Wednesday January 30th started with a prayer. “Heavenly Father, thou knows Ashtyn has missed school and has been sick for a couple of weeks. She has been pale and has had very little energy. Last night my mom called to pass on a message from my dad that he really feels Ashtyn needs to see a doctor. You know how my dad is. He isn’t much of a talker but when he does, he speaks with wisdom. You know how I am. I think she just has a flu that she still needs to recover from. Please help her to get better or tell me what to do. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
And off we went as usual. I drove Chandler (13 yo) to Butler Middle School at 7:40 am, picked up my adorable nieces Millie (3 yo) and Ruby (1 1/2 yo) from my sister Alisa to babysit for the day. Went back home, fed kids breakfast, and hopped in the car at 8:30 am to take Ashtyn (12) and Morgan (10) to Canyonview Elementary. Ethan (6), Millie, Ruby, and I went back home, got ready for the gym and headed to XCEL Fitness. At 11:30 am I was ready to head out of the gym when I got a phone call from Canyonview Elementary School telling me that Ashtyn wasn’t feeling well and needed to be picked up. My heart raced in a way it never has when I get a sick call from school. My sister Jen was at my side and with a worried face I said, “I’ve got to get Ashtyn to a doctor.” She asked, “Do you think she could have Leukemia?” “Yes.” I answered.
When I walked in to the sick room at the school Ashtyn was laying on the bed. After a few days of protesting a doctors visit, with tears in her eyes she said, “Mom, I think I need to see a doctor.” “I know sweetie.”
I got a phone call from Chandler letting me know he didn’t feel well and asked if I could pick him up from school. “Perfect timing, I will be right there.” By this time it was 12:10 pm. Ethan’s school started at 12:15 pm so I dropped him off to Kindergarten at Butler Elementary. With urgency in my heart, I dropped Chandler, Millie, and Ruby to my moms and headed for the Insta-care with the knowledge that Ashtyn needed blood work done to find out if she has mono or Leukemia.
We sat in the waiting room for about an hour and once it was Ashtyn’s turn to see a doctor things started happening with no delays. Ashtyn was truly terrified when it took three painful needle sticks to get blood work. The results quickly came back with a very low White Blood Cell count and low hematocrit. I called Jason to let him know we were heading to Primary Children’s Hospital. It was 2:30 pm. Jason just so happened to be off work driving home and his dad just so happened to be 5 minutes away and headed to my house to give Ashtyn a blessing. ** I have never believed in “just so happened”. There are constant tender mercies from God all around us everyday showing us his continual and constant hand in our lives.** I drove Ashtyn home, got her in comfy PJ’s, grabbed her favorite blanket, Justin Beiber pillow and a few other things. Lorin, Jason’s dad, gave Ashtyn a blessing. I don’t remember a word he said but it doesn’t matter. I know the power of the Priesthood is the power of God and blessed Ashtyn with what she needed at that time.
Once we got to Primary Children’s hospital at 3:30 pm things happened quickly. The ER took every blood test they needed, but she was calmer with the needle sticks than she was at the insta-care. Ashtyn: “I trust them more here.” We first met with the NNP who talked to us about cancer. We then talked to the Hematologist who also was leaning towards cancer. Ashtyn was hearing about cancer when we didn’t even know she had it. In my mind I wasn’t going to assume she had anything until tests came back. As far as I knew, maybe she had a severe virus and yes maybe it was Leukemia, but I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions. By 7:30 pm Ashtyn was taken to the 4th floor and given a room in the ICS Immunocompromised floor. Ashtyn was scared. She wanted to know what was wrong with her. She didn’t want cancer. She didn’t want to be in the hospital. She wanted to be in school. (“What? You never want to be in school. How perspectives change.”) She wanted to be home. However she felt how I felt, nervous for the unknown but peace in the heart.
Once settled the visitors came and so did her smile, and even her laugh.
We will face this challenge with upbeat spirits. There will be times for crying, anger, fear, frustration, doubt, and anxiety. There will also be times for peace, happiness, smiles, calmness, and fun.
James E. Faust, “Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hope.”