“What Happened?” – Cancer Happened

“What Happened?” – Cancer Happened

During a recent fun trip to Los Angeles, my Mom, Ilse, and I had a mother-daughter bachelorette party. We started at 3 in the afternoon with facials and massages. Then, we went to dinner with celebratory beverages. Then we saw Magic Mike XXL! Yes, indeed, and loved every minute of it.

Mother-daughter bachelorette party

Mother-daughter bachelorette party – my blouse says “NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE”

Another “what not to say to cancer patients” story: During my facial in L.A., when I crawled under the warm blanket, “Evy,” the facialist said, “What happened?” when she saw my bald head. I paused, stumped since this was a first. So I said, “Cancer happened.”

Then, Evy proceeded to tell me that she thought her mother-in-law was in chemo for her arthritis. I paused again and gently said, “I’ve never heard of this treatment for arthritis. Did your mother-in-law lose her hair, too?” Evy said “No.” Stumped again. We didn’t talk for the next 50 minutes.

Afterwards, laughing with my mom about it, I wished I had a great response. Here are some ideas my girlfriend Alexis and I brainstormed:

  • “I had hair down to my lower back then my hair stylist accidentally shaved it.”
  • “I have a crush on Bruce Willis.”
  • “I fell off my bike.”
  • “I had a hang nail.”
  • …what are some you recommend? Reply in Facebook or via this blog with your best answers!

I love, love visiting with friends. You give me energy, love and laughter. In the last week, I’ve had two friends fly up to Seattle: Ina from L.A. (a high school buddy), Lindy from San Diego (a college roommate). Then, during my short L.A. trip, I not only spent time with Mom and Milo, but I saw Vicki (kindergarten-through-high school), Randy and Alexis (1984, on), and Francine (since 4 years old).

Randy_071015 Alexis_071115 - Copy

DSCN3134DSC_06312015-07-07 02.03.32Francine_071115b - Copy


So many of you ask how Milo, Tracy’s son, is doing. He is amazing. He co-manages a hot, Santa Monica bar, the Shore Bar, and helps the parent company with their other restaurant and bar venues, too. He’s learning so much and is able to go to auditions and gigs for commercials during the day. He recently taped a two-day Footlocker commercial. He’s got amazing friends around all the time and he has simply blossomed. (Yes, I’m embarrassing him right now…oh well). He’ll be coming to Puerto Vallarta during Thanksgiving with Chad, Shane, Mathis, Grandma Ilse, and I, too.

Tracy and Milo  to:  2015-07-11 20.40.36 - CopyDana and Milo_071215

Joy from being engaged! I’m enjoying planning a wedding celebration in early 2016. Mathis and I will get married at the courthouse on July 29 and Mom will fly up from L.A. to be a witness, along with one or two of Mathis’ friends. It’s all very special.

2015-07-07 02.04.06

Next cancer treatments:

  • 4 weeks of chemo with the last one on August 4
  • Wait 2-3 weeks for scans (by end of August)
  • Start radiation for 6+ weeks

I’ve had some challenges with my low white blood cell count, but my oncologists don’t anticipate any further low counts. Fatigue is increasing and good size headaches pop up. However, overall, I’m doing well. Naps are my best friend, my appetite and taste buds have returned, and I’m getting better at listening to my body and going horizontal when I need to rest.

I’ll be a tricky radiation patient since I had radiation back in 2002, during my 1st bout. But the Virginia Mason Cancer Institute has a plan! Here I am in chemo today, 7-14:

Chemo Tuesday July 14 2015

I can’t thank Mathis enough for being all-in every day and night. He has curtailed his travel, is always checking in on me, warning me when I’m over-doing it, and being super sensitive when I get anxious or scared. Shane, Chad, and Milo are also amazing for calling, dropping lines, and visiting. And Mathis’ girls, Christina and Leslie live out of state, but constantly send their warmth. And my mom, of course, is “all in” too!

THANK YOU: Everybody near and far has been amazing and please don’t ever think that you’re bothering me. I’ve heard that from a number of folks. Please know that when I’m sleeping, my phone is off. I get energy and joy from visits e-mails, Facebook notes, cards or phone calls.

Love and hugs from Mathis and I and our families,

Dana Manciagli

cell: 206.849.100

e-mail:  Dana@DanaManciagli.com or DanaManciagli@hotmail.com




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7 thoughts on ““What Happened?” – Cancer Happened

  1. We’re in all the way with you Dana. We’ll be thinking of you and Mathis on the 29th and smiling with you.
    Kathleen and Bill


  2. Can’t believe how much you and your beautiful mom look alike! Strong genes! Love your chemo outfit! Sending you much love and many good thoughts! Xoxoxo


  3. Hi Dana, Just for you to know ­ chemo is used in treating arthritis, especially when it accompanies another auto-immune disease like Lupus. Drugs are similar but side effects are typically less extreme since it¹s usually given in low doses.

    From: Dana’s Cancer Conquest Reply-To: Dana’s Cancer Conquest Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 5:45 PM To: Eileen Austen Subject: [New post] ³What Happened?² ­ Cancer Happened

    WordPress.com dmanciagli posted: “³What Happened?² ­ Cancer Happened During a recent fun trip to Los Angeles, my Mom, Ilse, and I had a mother-daughter bachelorette party. We started at 3 in the afternoon with facials and massages. Then, we went to dinner with celebratory beverages. Th”


  4. Dana – I love reading your posts. I think of you often. I have now started a preventive drug (like tamoxifin) to cut down on my breast cancer chances. Have regular mammograms and MRIs. I am excited for your upcoming wedding. Mathis sounds like the love of your life. You’re lucky to have each other.

    Keep posting and I will keep you in my thoughts!

    thanks, Dana!


    Heide O’Connell


  5. Dana,

    Love the, my hairstylist accidently shaved my head. Awesome! People are funny. They just don’t know what to say. Good thing you can laugh about it. Good luck with just 4 more chemo weeks. Yahoo!!!

    Love your posts.

    Love, Arden

    Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2015 00:45:24 +0000 To: arden761@hotmail.com


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