Dianne Honoré

There were 229,060 cases of invasive breast cancer in 2012. Dianne Honoré was in that number. Her year-long struggle has not been one of resignation, but a robust fight for her life. As a nurse at Ochsner Hospital, she uses her Facebook page to share her struggle and medical knowledge with others. Below are excerpts from her ongoing journey.

May 29, 2012
Meet one of my very few very special heroes, Jan…she had her head shaved with me for moral support and she has been there every step of the way…I don’t have to talk to her daily or even weekly but I KNOW I can call her at 3 a.m. and she would be there. It has taken me seven months to post these…it was a hard decision; Not the decision to shave my head but the decision to start the life altering treatments. The head shaving was symbolic of what was to come…frightening, painful, many dark days…but I got up each day; and while living in each moment I remembered that the sun would still come out tomorrow (inspired by my other hero, my Sister)

June 21, 2012
Mastectomy day. God said there was a recall and mine is defective…see y’all on the other side of the scalpel…I got this! Peace

July 3, 2012
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, you can take my BOOBS but cha can’t take ME!!! I got this!

July 16, 2012
Thank you Uncle Lionel for carrying on the great New Orleans second line tradition with style and musicianship rarely matched! I sooo sooo well remember the second line parades coming up Robertson St. in front of our Tremé home many-a-weekend! I was knee high to a bug’s ass dancing on the porch! If only our children today could savor those moments that make up our rich culture…thank you for passing it on to whomever you met, wherever you went….You are my second line hero! xoxo

August 17, 2012
Worried about pulling this dress off without the right ‘equipment’…I think I worked it out though!…whoot, whoot for the PINK CLUB!!! This is for all who have gone before me, stand beside me and those who follow!  xoxoxo

August 23, 2012
Well la ti da….it’s doctor visit day today and I’m not looking forward to it…It’s time to set dates for all my adjuvant therapy…just a fancy word for stuff that practically kills you to keep you alive in addition to surgery but…yeah I have a positive outlook…the positive side is that I’m going to have a fabulous lunch and then hit the creole creamery after…just another 24 hours of sweet precious life to live regardless of what is laid before me… I GOT THIS!

August 24, 2012
All went well yesterday. Went from kaleidoscope to microscope…funneling the next three weeks (pre-chemo) into a revved up celebration of LIFE!…good times, meditation, hard core training, steam room, massage, friends, laughter…cleaning out my closet and bleaching everything down; LOVE PEACE N OYSTA GREASE BABY…and if I see you out somewhere join me in a toast to kicking some breast cancer ass! xoxoxoxo

September 26, 2012
Chemo here I come today…Cancer is really a four-letter word in disguise. And I’m about to take a mad ass-kicking journey across the Toxic River. Don’t wait up, this could get long and ugly….but I GOT IT! Peace Baby.

October 13, 2012
wow! I’m flat chested and bald! Hadn’t been that since I was born! I guess breast cancer has allowed me a rebirthing of sorts…I’m born again….stronger, wiser, grateful-er, peaceful-er. Amen.

November 12, 2012
exhausted, fatigued, weak, S.O.B., muscle aches, bone pain, palpitations, fog brain, headaches…days go up and down like the (Zephyr). BUT STILL (like the phoenix) I RISE! Nothing will hold me back baby!!!! I got dis!

November 30, 2012
10 hours of pure sleep. I see I have been granted another day…another chance to dance a jig, to practice my Yoda skills (yes, Yoda), another day to ride the highway, smell the flowers, feel the sunshine, communicate, participate, toast, eat, share, see friends n family, practice compassion, work, juice, bake, give a little love, talk to Hannah, workout, snuggle up to life and LIVE OUT LOUD!

December 6, 2012 near New Orleans
Breast cancer was one of the first cancers to be described by ancient physicians. Physicians in ancient Egypt described breast cancer more than 3,500 years ago. One surgeon describes “bulging” tumors in the breast of which “there is no cure.” Damn, one would think in 3,500 years some kinda cure would’ve been discovered by now! Can’t a Sista get a break!

December 18, 2012 near New Orleans
YES! today was my last doctor visit, needle stick, infusion, test until January! I know it’s only a couple weeks but hey, it’s been a long six months of perpetual medical this and that for me….I know I am ‘lucky’ to be here and am eternally grateful that at least my journey is still a journey…

January 29, 2013 near New Orleans
So, I decided to go for my run on the levee…it was AMAZING…it rained. I took in the River, the Cathedral, the boats…then came home and had to wash my HAIR! HAIR, what little bit of HAIR there is up there and the icing on the cake was that someone really nice combed it for me. So simple, a comb through my little bit of hair now brings me the greatest comfort and joy…not the hair itself but the act of human kindness…compassion can be such a simple thing to practice. Amen.

February 4, 2013 near New Orleans
I got roses and chocolates today just cause. I was also commissioned to do a framed Unheard Voices of Louisiana piece. PET Scan tomorrow, but who cares. Everything’s coming up ROSES.

March 8, 2013
Visited children at Ochsner today to hand out teddy bears and smiles….thanks to Poetry In Motion Care Bears. An elderly gentleman told me when I was first diagnosed with cancer that if I ever feel down to go visit sick children. He said his doctor told him to do that years ago when he had cancer…he said it completely changed his perspective…seeing children being infused will take you to the mat…beautiful little faces going through so much so young…they were so happy to get their new teddy bears.

April 11, 2013
Then you realized your angel wings have turned to steel. You are stronger, fly with skill, grace and determination. You are not easily swayed anymore. You wake up prepared for anything; and if the world does catch you off guard you catch your breath and move FORWARD more quickly than before. Patience really is your virtue; you defy anything to try to take you down and laugh at the attempt; you land on a mountain top of self-preservation, compassion, and peace because you now know what it means to meet your maker and pay your dues…you have earned the wings of a WARRIOR! #cancerrevelationPRAISE!

June 11, 2013
Oh, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! One year ago this morning my doctor dropped the cancer bomb on me and this is exactly how it felt. Today I am celebrating ALL day! There will be cake & champagne, friends! music! To all my friends and family who have consistently been there, near and far, to all my fellow cancer fighters…THANK YOU! Still fighting; but damn it I’M HERE.I TOLD y’all I got this!!!

July 19, 2013 near New Orleans
Alright na y’all…I need some good vibes sent out to my friend and fellow breast cancer WARRIOR…she is still undergoing chemo and has been rushed to the ER this afternoon…Pray, meditate, do whatever you all do at times like this! Someone is testing my resolve this week…that old devil can ride my back but I guarantee my legs will hold me longer than his arms can hang on…giddy~up…I GOT THIS!

July 23, 2013
I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and opened my gift. It was brilliant and sunny. After my favorite coffee I worked on my Gumbomarie dolls that had been ordered. Then went to work at Ochsner where we celebrated a co-workers birthday, I did CPR on a piece of Italian cake! Lunch from La Madeleine. Later Elmwood for a 90 min workout and sauna. Met my Sister at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Margie Perez’s show. On the way home I was treated to a little Opera on 89.9…Now, to journal. So, that was what was wrapped in my gift box today—another day! YES, ANOTHER DAY!

The New Orleans Tribune

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