I am amazed as I look back on the past week.  Saturday and Sunday I asked for anyone who could to fast and pray.  We wanted Ashtyn’s rash to go away, her throat to feel better, and her white blood cell count to go up.  When I woke up Monday morning why was I disappointed that her rash wasn’t gone, her throat wasn’t healed, and her white blood cells weren’t where I wanted them?  That’s silly.  Why would I not think that even with God’s help, her body still needed time to recover?  Of course her body should take its natural course to heal and the healing process absolutely started Monday.

I am so grateful it did take time for the healing process to take place.  On Monday Ashtyn wasn’t ready physically or emotionally to go home.  From Monday through Friday night, Ashtyn’s rash did heal to where she is now comfortable in her skin.  The rash is no longer itchy and “ugly.”  Her skin has returned back to its normal color, other than her lower legs which have almost cleared up.  From Monday through Friday, Ashtyn’s throat went from not being able to swallow a pill to eating burritos, corn flakes, cake, and pickles.  On Monday all her nutrition and medications were being given through her IV.  By Friday night she was ready to be completely off anything IV.  From Monday through Friday, she went from having such a difficult time even walking to the bathroom to not needing assistance when walking in the halls.  Monday through Friday, Ashtyn went from not wanting phone calls with her siblings or visitors at her bedside to enjoying socializing.  Monday through Friday, she went from being solemn to laughing, joking, and smiling.  I have not seen Ashtyn be her true self since she got admitted to the hospital. However the happy Ashtyn is back.  She is sassy, makes jokes, and laughs at herself.  That’s my Ashtyn.  A girl who will walk out the hospital doors and embrace the few weeks she has at home.  And when the time comes, she will be ready to return to the hospital and kick butt again.

Your prayers, fasting, support, and positive vibes during the past week have brought an incredible change in Ashtyn’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  Blog posts from the past week included lessons we learned about faith and patience.  I wrote about her emotional and social progress.  Ashtyn also wrote a post sharing personal feelings about her experience this month and her testimony of God.  It really was a week of miracles.  A week I know will give us lasting strength and perspective.

Looking back during our stay at the hospital, I am so grateful for how her first course of chemo went.  That sounds odd.  How can I be grateful that she had the worst side effects from chemo, the worst case of mucositis, the worst effects from medications, the worst body rash, an ICU visit, more platelet and red blood cell transfusions than I kept up with, and the slowest recovery?  Well, next time we will all be better prepared for the challenges that will come.  In 37 days Ashtyn faced severe physical pain from all her body went through, emotional pain accepting the reality of cancer, and spiritual pain feeling angry at God and learning He will never abandon her.  She truly is so much stronger today than when she first walked into the hospital.  After this month, I have no doubt she can get through anything the future holds for her.

Her white blood cells have not improved to where Ashtyn can go home yet.  We are just holding onto what we have learned so far.  Stay faithful, optimistic, and patient having hope and trust that God has a merciful plan.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Carol Wagner says:

    So beautiful! When I’m going through something so difficult that I don’t know how I’ll get through it I try to remember that there are great big blessings in store and try to have patience. I’m not always so good at that, but know that later I can see where Heavenly Father was definitely there with me. How wonderful that Ashtyn already has a testimony of this.
    “Strong faith in the Savior is submissively accepting of His will and timing in our lives, even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted.” ~Elder David A. Bednar
    We continue to keep Ashtyn in our prayers. Thanks for sharing her story with all of us.

  • Lexi N. says:

    Hey Ashtyn,
    I think your an amazing and strong person! I am praying for you to go home by next week! Keep on being strong! And dont ever loose faith in the ones you trust! Keep on depending on God to steer in the right direction! You have a whole Army behind you to fight, so now you need to conquer! I have faith in you! You can kick cancers butt and go home soon! I love and miss you! <3<3<3<3<3<3
    Don't forget this quote:

    "It takes 1000 to fight and 1 to conquer!"

    -Lexi N.

  • Gary Poulsen says:

    One Day At A Time; the worst part is behind you. Good thing that Jesus, caried you through all this, and will continue to do so. Disneyland Or Bust: Love Uncle Gary

  • Brenda says:

    I’m so grateful that Ashtyn is doing better! Reading her story and praying for her has been a blessing in my life. Even though I haven’t met her and don’t anticipate that I ever will, I have felt such love and compassion and sincere prayer for her. The blessing for me, I have experienced deeper spiritual joy and awareness. Hang in there, Ashtyn! You are amazing!

  • J.J. Julon says:

    I have been reading your story everyday for th past month… I think it is about time I wrote a comment. We have never met and I don’t think we ever will. But I’m praying for you! Get well soon Ashtyn!

  • Swann says:

    Ashton, you are AMAZING! You know the power of God already! Always remember that He is always with you. Walk by faith! Your life challenges have made mine seem smaller.
    Keep it up!! So many of your brothers and sisters that you’ve not yet met on this earth are rooting for you! My son is 7. I couldn’t imagine if he got cancer. Cling to your mother! Mothers love their children VERY much. Hang in there, and my son, Jey and I will keep praying for you and your family!

  • Abigail Yeh says:

    I am so amazed all you have gone through, and now you can finally go home! Sorry I read this a little late, but today you announced you can go home! I am so happy for you! You were so strong with the position you were put in, and I am so extremely proud of you for that. It was hard to see you go through this, but I am glad you had to. It sounds crazy but you learned and taught so many inspiring lessons, it just makes me extatic to see the person you have become. You are one inspirational girl. Love, Abigail

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