Ashley Monroe is one-third of the Pistol Annies, a wife, mother, singer and songwriter. She’ll add a new title to her list with “fighter.” The singer shared that she will soon go through chemotherapy after a cancer diagnosis. In a post to Instagram on Tuesday afternoon, the “Hands On You” singer shared that she has Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Monroe began her announcement to fans, noting that she feels immense gratitude from the support she’s received from her husband John, son Dalton and all of her family and friends.
“Gratitude. Moments like these I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Getting flowers delivered weekly from @genajohnson507. Enjoying a staycation in Nashville when we had to cancel our Florida trip. Sitting with my sisters the day I found out. Seeing John be my rock and the best dad to Dalton, and being surrounded (and prayed for) by the best friends (and family and manager) I could ever dream up,” she wrote.
Monroe went on to give backstory on her health journey so far, recalling a few months ago when she began undergoing tests to understand why she was anemic.
” 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. 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’
It’s causing my body to be pretty severely anemic, and I feel it,” she explained.
She continued by sharing that she’ll begin chemotherapy tomorrow (7/14) and that she’s feeling optimistic about her journey.
“I start chemo tomorrow. 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.
Thankful for my angel son. Who I am fighting for the most.”
“I would greatly appreciate if no one gave me any unsolicited advice or medical opinions. I’ve done my research and have amazing Vanderbilt dr’s I’ve weighed every option with. That’s why I was hesitant to post about it, but I could use the prayers.. and I DO believe in the power of prayer guys. I also believe in the power of love healing us all on an even deeper level. I love you all big. Here I go.”
With her post, Monroe shared photos of her family and friends and the support system she has around her as she embarks on this next chapter.
Many of her fellow artists took to the comments, leaving notes of support, prayers and love for the singer. Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town wrote “Praying every day Ash. Love you so much,” with Martina McBride leaving a heart emoji. Gwen Sebastian, who tours with Miranda Lambert, wrote “I love you.”
According to the American Cancer Society, Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia (WM) is rare with a rate of three cases per million per year in the United States (approximately 1000-1500 are diagnosed a year in the U.S.). WM is often found to be more common in men than woman and the average age of diagnosis is 70 years old.