She Chose This

Ashtyn and I are spending our 25th night in the hospital.  She is no longer being kept awake by nausea, vomiting, coughing, mucous, diarrhea, bloody noses, restroom runs every two hours, shortness of breath with fluid in her lungs, or an extremely swollen mouth.  She isn’t suffering from a high temperature, high heart rate, or high respiratory rate.  For this we are grateful.  For this my heart rejoices.

Tonight Ashtyn was being kept awake because of sadness.  Sorrow that she can’t go home.  Sad for losing her hair.  Worn out from the pain.  I don’t know what it feels like.  I don’t know what it feels like to not be able to leave the hospital.  I don’t know what it feels like to lose my hair.  I don’t know what it feels like to not be able to eat or drink.  I don’t know what it feels like to not be able to get out of bed and walk around on my own.  I don’t know what it feels like to be stuck to an IV pole with medications constantly going into my system.  I don’t know what it feels like to not be able to shower and go to the restroom in privacy.  I don’t know what it feels like to have strangers coming into my room all the time asking, “How are you?” when clearly I am not OK.   I don’t know what it feels like to have visitors come, only to have them leave and know that I can’t leave with them.  I don’t know what it feels like to have constant pain in my mouth and throat, even though I should be happy they are healing.  I don’t know what it feels like to have leg pain and not feel like rejoicing that it’s a sign the bone marrow is starting to make cells.  I don’t know what it feels like to not want to think about life outside the hospital and what I am missing out on.  I don’t know what it feels like to not allow myself to think of what used to make me happy because those things would only make me sad.  I don’t know what it feels like to have no control over anything other than what side of my body I sleep on, what finger the oxygen monitor goes on, and what TV station or music is playing.

Ashtyn Sleeping WIth Picture Of Jesus

Ashtyn Sleeping WIth Picture Of Jesus

Tonight Ashtyn finally fell asleep at 4:30 am listening to Pandora’s LDS Hymns and looking at a picture of Christ loving children.

When I see the physical and emotional pain Ashtyn is going through, I feel sad and have shed tears with and for her.  However, if I had the ability to take this cancer away from her, I wouldn’t. You heard me right.  I would not take this cancer from her.  Why would I rob her of this life changing experience?

Ashtyn chose this before coming to earth.  She knew the pain she would experience.  She also knew the blessings that would be hers from going through it.  Lives would be changed.  Her life would be changed.  Every moment of her trial will be worth it.  She will never want to give back what she gains and what she learns.  It will be precious to her.  So as a mother, why would I ever take that away from her?  I am happy for her that she is the kind of girl that God has trusted to go through this with faith, strength, and dignity.  God has every confidence in her that she will get through this trial.  I do too.

Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Anonymous says:


  • Colleen Luck says:

    Dear Ashtyn,
    You don’t know me, but I know all of your grandparents and your parents. I am from the Butler 1st Ward and we are all fasting and praying for you! I wake up each morning and check your blog before I go to work, as well as each night before I go to sleep. You have been through a lot, but you “can do hard things”! You have taught me many things, even though you don’t know it. Know that you are in my prayers constantly, and my good energy is channeled up to you at Primary’s! My love to you and your family!
    Colleen Luck

  • Shelley winegar says:

    Suzanne so beautifully put! You to have been through so much . Much that cause many to be bitter, angry and lose Faith. You and your family are incredible and learning so much so that you can teach many that are not so filled with love and faith. You know someone else that comes to mind is our brother who why hanging on a cross pleaded with the father to forgive them for they know not what they do. Suzanne you and Ashtyn know exactly what you have been sent here to do and you are doing it.

  • Lisa Parent says:

    I know that God gives trials like this to the toughest of his children. That includes you and Jason too, Suzanne! I’m so happy to hear that some of the yuckiest things are improving a bit this week. Praying, praying, praying!

  • Oh hunn if I could take away the pain I would. Just remember the lord is there with you, has not left your side at all.

  • I love you guys so much!! You are the strongest family that I have ever got to know!!!! I see your siblings everyday at church, and it seems like Chandler is very fun!! I love you like a sister Ashtyn!!!! We miss you!! Get better soon so that we will be a full Beehive class again!!!! We hope to see you soon!!!! Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nickie Graybill says:

    We love all you Suzanne! You and Ashtyn are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Your challenges have helped me put mine into perspective and I am grateful to you for sharing the good and bad. Whenever I read your entries, I cry, brush away the tears, go give my girls hugs and kisses and think what I can do to serve them more–to be kinder and gentler. Thank you for your perseverance and your testimony you continue to share through this difficult time. I admire your strength and optimism even though I know it doesn’t come easy. We love you!!

  • Karen says:

    Like so many others, I have been following your story and routing for you without even knowing you. I am friends with your Aunt Alisa and recently battled through a course similar to yours. Many of my struggles were much different than yours, though many the same. It sounds like you are quite the fighter and this process will need that fight.
    I have had the urge to share a song with you that was written by a leukemia survivor, a guy that also happens to be the lead singer in one of my favorite bands :). I am not necessarily a religious or overly spiritual person, so this doesn’t have any direct relation to many of the things it seems like you are relying on for strength, but it is one that anyone can use to muster up some needed strength. It’s called Swim, and Suzanne, hopefully it can help you either stay strong for that little angel or allow you to shed some much needed tears and let your guard down for a few minutes.
    I hope the link to YouTube works :). If not, Swim by Jacks Mannequin and I hope you like it.

  • Amber Jackson says:

    I teach the Beehives in my ward. This month’s theme is the Plan of Salvation. Today my lesson was on why we have adversity. Before the lesson I read your post today, Suzanne and was inspired to share part of it with my girls. They were so touched by Ashtyn’s amazing example of courage and faith! We prayed for you today in class. You are helping others who are going through their own trials. We love you and our family prays for you daily, even our 2 year old with her simple prayers doesn’t forget to mention you.

  • Tessa Rees says:

    I’m so happy to see you are improving Ashtyn! Keep fighting, you are one amazing young woman!

  • Bree Swenson says:

    Thank you, Suzane, for sharing your testimony on this blog. You and Ashtyn have strengthened mine. When i heard that Ashtyn was doing better, i couldn’t help but Think “Hallelujah, thank God Almighty!”. May God bless you both, and i pray that Ashtyn continues to improve. Much love!


  • Stacie Neeley says:

    You are such an inspiration to us! My daughter, Presley, is friends with Morgan and we just love her …and your whole family! We check your blog and read it together each day. You have taught us to be more patient, more loving and more courageous in all we do! We have joined Ashtyn’s Army!
    Each night, we kneel down as a family at bedtime and my kids pray for you- that you will feel of our love, that Heavenly Father will bless you, and that you will have the extra strength needed to fight. Much love and hugs from all of us!
    ( Suzanne, thank you for sharing your experiences. Your testimony has truly touched our lives.)

  • Chelsea says:

    I know this feeling well, I was recently diagnosed with Epilepsy. It is life changing but not as much as what Ashtyn’s is, but I constantly remind myself when I have the “why me” moments that this is something I agreed to face while here on Earth. I was given the choice to say “No, I don’t want that trial in my life.” but I said yes. For some reason there is something for me to learn, or someone around me that is in need.
    Ashtyn, stay strong and positive, its just a small stepping stone in our lives that we must go through, and for what ever reason why we go through the things we do, WE will become STRONGER in our faith with our loving Heavenly Father who won’t give us something that we aren’t strong enough to handle. My prayers are with you and your sweet family at this time.

  • Chuck and Joan Bennett says:

    We are indeed praying for your entire family. We spent many years visiting hospitals to be with our son, so have a little understanding of what the family is going through. Ashtyn is
    literally brave, like all those types of kids seem to be . They are a different breed, with strength and faith. I’ll request our ward in Eagle Mountain have one of our Sacrament Meeting prayers include prayers and blessings for Ashtyn.

  • Reese says:

    If I were religious, I would pray that your child were not ill and in pain for you.
    When I see children who are abused or suffering or struggling or starving to death in pictures, or blown up in airstrikes or by terrorists, I have no reason to believe they’ve chosen such a life.
    I’m so sorry for your daughter’s suffering, and for yours.
    I don’t think she chose cancer. Just as I don’t think children beaten to death by their parents chose that life.
    I hope doctors and medicine are able to heal her and that you may all have a loving life together.

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you for sharing your perspective. Though some of our views may be different we do have so much in common. Neither accept or tolerate children being beaten, abused, starved to death, or being blown up. In the bible Matthew Chapter 18 verse 6 it tells us what God thinks when children are mistreated, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

      I admire your love for children. Rest assure that God is truly lightening Ashtyn’s burdens. She is never being given more than she can handle and has been comforted greatly by God, angels, and those around her. She has faced cancer with optimism, courage, and even joy from time to time. Just as you have become stronger and a better person because of your struggles, Ashtyn will be a stronger, better woman because of her struggles with cancer. I am sure your compassion for children and who you are today is a result of hard times you have gone through in life. My hope is for Ashtyn to learn as you have.
      Please know that there is a God who loves you. A God who wants you happy. A God who will lighten your burden too, if you let Him. It is a miraculous thing to actually go through hard times literally feeling pain and heartache lifted.

      Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

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