more than a few times), started shopping, eating right, planning, picking out names, etc.  We were truly excited and after years of trying it was a much needed happy relief time.  Unfortunately it was short lived, as miscarriage followed two weeks later.  Before learning of the miscarriage, I remember telling Janelle how special and exciting that moment was seeing the plus sign on the pregnancy test, after dozens of historical negative ones, and wishing I could relieve that moment so I could feel that initial overwhelming excitement again.  As you read through my blog pages you will soon learn that I won’t be able to get pregnant now until I’m 37, so being able to have that moment then was special in its own way.  After the miscarriage I thought “what else could go wrong” and thought nothing could be worse.  I soon realized that I still had a lot to be thankful for and know now to be grateful for what I have, and not dwell on what I don’t, as I usually did before, as many of us do.   I feel now that that was such a waste of time.

Now for the cancer and the reason for my blog.  I found a hard lump area in my breast sometime around July or August 2008, showed it one of my doctors (not mentioned on my blog pages) and was told it was nothing to worry about.   When I got pregnant in February 2009, another lump showed up in my armpit.  When I showed them to my gynecologist, he said they were common, probably hormonal from the pregnancy and nothing to worry about.   When I miscarried two weeks later, the lumps didn’t go away and the one in my armpit was actually getting bigger.  Shortly after, on March 10 2009, I watched an Oprah Dr. Oz special on medical mistakes and quickly began questioning my doctor’s initial thoughts about the lumps being nothing.  At that point, I insisted on a mammogram and they ordered a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound upon my request.

My mammogram and ultrasound appointment was on Tuesday, March 17 at Charlotte Radiology, and that’s where and when I first heard they thought it was cancer, but I wouldn’t find out for sure until a week or so later or know more details.  A biopsy was ordered for that Friday, March 20, 2009.  I found out it was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the day before my 31st birthday.  I will use the other blog pages on the left to go through the details of my appointments, results and details about the cancer. 

Before that, I just want to thank you for all your best wishes, thoughts and prayers.  It has been like a full time job keeping up with all my appointments, doctor calls, doctor visits,  researching what I have and my treatments, phone calls, emails, text messages.  Thank you for everyone’s support, especially those I mentioned above, my fabulous co-workers and my boss Stephanie, who has been such a good friend/support, so understanding and so supportive through all of this.  Thank you so much.

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53 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Kelly Says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING!!! We are all so proud of you 🙂 🙂
    I love you more than you’ll ever know!!!! My Dirty!!!
    Let me know when you’re ready to plan our year end beach trip!!! Cook – outs and board games (remember “Window” – ha ha ha!)… here we come. Love you!!!

  2. Darlene Says:

    Little Precious Danielle,
    Life is always giving us reminders to be grateful. It seems the understanding of that has come earlier to you than most. I am grateful for you. You are a remarkable friend to my Janelle and we both love you to the moon and back. Look up, lead with the heart, and know that we are all cheering you on. God speed!
    Darlene

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thank you little precious Darlene! I love you and your whole family as well! You’ve raised one of the best! So thankful to have you all in my life.

  3. Carol Lambert Says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I’m your Mom’s friend, who she always is saying, “You two have got to meet.” One day I am sure we will.

    I’m praying for you and am so glad you have a great support system to help you through the tough moments. I’m glad you put together the blog. I know from other people that blogging can be very therapeutic as well as keeping everyone informed especially when you have 100’s of people caring/praying/thinking about you.

    See you soon!!
    Carol

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Carol,

      Thanks for your message! I’ve heard a lot about you too from my mom and look forward to meeting you as well. Thank you so much for your prayers! That really means a lot to me and makes a difference!

      Love,
      Danielle

  4. Janelle Says:

    Danielle (LPFGM),
    You are in inspiration to me. I admire your courage, strength, positive attitude, and grace as you hold your chin high through this journey. Preston and I are so very blessed to have you in our lives. You are a an amazing friend, and I couldn’t think of a better Fairy God Mother to my little Preston! You know, without me even saying this, that I am always here for you- Just as you have always been here for me! I love you with all my heart!
    Much love,
    Janelle and Little Preston-bear xoxo

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Janelle! I’m also blessed to have you and Little Precious Preston Bear in my life too!! Preston is truely a precious little gift. Love you both!!

  5. Molly Yukica Says:

    Danielle,

    Thank you for sharing your story. Please know that John and I are praying for you and are here! We are thinking of you constantly!

    XOXO
    Molly

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Molly! Can’t wait to see you guys in a couple weeks at the shower! I’ll be putting you to work, ha! 🙂

  6. Buddy Says:

    Danielle, I love you and have been praying for you. I am so proud of you and Dan also. Continue to be strong and couragious, and let us know if you need anything. love, Buddy

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Buddy. I love you too! I couldn’t ask for a better brother in law. You’re the best and such a good role model as a person. I am so thankful for your entire family and love you all.

  7. Kelly Winrich Says:

    Danielle,

    You are so positive and strong, your kind heart and loving soul fly out at us through your words. I love you very much and want you to know I am here for you every step of the way. I love you honey, whatever you need, whenever, you let us know. I am so blessed to know you and call you a friend.

    Love you
    xoxo
    Kel, Grant, Chloe, and Kane

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Kelly! That really means a lot to me. Thank you so much! I am also blessed to have you as a friend as well. Hope to see you sometime soon. Tell Grant and the kiddies I said hi!

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Kelly! You are so thoughtful and such a good friend, thank you. Love you all!

  8. Vicki Cunningham Says:

    What a beautiful attitude you have about all aspects of life – definitely an inspiration. Praying for you and your family daily.

    Lunch with Carol Lambert and your mom soon!

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Vickie! Lunch always sounds good to me! That’s one thing that never got me, I never lose my appetite!

  9. Mom Says:

    My Sweet Danielle,
    Of course, as your Mom, I have always known you were special and absolutely amazing, one of the precious loves of my life. I love you more than mere words can express. You are a beautiful person in so many ways and your wisdom and strength are an inspiration for all of us who know and love you. Your blog is truly incredible and your messages are inspiring and have already helped others (one of my friends’ dad is going through treatment and your blog gave her so much information). And the messages that all of your friends and our family have posted are a tribute to who you are and how much you are loved. We will be with you all the way, sweetie, and we will win this fight.

    Your loving Mom
    xxooxxoo

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Mom! Awe, you’re too kind and so sweet. I love you so much. All your friends have been great, and you yourself are amazing and a true blessing for everyone you come in contact with. Love you more than words can describe!! I’m sure I’ll be talking to you in the next few minutes so talk to you soon! Love you!

  10. Karen Duganier Says:

    Danielle,
    I am a Raintree tennis friend of your mother’s. I have been sitting here for some time now reading your entire blog site. So informative and so touching. You are a special girl Danielle. You are brave and strong and wise beyond your knowledge. It is obvious to me that your family and friends are blessed to have you in their lives. Likewise, you too, are so very blessed to have so much true love and support from your amazing family and friends, and also blessed because you are obviously aware of and grateful for that support.
    My heart goes out to you that you must endure this challenge but I truly believe you will immurge from the other side of this with a gift and understanding you have not yet discovered.
    Thinking of you often and wishing you good moments (and nausia free treatments).
    Karen

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Karen. Thank you so much for your message. All of my mom’s friends have been so great and I’m glad she has you as a friend. Thank you so much for your message, you are so sweet. You are right, I am blessed by all my family and friends, I don’t know what I’d do without them. Thanks for your encouraging words!! Have fun playing tennis with my mom!!

  11. Nina ("RN") Says:

    It warms my heart to see the outpouring of dear friends who care about my big sister so much! She means the world to me, just as she does to so many others!!! All of the comments are so wonderful, and I can definitely see how blogging can be theraputic!

    “JRT” – I’ll talk to you soon . . . 🙂

    Love you!!!
    Nina

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Nina (RN), ha!! You mean the world to me too! Love, your big sis (JRT). 🙂

  12. Becky Says:

    Danielle
    I’m praying and thinking about you constantly. I’m so glad you have so much support and such a loving family! I’ll be checking your blog daily:) I wish I could be there with you. I’m not kidding, when you need me there, you say the word and I’ll be there.
    Keep your head up, you’ll get through this, you’re such a strong person!! Your comment about the “compost” drink made me crack up, that is the Danielle I know!!
    Love
    Becky

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hey Becky! I know, the compost thing was so funny! I actually said it to the lady at the front desk. I asked, “so, where do I have to drink the compost, in the waiting room or will I be back in the doctor’s office drinking it?” She looked at me funny and I was like “what?” It was so funny. You know I would LOVE for you to come visit!! It would be so great to catch up and see you! We’ll have to plan something. Maybe even a beach trip or something in between. Tell your mom and dad I said hi.

  13. Courtney Says:

    Danielle, you are such an amazing strong, and loving friend. You will get through this and you have such a huge support system. Like you said you are just like a sister to me and I look up to you for your courage!! I love you and I cant wait to wrap my arms around you and give you a big hug!!
    XXOO
    Courtney
    Oh P.S. I dont think I’ve ever prayed this much in my life!! 🙂

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Courtney! I love you too! Can’t wait to hear about your Dallas trip, I heard you had a fun time! Just call me whenever you get a chance! Oh yeah, I don’t think I’ve prayed this much either, thank you so much!

  14. Jim Kacer Says:

    Hi Danielle,

    I wanted you to know that all of up at Hannaford are thinking about you and you are in our prayers. It sounds as if you are receiving great care. That is reassuring. You are young, strong and have an amazing attitude. You will overcome these circumstances I am sure. We hope to have you back soon and feeling better. God bless.

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Thanks Jim! That’s was sweet of you to write. Hopefully I’ll see all you Hannaford “folks” sometime soon! 🙂 Stay warm, I heard you guys had snow!

  15. Natalie Mills Says:

    Danielle,
    I had no idea all of this was going on until I spoke with Mary Ann today. I am so inspired by how courageous you are being. I, too, got pregnant this past February, and experienced a miscarriage last week. You couldn’t have said it better, it was the happiest four weeks of my life! The disappointment you feel when you lose it is overwhelming. I cannot imagine that coupled with breast cancer. I’m afraid I would be a very angry person, and I really do admire you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    love you,
    Natalie Mills

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Awe, Natalie I’m so sorry to hear you miscarried too, it’s definitely hard I know. It’s actually pretty common though, they said 10-25% of first pregnancies. It makes it annoying though because then the next time you get pregnant, you’ll worry the whole time. I know how you feel. Been through everything surrounding fertility issues so let me know if you ever need to talk. Love you!

  16. sue coben Says:

    Hi Danielle –
    i, too, am a tennis friend of your mom’s. i have been following your journey and know you will take a rough road but you will come out of this stronger, for sure. you are so lucky to have great friends and a wonderful, supportive family. don’t lose sight of this and know that you CAN do anything you set your mind to do. although we haven’t met yet, i can see that you are strong, courageous and a fighter – you must get it from your mom!continue to feel good! – sue coben

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Sue. Thanks for your message! All my mom’s friends have been so great. She is lucky to have you all!! Thanks for being such a good friend to her.

  17. Darlene Says:

    This is a message for Little Precious Dan.
    Dan,
    I want you to know how proud I am of your amazing committement to your Little Precious Danielle. You deserve a pat on the back for walking this path with her and with such grace. I wish you all the love and support you need to continue to lift her up. Know that there is someone in your corner doing the same for you.
    Love,
    Darlene

  18. Dave Boyce Says:

    Danielle:

    We don’t know each other very well as you and Dan met my family (during the holidays) at your Mom and Dad’s house. I saw the warmth and kindness in you. I remember having a lot of laughs as both families shared stories.

    I am pretty sure you know the strong friendship we have with you folks. Wonderful people! I can’t say enough about them. Your Dad & I not only play golf together, but share a lot of mid week dinners as well. He announced the news about your pregnacy and was very excited for you and Dan at that time. He was also very concerned about the miscarriage and now your battle with IDC.

    As you move forward with your treatments, I want you to know we are praying for you. I also want you to know good friends do stick together by offering emotional support, prayers and doing what ever it takes to get through those rough moments. You have a lot of friends and family that love and support you.

    You can beat this!

    Love to you & Dan and both your families.
    Dave Boyce

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Dave. Thank you so much for your message! That was so thoughtful of you to write. My dad talks about you often and I know you are great friends. I remember meeting you over Christmas. I had an enjoyable time as well. Hopefully we’ll see each other again soon! Take care!

  19. Jessica Wetherhold Says:

    Danielle,

    I too am playing tennis with your mom at Raintree. I met her playing on the challenge ladder this fall after I had just moved from ATL and finding my way in Charlotte. She was such a wonderful lady and reminded me of my mom. She contacted me to play this spring and I am grateful for her thoughtfulness to include me in her Raintree team. She shared with us your recent challenge and I have been praying hard for you and your family. I also just turned 31 so this really hit home with me in many aspects. I admire your strength and positive outlook and will continue to keep you in my prayers. You are a true inspiration for all women!!

    Jessica

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Jessica! Welcome to Charlotte! I hope you’re enjoying living here!! Thank you so much for your prayers, that really means a lot to me!! My mom IS great, I’m sure you’ll love playing with her!! Have fun at Raintree!!

  20. Nicole DiElsi Says:

    Hi Danielle! My name is Nicole and I am a very good friend of your Aunt Loris. I have been reading your blogs and actually wrote you a comment that didnt go through. Im sorry. Anyways, hope this one does. You are an inspiration truly to all ppl! The attitude that you have is unbelievable and the support from you family and friends is wonderful! My Dad, and Grandmas have struggled from cancer and so your story truly does touch me. I am 30 and think about how young you are as well. You seem like a remarkable woman who is going to make a difference and has alreayd in many, many ppls lives! You are in my thought and prayers and God Bless you! Keep your head up and I wish you all the strength in the world. You apparently are very courageous and it takes my breath away! Take care! XO
    Love,
    Nicole DiElsi

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Nicole!! Aunt Lori has told me about you before. Thank you so much for all your kind words and compliments! I’m glad my blog was touching for you, hopefully in a good way! My Aunt Lori herself is an inspiration and has been so helpful and such a great aunt! I’m sure she’s a great friend to you as well so you know!! Thanks again for your message!! Thanks for your first one too. Aunt Lori said you tried to send one but it didn’t go though. I couple or people have said that, hmmmmm. Well, thanks again and take care!

  21. natalie Says:

    hello big sis!!! I absolutely love your blog! I wasnt really sure on what to expect just cause I’ve never known anyone to “blog”. I really like all the facts, info, pics, updates and quotes that you’ve included.. It’s really amazing and awesome!!!!…WONDERFUL WONDERS AMAZING!!!! I love you so much and am so touched by your positive attitude and bravery on going through all of this. I know that your story and inspiration are going to help others find the strength, courage, and passion that you have to fight this!!!! You are an amazing person, sister, friend, daughter and Im sure, wife:) I am blessed to have you as my sister/mom 🙂 he he…just cause you’re always concerned and worried just like mom… I love you so much!! Im so excited for Oprah/Dr. Oz…That is so awesome! You are absolutely amazing and I love you..

    Much Love,
    natalie

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hello little sis/daughter! 🙂 Ha, sorry I act like a mom sometimes, it’s only because I love you so much!! You’re WONDERFUL WONDERS AMAZING too!! 🙂 You are an amazing person, sister, and friend too and I love YOU so much!!! 🙂 CNP?, CNP?, CNP?, CNP?!!!!

  22. Angela Says:

    Danielle,

    I am blown away and am so proud of you! You are an inspiration to everyone! I am so excited to see you this month. Cant wait to spend some time with you and catch up. Keep smiling and always know that you are strong and loved by all!

    Ang

  23. Lisa Says:

    I wish you could’ve seen me and the four little girls standing right in front of the tv when the pictures came on Oprah- I’m yelling look there she is and I said to them – it’s all over the world! They are starting to understand what is going on. I rented the movie “Living Proof” this weekend and watched it by myself Saturday night. Harry Conick Jr. plays the doctor who worked on the “her-2” treatment and brought it to completion. Bekah and Aleah wanted to watch it the next day to my surprise (because it is more like a documentary and I didn’t think they would make it through) I told them this is the medicine Danielle has every week and it is making the tumors shrink! They looked on the blog to see pictures of you receiving treatments and put some of this together. As for the twins, they told me the other day we prayed for Danielle this morning and her cancer (together before they got out of bed) And Hannah still prays for you to have a baby (in the right time) So thank you for being an inspiration to my girls and you continue to “fight like a girl.”

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Lisa! I’m so glad you watched that movie. It probably helped the girls realize more about what was going on. You’ve raised such a wonderful family! I can only hope I have the opportunity to be such a wonderful mother like you one day. You are an inpiration to all mothers and mothers to be!! I love you and am so thankful to have your family in my life!! I love you all!! Please pass along my thanks to the girls for their prayers. That really touches me.

  24. esmesbell Says:

    Hi Danielle,
    I was reading your blog last night and you mentioned something about not being able to have sugar or soy. I can’t find where you wrote that, but I’m curious – should I be avoiding those things? I think our treatments are very similar, but no one has mentioned this to me.

    I hope you’re having a good day.
    Emily

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Emily! I’m not supposed to have soy because it contains estrogen and my tumors are ER+, meaning they have estrogen receptors, making the cancer grow and spread faster with estrogen. The sugar is just something I’ve heard from people in general; that it’s not good to eat a lot of sugar because it’s known to fuel cancer in some studies. I think John Hopkins had an atricle about it. Is your cancer HER2+ or ER+? We could have completely different treatment plans if not. My third big chemo cycle was yesterday. I’m feeling a little tired and my mouth is sore, but not nearly as bad as the first cycle due to the popsicles I told you about. I’m on taxotere, carboplatin and herceptin. What are you on? I hope you’re having a good day too! Take care! ~ Danielle

  25. barbara johnson Says:

    Danielle, Katie called me today and told me about your experience with the Oprah Show & Dr. Oz(my hero also!) I want you to know you are in our whole family’s thoughts and prayers. Your website is so wonderful and I look forward to keeping in touch through your blog. We have such precious memories of Katie & Nina’s friendship in high school-so glad she is back in this area as I am sure you are!! You will continually be in my prayers. Sincerely, barbara johnson–Emily & Katie’s mom

    • Danielle Kragnes Murray Says:

      Hi Barbara! That was so nice of you to write and to care enough to read my blog! It’s been a rough past couple months but I’m hanging in there, staying positive, and doing fine. It was definitely awesome meeting Dr. Oz, he’s a hero to many! And you’re right, I am definitely glad Nina is back in NC! It’s nice she and Katie have kept in touch over the years. Tell Emily I said hello! Thanks again for your message! 🙂

  26. Laura Cardner Says:

    Danielle
    I enjoyed reading your story – I linked in from another blog. I have the same doctors and agree that they are amazing. I am 31 currently so also glad to read perspective from someone in my age group. I am in the middle of chemotherapy for breast cancer, have already had surgery and look for uplifting and positive success stories as they keep my attitude right! I wake up and attack each day with a positive energy and enjoy the energy you bring on your website.

    Best to you,
    Laura

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