The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

October 24, 2013

Breast cancer doesn't stop Normal mother

NORMAL, Ill. — Breanna LeMonnier and her sister, Kelsey, were making Play-Doh cookies and cupcakes at the kitchen table of their Normal home, even after their parents, Molly and Ed, excused themselves from the operation to sit beside each other on a couch a few feet away.

But Breanna, 5, was listening to her parents' conversation and adjusted her work accordingly.

At one point, she walked up to her mom, handed her Play-Doh molded into a shape and said: "I made this for you because you had cancer. I'm glad you're better."

Molly looked down and saw that the shape was a heart. They hugged. Breanna rejoined Kelsey, 2, at the kitchen table. Molly composed herself and smiled.

"They (Breanna and Kelsey) knew that Molly was sick, but we never shared the story," Ed said. "When we look at old photos, they ask, 'What happened to mom's hair?' We say, 'Mom was sick but mom is better now.'

"But we never discussed the details of treatment. It's OK that they're hearing it now."

The story that Breanna and Kelsey were overhearing in detail for the first time was that their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, was treated and then gave birth to a healthy Breanna, then had a recurrence and was diagnosed with stage IV cancer (meaning it had spread), underwent treatment, had an amazing recovery and gave birth to a healthy Kelsey.

All by age 34.

"Before she was diagnosed with cancer, I thought it was something old people got," recalled Ed, who with Molly, shared their story as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month that began Tuesday.

"When things get stressful, I think, 'I've gotten through cancer — twice. I can get through anything,'" said the soft-spoken Molly.

Molly, 36, and Ed, 37, have been married for 12 years. But this story begins on the night of Dec. 12, 2005.

Text Only
AP story section
  • Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance NEW YORK (AP) -- The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe have offset each other ins

    June 13, 2014

  • Board of Trade Grain mixed, livestock mostly higher CHICAGO (AP) -- Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.9025 a bushel; July corn was 1.25 cents lower at $4.4075 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $3.4625 a

    June 13, 2014

  • Health campaign among nation's costliest CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television

    June 13, 2014

  • Some states roll back teacher tenure protections WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states -- and even removed altogether in some pl

    June 13, 2014

  • Tigers' Scherzer outduels Sale CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over

    June 13, 2014

  • $40M casino for rural Iowa approved BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa. Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Bur

    June 13, 2014

  • Principal case leads to two hearings RED OAK -- Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a

    June 13, 2014

  • U.S. split outgrows voting booth WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to

    June 13, 2014

  • Cubs' offense no help for Samardzija PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Samardzija has some advice his pitching brethren when it comes to facing streaking Andrew McCutchen. Don't. The way the Chicago Cubs' ace looks at it, trying to get the Pittsburgh Pirates' star out at the moment only opens yourself

    June 13, 2014

  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

AP Video
National News