Beautiful AshtynI was Ashtyn’s scribe tonight as she shared some of her thoughts:

I don’t think Ethan and I, or Morgan and I, or Chandler and I, are going to fight much anymore.  We are closer now even though we aren’t together.  I feel it in my heart.  I can feel them with me.  I’m glad it’s me doing this instead of them.  It breaks my heart to think of them having to go through this.  I hope that none of my family members have to come here.  I don’t care if it’s an adult or kid, nobody deserves to be here.  It is the hardest thing ever.  I hate this place so bad.  It’s not fair.  If I saw family members here I would feel sad and it would break my heart.  I couldn’t stand it if Ethan had to go through this.  He wouldn’t be able to handle it.  I would hate to see Morgan have to go through it too.  She wouldn’t be able to handle it either.  Chandler would be able to handle it better than Morgan and Ethan, but wouldn’t handle it very well.  I am able to handle it because I know more about what leukemia is.  I know a little bit more of the routine here.  Before this, if you asked me if I could handle cancer, I would say “no.”  I couldn’t imagine it.  But now I know I am strong.  I know that I’m worthy of feeling the Spirit and feeling God.  He is the reason I can do this.  I think after I am done with this disease, things wont be so scary anymore.  Before this I couldn’t do shots. It would scare me to do doctor’s check ups.  But now shots are nothing compared to this.  A shot or a check up would be like the smallest thing compared to what I am going through here.

It’s scary here.  It is scary knowing you are in the hospital getting all this medicine and all the IV stuff.  It is scary having doctors concerned about you and talking about scary stuff.  They talk about a bunch of medicine.  They talk about the worst things that can happen.  The scale of things that can happen to me or my body is pretty big.  There are a lot of bad things that can happen.  I’m not talking death and stuff.  Bad things like infections that I can’t fight off, or fevers, or being here a long time.  The physical therapists tell me about what can happen if I don’t walk so it makes me want to walk everyday.  It scares me to walk because I might fall.  My muscles are so weak and aren’t working properly.  It’s hard to walk even a couple of steps to the bathroom.  I need to sit down a lot.  I can’t really move my legs very well.  When I walk in the halls with physical therapy I have to wear a mask that irritates my face that has a rash on it.  I don’t like when nurses and doctors talk about NG tubes.  It’s scary because if I don’t eat enough I will have to get one.  I really want my white blood cells to go up so I can eat and drink.  I really hope I get as big of an appetite as I can.

It’s hard to have the energy to play games.  Basically all day I watch TV, movies, and lay in bed.  I am trying to do all I can so I can take as little medicine as possible.  I don’t take pain medicine anymore for my mouth and throat.  I don’t like being hooked up to stuff.  After showers it feels good to not be hooked up to the IV pole with stuff going into me.  Laying in bed is not that comfortable.  I have to change sides a lot because it hurts my rash if I lay on one side for a long time.  The hardest part about being here is being away from family and knowing that I am in a hospital.  But what gets me through it the most is knowing that I will go home and that God will never leave my side.

It’s scary looking at myself in the mirror without hair on my shoulders.  Thinking about being outside and not having the wind blow my hair or having to pull my hair back kind of scares me.  Sometimes it makes me feel ashamed that I have to be here.  Shaving my head was one of the hardest things.  It made me feel awful.

Once there is hair on my head again, the disease is gone, and I don’t have to worry about cancer,  I will be a better person, sister, and friend.  If anyone goes through a hard trial, I sort of have more experience.  Whether someone is in the hospital or just having a bad day, I know most feelings now.  I know how it feels to suffer awful pain.  I know how it is to be mad about yourself.  I know how it is to be mad at God.  I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and turn away in shame.  I know what it feels like to be trapped, not able to go anywhere.  I know what it feels like to be weak.  I even know how it is to question if there is a God, if the church is true, and if the scriptures are true.  I remember being so sick and yelling at God for not helping me.  I’m kind of mad about being mad at Him because if He wasn’t here, and if I didn’t know about the gospel, I would… I just can’t imagine what it would be like.

I know there is a God and only one true God.  I love Him.  He comforts me everyday.  When I got chemo I couldn’t feel Him but I know He was and is there.  I am so grateful that I know the gospel is true.  I am grateful that I can be worthy to feel the Holy Ghost.  Now I have 100% more faith in Him.  I had a bad trial last year when my parents got divorced.  I thought that would be the worst possible thing that would happen in my life.  I thought I had so much faith and now compared to then, I have more faith than I have ever had.  I feel Him with me.  When I can’t feel Him, I hate it.  I just have to know that He is there, He loves me, and I will be OK if I have faith in Him.

How is this trial going to change me?  I think I will feel better about myself.  I’m going to be stronger.  I will be able to help people with trials and I will be able to give them advice.  I will be a better missionary.  I will have more faith and more love in my heart.  I will have a stronger testimony in the gospel and in Jesus.  I’m glad that someone knows exactly what I am going through.  Every pain and sorrow that I feel, Jesus Christ has felt it.  I am glad that I have someone to talk to because He understands everything.

What was I like before this trial?  I hated my hair.  I hated how it was thick and I had to straighten it everyday.  I should have been more grateful to even have hair.  Before this experience I felt like I was a wimp.  I couldn’t do sports very well.  I couldn’t get shots without freaking out.  I couldn’t stand the thought of needles.  I worried about the smallest things that really don’t matter anymore.  I didn’t have faith in myself.  I didn’t think I could do what everyone else did.  I thought I was bad at everything.  I thought I stunk at running.  I didn’t run the fastest, even though I wasn’t the worst.  I didn’t have faith when we were doing PE.  I didn’t think I could kick the ball far in kickball.  In my brain I would say “no” before I even tried anything.  I didn’t think I could talk to boys or new people.  I didn’t have much faith before tests and thought I would fail.  I thought I was ugly.  I thought I didn’t have cute clothes or cute shoes.  But now that I think about it, I had more confidence than I realized.  Looking back, I did talk to boys.  I remember conversations I had with them.  I remember talking to new people and even made a really good friend that was new this year.  I didn’t realize how many friends I had or how many people cared about me.  I always thought someone was making fun of me behind my back or talking about me.  I thought I was hated.  Now I realize I was worrying about stupid things that really don’t matter.  Once you are in the hospital and going through this, you realize what you had that you never recognized.  I think I never had confidence.  I never believed in myself the way I should have.  I didn’t think I could do anything right.  I didn’t have faith in myself.

After this I think I will have a completely different point of view in life.  I won’t care so much about how I look or how my hair will be.  I won’t try to impress people by being someone I’m not.  I will still care about friends and who I come in contact with.  I will have more faith in myself and know that I can do anything.  At school I will know that a lot of people care.  In PE I will probably be able to do anything that everyone else is doing.  I won’t say “no” before I try.  I won’t be so insecure.  If I do something wrong, it won’t be as big of a deal.  I will just know that I am beautiful.  I will know that I am strong.  I won’t doubt God again.  I will be able to trust Him more.  And I’ll probably not want as much junk food as I did before because now it all sounds gross. Ha Ha.

My mom told me today that when I was really sick (I can’t remember being so sick), I told her that my great grandma Holt, who passed away in November, visited me a couple times. In the post my mom wrote that I said “my great Grandma told me that everything is going to be okay.  She told me to have faith.  She told me to focus on today, hope for a better tomorrow, and know that God has my back.  She told me that I am strong.  She told me not to listen to what people are saying in my room because no one knows what my body can do like I do.”  Thinking that my great Grandma said those things gives me a little bit more determination to go home.  It is kind of like a boost to my spirit.  I believe angels are here guarding me and protecting me.  I can feel it.  I know dead family members have been with me.  They have protected me and helped me get through another day.  I know everyone’s fasts and prayers have helped me.  I probably sometimes don’t know how the prayers have helped me but I know somehow they have.

My rash hasn’t really improved yet but it hasn’t gotten worse.  I still can’t eat or drink much. My legs feel weak. My arms are itchy.  I know everyone prays for me and fasted for me Sunday.  I know the fast will help me soon.  I haven’t lost my faith by me not getting better right away.  I know eventually I will get better in God’s time.  Thank you for your support and for the fasting and prayers for me.  I know each person is helping me.  Each prayer has helped me be able to be stronger.

Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Katie S says:

    Wow! You are amazing! Thank you for being such a great teacher and example. I have been and will continue to pray and fast for you. Wishing you the best!

  • Grace Schmidt says:

    Ashtyn,

    You are so strong and brave. I remember last summer when we were at the pool and you convinced Alexis to jump off the first platform, I thought you were so brave. Just know things can only get better. I’m praying and fasting for you. Feel better Ashtyn

    Love,
    Grace S. <3

  • Angela Zundel says:

    You are an amazing young lady. I am so glad you are able to see this in the right way- you are seeing the big picture. When this diease leaves your body, it will leave you as a spiritual giant! You will help so many people, and love so many people in your life. Gods plan for you is a wonderful one- I have no doubt. Our family prays for you each day, Ashtyn. We pray for your family, too. Prayers are heard- our Heavenly Father does treasure you, and Im sure he is so proud of the way you are growing your faith!

  • Alexis Schilling says:

    I remember in October I got an infection in my foot and couldn’t walk. I had to stay at the hospital over night. I hated the Iv. I had to convince my mom that I could walk because I didn’t want to miss Halloween. I asked the doctor why I had to be hooked up to an Iv and they said because if your infection spreads up your leg you will have to stay here longer. That one day and night in the hospital sucked. I hated everything about it. But Ashtyn you are strong and brave and I wasn’t at the time. Just know that evertime I pray the words I say are for you to get better
    Love,
    Lexi or Alexis

  • dave says:

    hey ashtyn, i was blown away by your post. you have learned stuff in the last little while that most people never learn in their whole life – about what are the big things and what are little things. i think maybe you just grew up a whole bunch. remember that most things are little things and the only really big things are friends, family and experiences. you are a big thing to those of us in your family who are constantly wishing you good vibes even if we cant show it as well as jared and casey, your mushy uncles. i think grandma holt’s advice is perfect. she always was the smartest one in the family. oh, and don’t worry about the hair. some people are cute without hair, although i wouldnt know. at least yours will grow back. stay tough, kiddo

  • Marta says:

    You are such a great example and reminder to us all.
    Love a little stronger, worry a little less, be more understanding and LIVE every moment!

  • Olivia Macey says:

    You are beautiful Ashtyn, and your immense faith and courage has touched me in so many ways as it has so many other people, Thank you!! You and your family are an example to me of wanting to live my life better each day. Thinking and praying for you!

  • Nicole Davis says:

    Ashtyn,
    I love you so much, we’ve made some grate memories this year and I was scared to talk to you at firs but once I got to know you, we were best friends!

  • Amber Affleck says:

    Hey Ashtyn! It is Amber. My family and I are really hoping that you will get better quickly. At school, there are posters, ribbons, and all sorts of thing that we are doing for you. Our class is wearing bracelets that say ‘Ashtyn’s Army’ on them. I taped mine a little tighter though, so it would fall off during the day. I haven’t forgotten to wear it. Most of the time, I even sleep in it and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I will most likely see the bracelet and think of you. I wish I could send you a picture. You can look on Facebook for the pictures we have for you. (If you haven’t already) When I do take the bracelet off, {so I can re-tape it} I feel a really big need that I need to put it on right away. Then my stomach feels kind of weird, until I put it back on again. Well, the comment is pretty long, so I better stop. 😉

    ((HUGS))
    ~Amber
    {From you class at school. 😉 )

  • Taylor Savas says:

    Ashtyn, I know I haven’t talked to you much,but I pray for you every day. I know you can make it through this. I know it isn’t going to be easy for you, but I also know that you can do it. I know if you have faith it will really help you through this trial. I was thinking about you today, and I just wanted to let you know that you are amazing Ashtyn, I’m sorry I wasn’t the best neighbor, and I wish I would have talked to ya more.But, from here on out, I’m always going to be here for you and your family.-Taylor

    I know you can do it!- Parker

    Hey, Ashtyn! 🙂 Just wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers every day.And I know that you can make it through this.You have a sweet spirit.-Connor

    We love you Ashtyn! <33

  • Cassie says:

    Cheers and hugs for Ashtyn who has greater insight into life than most of us can imagine. Let her know there are kids in Virginia at her cousin’s (3rd cousin, I guess) elementary school collecting change for leukemia research. Such a worthy cause! Our hearts and the change of Vienna, Virginia families are behind you.

  • Gary Poulsen says:

    Ashtyn; you are serving a mission, now due to the faith, you have recieved. You are inspiring many people, to strenghen, faith they allready, have or seek, out the comfort, of the Lord. Disneyland Or Bust! Love Uncle Gary

    • Abigail Yeh says:

      Ashtyn, you are such a great example to me and everyone in your Army. I would love to see you go home, even if that means not getting able to see you. You are such a brave girl, I would not have been able to be so strong if I were in your position. Your faithful heart has inspired me not to worry about the little things and not to take anything for granite. I am so happy to see your perspective changing throughout this journey. It is hard to see you go through this, but God chose the right person for this situation. Love you tons!!! <3
      -Abigail

  • Harmony Young says:

    I don’t know u, but I have been reading your posts through Sarah McCown. You are an amazing strength, so brave and strong. My prayers are with u and your family. God bless u!

  • Lisa says:

    Ashtyn, you are amazing. What a strong and noble spirit you have! I will read these words over and over because I learn so much from you. You are wise beyond your years! Our family loves and always prays for you…

  • Mrs. Okumura says:

    Ashtyn,
    You are amazing in your thoughts and spirit. I have never known someone of your age to be so wise and full of strength and courage. Thank you for allowing us to share in your journey in battling cancer. I have noticed that your faith has strengthened and touched many lives world wide. Although you may sometimes wonder why you have to take the “tougher” road to conquering cancer, I can tell you that Heavenly Father gives some of the most difficult trials to HIS strongest children. I know you are a very valiant daughter chosen by our Heavenly Father to guide others back to HIM. Allowing us to fast and pray for you has strengthened our family and has helped us to be a better family. Thank you sweet girl. We send our love, prayers, and hugs to you daily.

    The Okumura Family (Mike, Sharon, Maddie, & Megan)

  • Carol Bee says:

    Ashtyn, thank you so very much for bearing your testimony, for sharing what you have learned and experienced. For those of us in your army, you have spiritually touched our hearts and souls, and We will never be the same either. So grateful to read of the spiritual experiences you have had: to know your great grandmother visited you, that you feel angels and God’s presence. Ashtyn, you have always been impressive, but after this you will truly be an exceptional young women. We will continue to pray for you.

  • Ellyson Bee says:

    Ashtyn you are an amazing young woman and I have always looked up to you. You are the strongest girl I know both physically mentally and spiritually. You have such a strong testimony and I know that you can get through this. Even though you have no hair it doesn’t matter I think you look even more beautiful than you did with it. We have all missed you at school and hope you return as son as possible. You have a huge army behind you and can always fall back because we will be right behind you to catch you. You are an amazing girl and have always set a great example for everyone, younger and older. You are the best person I have known and the angels and the spirit are with you always even if you can’t feel them. They are there through your whole life! You are the strongest girl I know and are an amazing example to me! You are the bestest friend I have ever had even though we don’t hang out and didn’t really talk at school we always texted and caught up. I have checked the blog everyday and have been reading everything. Thank you to your mom we have all been updated on what’s going on.
    With all my love, Ellyson.

  • Lexi N. says:

    Hey Ashtyn,
    You are so brave! I still pray for you everyday… every word that is said is being heard, every thought that is in a head is looked into,and every prayer is moving you onto a new stage to getting better! Just think, if everyone prays that is in your Army then you will be better in no time. I have been pinning things on pintrest so you can build a stronger Army to get you better. Ever since I made a board called “Fight for Ashtyn” I have gotten 123 followers. The word is spreading! I was amazed to see comments on the pins like:
    “O my! That poor girl! I’m going to read her blog right now!”
    “Cancer should never be in a persons body! But this is a challenge that God has given her. God has given this to her for a reason. He has ways of protecting us and this is one of his ways, it may not seem like it but it is. I’m praying for that poor little girl!”

    Those were only a few of the comments, but it’s nice knowing that your being thought of. Keep this quote in mind:

    “It takes a thousand to fight and one to conquer!”

    You are such a good example to my whole family, you have taught us to be strong through the pro’s and the con’s. If I were in your position then I would be weak and wouldn’t want to fight off the cancer bugs. You have been strong this whole time and have never given up! And that sets a perfect example! I am very proud to call you my friend and be apart of your Army! I love and miss you Ashtyn! I hope you feel better soon! I’m praying and fasting for you!<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    Love,
    Lex

  • Amber says:

    Love you Ashtyn!
    You have been so strong throughout this.

    <3

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