“She just wants to see how it’s gonna go,” “Mama June” Shannon said of her eldest daughter, Anna “Chickadee” Cardwell, when speaking to Entertainment Tonight. Anna, 28, has been battling stage 4 cancer since the start of the year, and June, 43, said that at this point, the family has accepted that the end is near. “For me, it’s an emotional rollercoaster sometimes. Mentally it’s always on my mind… We know it’s terminal. She’s stage 4. She’s not gonna go into remission. We’ve all accepted that, so I just tell people one day at a time ’cause you never know.”
“We don’t know what to expect because the cancer is very aggressive, and it grew from nothing to something huge on the left side of her body really fast,” she told ET. The family doesn’t know “what is going to happen next now when the chemo starts to come out of her body.”
So far, Anna has completed four rounds of chemotherapy for adrenal carcinoma. This cancer is a “rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the outer layer of the adrenal gland.” Anna was diagnosed in January after reportedly suffering stomach aches. Doctors reportedly found that she had cancerous cells in her lungs, kidneys, and liver, and she immediately underwent treatment. In March 2023, she went public with her disease.
After four rounds of chemo, the next step would be an immune therapy in clinical trials, but at this stage, Anna may choose an end-of-life option and live out her days as best as she can.
Despite this recently grim prognosis, June and her daughter, Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird, said that Anna is “doing pretty good” and handling this news well. “[Anna] can still go to the grocery store, she can drive herself, she’s still able to take the kids to and from places,” Lauryn told ET before noting that Anna “doesn’t have hair, she has no eyebrows, she doesn’t have any hair on her arms or anything like that.”
Lauryn also spoke about how Anna’s kids – Kaitlyn, 10, and Kylee, 7 – are handling the situation the best that they can. “The 10-year-old is aware, I don’t think she fully understands,” Lauryn said. “I think she understands that Mommy is sick and Mommy might not be here for a while… She’s 10, but she’s a lot more mature than that because she’s been raised around older people.”
“Kaitlyn was always close with Anna, but now she doesn’t go anywhere without Anna,” added June. “I get that because she’s thinking if Anna goes somewhere, then maybe Anna might not be at the house when she gets back.”
Lauryn is still hopeful for a miracle. “Honestly, who’s not to say a year from now, they’ll have a cure? The medical field is growing every single day. There’s always something,” she told ET. “Think about how quick[ly] they came out with a COVID vaccine and things like that. I truly believe [that] eventually there will be a cure for some kind of cancer.”