At the age of 43, Denise Holzer was diagnosed with the most difficult to treat and aggressive type of breast cancer, Triple Negative. After a grueling year of chemo, losing her beautiful curls, sickness, surgery and radiation, we were cautiously optimistic that she would beat the odds and remain cancer-free for years to come. Life seemed back to normal.
But early in 2013, Denise felt a lump on the side of her neck. She also noticed her left arm was showing signs of lymphedema. Our deepest fears were confirmed. Her cancer had returned and metastasized into her lymph system. Despite a year of chemo, it spread to her bones, brain and liver. In 2014, she required surgery to insert a drain into her lung and underwent aggressive chemo and radiation to help with severe pain and breathing difficulty the tumors were causing.
By summer 2014, scans showed that the cancer was spreading quickly and causing intolerable pain to her weakened body. She told her family that she knew she wasn't going to get better and could no longer fight. She was suffering greatly when she made the brave decision to terminate further treatment. She passed away surrounded in the love of her family on July 11, 2014.
All who knew Denise were humbled by her quiet strength and amazing attitude. In her final days, she told her children about how proud she was of them and reassured them that they would have a wonderful life. Her biggest concern through all of this was her family and making sure they were taken care of.
Through all of Denise's illness, David never left her side. They had been together since 9th grade and he was unbelievably devoted to her. Denise could not have chosen a better husband and father for her children. He made taking care of her his full-time job, and for that we are eternally grateful.
On behalf our beloved Denise, David, and their beautiful children, Nathaniel and Katrina, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your thoughts, prayers and any donation you can make to help them through this most difficult time.