Singer, songwriter, and Pistol Annies member Ashley Monroe, 34, has been diagnosed with cancer.
The three-time GRAMMY nominee shared the somber news with her followers on Instagram on Tuesday (July 13), revealing that she has Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia and that she will be undergoing chemotherapy starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 14.
“A few months ago my dr. was doing some routine lab work and found that I was anemic. I was like, FINE, I’ll just double up on cheeseburger patties, take some extra vitamins and call it a day,” Monroe’s post reads. “Well my red blood count just kept falling, and they found out my iron /b12/ folic acid numbers were actually fine. Short story long, they did a bone marrow biopsy, (ouch) , and VOILA… a rare kind of blood c word called ‘waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.’”
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According to the Mayo Clinic, Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia is “a rare type of cancer that begins in the white blood cells.” It is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and causes bone marrow to produce too many “abnormal white blood cells that crowd out healthy blood cells.” The abnormal white blood cells then produce a protein that accumulates in the blood and causes complications.
“It’s causing my body to be pretty severely anemic, and I feel it. So, I start chemo tomorrow,” she continued. “Seems like such a negative thing to say. Until I flip that doom feeling on its head and think, wow, I’m thankful I have an illness that is VERY live with-able. I’m thankful there IS a treatment that actually works to fight what is causing harm to my body. THANKFUL for friends and family who have gathered around me praying and sending flowers and letting me lean on them during this super weird chapter of my life.”
Monroe went on to thank her husband, John Danks, for being her “rock” and shared that she is thankful for her son, Dalton, “who I am fighting for the most.”
Ashley Monroe is a beloved member of the country music community. She released her debut album, Satisfied, in 2009. In 2011, she joined Pistol Annies with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley and went on to release three albums with the trio. She continued to make waves as a solo artist with the release of Like a Rose via Warner Bros. Nashville in 2013. The project was produced by Vince Gill. Since then, she’s released The Blade, Live at Third Man Records and Sparrow. Her latest album, Rose Gold, was released in April. Monroe is also known for being featured on Blake Shelton’s chart-topping hit, “Lonely Tonight.”