Joanna Montgomery had always wanted to be a writer, but her work in a prestigious family law practice derailed those dreams for about a quarter of a century. Then circumstances caused her life’s path to take an unexpected turn.
A late-in-life mom, Joanna gave birth to her first and only child in December 2011. Her daughter Magnolia arrived a month early but was perfectly healthy, another gift for her newlywed parents. However, Maggie’s arrival also brought a devastating discovery. A mass on Joanna’s Fallopian tube found during the emergency C-section that brought her daughter into the world turned out to be an aggressive gynecologic cancer which had spread. Stage 3C, possibly fatal. The doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of surviving.
It was in this emotional maelstrom that Joanna began to chronicle her experiences of treatment, motherhood and marriage in an honest, unflinching blog called “It’s Cancer, Baby.” She later went on to appear in a 10-part series of documentary shorts of the same name, all filmed during treatment, and was one of the first guests on Katie Couric’s talk show, “Katie”. Meanwhile, she began writing as a regular contributing columnist for Café Mom’s The Stir and the Huffington Post. Her personal writings continue to inspire, comfort, and bring hope to countless others touched by the disease.
Today, Joanna continues to juggle treatment for recurrent cancer while living life to the fullest with her husband Mark, little Maggs and their brood of animals on a ridgetop outside of Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to writing and speaking, she is currently working on a memoir, as well as a children’s book geared toward children fighting illness. She sits on the Board of the Women Survivors Alliance, and is also in the process of launching The Magnolia Foundation, a non-profit organization for research relating to the treatment and cure of gynecologic cancers.
Follow Joanna on Twitter: @hellojomo
Read her blog: http://hellojomo.com
Find her on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joannamontgomery/