I was really in a funk. I was sad and depressed. I was wasted. I was empty. Totally drained. The past few months took all my fight in me. I didn’t have the urge to keep fighting anymore. I was tired of fighting. Tired of spending time at the hospital. Tired of being sick. Tired of having cancer in my life. But after I threw up my NG tube I realized I have to snap out of it, build up all the energy I can, and do three more months. I am going to get rid of this cancer for good and keep building up to be a better person. I am going to not let my body tell me what to do. I am going to be in charge of my body from now on. I am not going to let it win. I am not going to let this cancer beat me. I am not going to let it get the better of me. I am not going to let it ruin who I am. It almost ruined who I was. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t making my body fight. Instead I was laying around, letting my body be sick.

Before, I tried so hard to avoid the NG tube. When they told me I had to get one placed I thought, “well this means I’m not strong anymore.” That one thought added to more and more thoughts, “I can’t do this” and “I am not strong enough.” The transplant was scaring me too. I thought, “How can I do it?” I didn’t understand why I had to do all of this. I wished I could just be done with it all and just quit. Just say, “I am done,” drop it, not do the hospital stuff, and not do the transplant. What I really need to do is build up all my strength and just go through a couple of months of this, be done with it, and say “I officially beat cancer!” It will be a short little memory.

Since I have to do a few more months I want to make every day count. I want to do my best every day. I want to try and exercise and try to get all the nutrients I can. I want to try and find positive things in everything because I know there are positives in everything. When I’m not in the hospital I want to get out and enjoy the world outside of the hospital. When I am inside the hospital I want to have a laptop and write a book about my trials and my journey. I know it sounds weird, but I want to enjoy being in the hospital. When I am done with the bone marrow transplant I won’t spend nights in the hospital anymore. While I am in the hospital I want to enjoy all the nurses and staff. I want to enjoy the really deep spiritual, temple-like feeling that is there. I want to enjoy spending so much time with my mom because when we are out of the hospital I won’t constantly be in the same room as her. One of my favorite nurses gave me the idea to learn to play the ukulele or guitar in the hospital. That thought has always stuck as a fun idea. I think it would be fun to learn to play and then show him what I can do.

I have really good and positive thoughts about the transplant. I know that God will have my back and it’s all going to be ok. I am going to have my mom there the whole time. Right now I can imagine my future. I can see myself going to my mom’s house to visit her while my kids are at school. We will sit on the couch and talk. She’ll say, “Ashtyn do you remember all those months we spent in the hospital?” And we can just talk about it. She was there with me through the entire thing and knows more than anyone what I went through.

When I feel down during the transplant I will be able to read all the comments on my blog and Facebook which will give me that extra boost. It really comforts me to know that I have so many people out there following me and supporting me. Whenever anyone comes up to me and tells me they have been reading my blog, I feel like I know them. They know what I have been through and it makes me so happy to have people care. When someone tells me that they are following me, I have an instant love for them. I wish I could reply to all the comments I get. I do read all of them. I care about all of them and they make me happy. I don’t think of people who follow me as strangers. I think of them as part of my Army and my close friends. We are all in this together. I can’t wait to have a big party. I am going to invite every single person in my army and would love to talk to all of them. Without Ashtyn’s Army, this trial would be so much more hard to deal with. They take such a load off my shoulders. I am really grateful I have so many people supporting me.

When I’m really sad or sick, not only do I have the Army fighting with me I also have angels. It’s like what Mattie and Kim commented about on Facebook about the pioneers who felt angels pushing their handcarts when they didn’t have the strength to do it on their own. Francis Webster said, “We suffered beyond anything you can imagine, we came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives, for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities. I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it, the handcart began pushing me. I have looked back several times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there.” I really do feel angels have been pushing my cart along the way.

I am surprised that going under anesthesia doesn’t scare me anymore. I am surprised that I’m not scared to go to surgery to get my new central line tomorrow. I am surprised I can drive to the hospital without flipping out and not being insanely scared. I can talk to people without being shy. I can do amazing things, much more amazing than I thought I could do. I now know all these medical terms. I can talk to my dad about all these medicines. It’s so weird. It’s so surprising what I can do now. I thought I was strong before this. The divorce made me so strong but now words can’t describe how amazed I am with myself. I wouldn’t be anywhere near like this without God. I am nothing without Him.

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Jan J says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey. You are helping me have strength through my trials. I am praying for you every day. You can beat this! You are amazing, and I admire your faith.

  • Candy Dolan says:

    Love you Ashtyn!

  • Virginia Djahanbani says:

    You are a strong courageous girl and you have a great attitude. Always try to stay that
    positive even when it seems impossible. You will make it! Your army’s prayers are always
    with you.

  • Lisa Parent says:

    You were FABULOUS on KSL last night! You are so strong, even when you are feeling down. Thank you Ashtyn!
    Lisa

  • Susan Palmer says:

    Ashtyn, I have been following your blog with great interest. My grandson has AML leukemia and had his 2nd bone marrow birthday on March 16. You are an amazing young lady. I know that as you continue to fight, that you indeed will be lifted through this trial by the many angels that surround you both here on earth and those who are in the presence of our Savior. You are a survivor and you can kick cancer. My prayers are for your continued strength. Thanks for your strength and courage!

  • dave says:

    ashtyn, that was an amazing post and you are so wise beyond your years. you are a heck of an inspiration to those of us who know and love you and are pulling for you. stay tough. if you were a boy i’d say you were such a stud, but since you’re a girl, i guess that makes that makes you the most amazing studdette ever.

  • Shelley Bennett says:

    Hi Ashtyn! I pray for you every single day. I told your mom about this, but my 5 year old neighbor is having his “I beat cancer” party on Monday June 1 at 6 pm. He has just finished his three year battle with leukemia and he won!! If any of you want to come, even for a minute, it would be great! I want to be able to celebrate like this with you!! I love you, Ashtyn. Keep up the good fight! I’m fighting with you!! We all are.
    Shelley Bennett

  • Julie Osborn says:

    Ashton, Thank you for sharing your experience with us. You are an inspiration with your honesty, courage, determination and faith. I hope and pray you will continue to feel the strength you need from your army’s prayers and that you will keep feeling hope and peace. I love you beautiful girl!

  • Connie Gomez says:

    Don’t ever give up the fight….each morning when you get up and through out the day keep telling yourself “I can do this! I can do this!” and with the Lord’s help you will get through it. God Bless you.

  • April Wheeler says:

    Ashtyn, you are so very strong and I am so proud of you! I can’t say I know exactly how you feel because I don’t. But I can tell you I know how it feels to be sick and to feel as though you don’t have control over what your body is doing. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 9 yo. It was so hard learning what I needed to do to stay healthy, learning how to do insulin injections and count my food intake. At the time I felt just as you did, that it is all to hard and I just wanted it to go away! I am now 29 yo and Diabetes is just a part of me. It is my normal. Yeah there are days that it just plain stinks! On those days I just try to remind myself that I am lucky, I am still alive and have wonderful family and friends that surround me with love. Ashtyn you my dear CAN and WILL beat this cancer! People always say God never gives us more then we can handle. I used to find that hard to believe, but I now know that it is true. I have been through so much in my 29 years of life and with each trial I thought “I can’t do this” but then somehow I find that strength within me and pull through. You too have that strength within you sweet girl, and you too can pull through this! I have faith in you and our loving God. Just remember you have a lot of people fighting with you, and when you feel as though your load is getting too heavy let some of your army carry it for a while. I know I don’t know you personally but know that I love you and that you and your wonderful family are always in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Lexi N. says:

    Ashtyn, thank you so much for sharing your journey with everyone! I’m very proud that you have not given up! I’m glad that you can feel the angles and god pushing your wagon! I’m happy that you have built up such an amazing army! I’m glad that your pushing yourself to do more things before your in the hospital again! I’m glad that you have figured out some fun things to do in the hospital! I’m excited for your cancer to be gone for good in a few months! I hope that everything will go well and that you will always feel god and the angles helping you through this journey! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Miss you!

    ~Lexi N.

  • Jen says:

    Ashtyn, even though I haven’t gotten to know you, I admire you beyond words. I love and adore your mom and you are as strong and positive as she is. I think of you and your family often. My love and prayers always have you included. Hang in there. You’re awesome. You’ll absolutely beat this and you’ll be so incredibly strong and wise from it. -jen

  • Richard & Carolyn says:

    You are such an inspiration to us! When we complain and moan about life’s ups & downs,
    worry about mundane things, We think of you and how you would gladly trade your trials
    for ours! God Bless you and the family. Keep your focus on what you have to do and one day, this will be but a memory. We are with you & our prayers are constant.XXXOOO

  • Lily Sheehan says:

    I am so proud to be a part of your army Ashtyn. Keep fighting. We love you❤

  • Peggy says:

    How old are you, really??? You are so wise!!! What a great writer you are in expressing your feelings. I am truly amazed!!! The other night I was watching the news and I saw you and your mom on TV. I said to myself, “Oh there is Ashtyn!” I feel like I know you. As I go to the temple nearly each week, I always put your name on the prayer rolls. I remember you as I sit down to eat my meals each day. Heavenly Father must have a very important plan for you in your life to be strengthening you so much at such an early age!!!!!

  • Stefanie Jones says:

    Wow Ashtyn….what an amazing journey! You are such a great example of love and faith. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for sharing your amazing testimony.

  • Dasha says:

    I loved this post, Ashtyn, You have a real talent for writing and a way with words. I love the way you express yourself and can’t wait to read the book you are going to write! Stay strong!

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