Being in jail and separated from her children, who have been sent to live with relatives, aren't the only hardships in Ellie's life. Two months before her sentencing, Ellie found out she has inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of cancer.

The doctors were unable to remove her breast because the cancer had already spread to her lymph nodes and throughout her body. "At this time, with inflammatory breast cancer, there's a 50 percent chance that I'll ever see five years," Ellie says. "I've made it a year now."

For a while, Ellie tried to keep the diagnosis a secret. "I was living in denial, and I didn't want my children to know anything about the cancer, but we're very close," she says. Doctors expect Ellie's cancer to return within the next year, and she's promised Willy not to lie to him about the news.

"We'll have six months to a year to prepare if I am going to die," she says. "I won't just up and die on him...Rebecca too."


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