Opposition Is Not a Bad Thing

Have I made it clear how grateful I am for each one of you for taking the time to read this blog? Have I made it clear how much I appreciate the support you give me and Ashtyn by simply staying updated and informed? We are bonded with a common love and concern for Ashtyn. I would hug each of you as if you were family because I feel we are connected and going through this journey together. Thank you. (If you have any questions that you want answered in the blog, please text me 801-633-4969.)

I got a phone call from Ashtyn’s oncologist. The oncologists and bone marrow transplant doctors came up with a plan they believe will be best for Ashtyn. They want her to do one month of chemo at home with the idea that she will then do a bone marrow transplant the second week of June. If she currently has no evidence of cancer, why does she have to do another month of chemo or even a transplant at all? They are certain that if all treatments were stopped the chances the cancer would come back is 100%. The goal of an additional month of chemo is to kill any undetectable, residual cancer cells that may be present. They want to do all they can to destroy any possible cancer cells which increases the success of a transplant. Since the cancer appears to be gone from the last month of chemo, she is allowed to do the next round of chemo at home. The plan is for her to go to the hospital today, Friday the 26th, to receive IV chemotherapy. After about three hours in the clinic, Ashtyn will go home with a detailed schedule of what chemo she will take each day during the next 28 days. Home Health will be very involved in providing supplies, chemo, and instructions on how it is to be administered. She will have both IV and oral chemo with varying side effects, however nothing will be as intense as when she was in the hospital. Each Friday I will take her to the hospital for a check up. She will also get lumbar punctures with administration of chemo into her spinal fluid. After the 28 days of chemo at home, they will allow her body and white blood cells to recover over two weeks. She will then be admitted into the hospital for close to two months for the bone marrow transplant. For now, unless Ashtyn gets sick, she will be home for a total of eight weeks. She has never been able to do chemo at home. It’s a path we have never experienced. I’m excited to see how it all turns out.

We’ve been told “for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” Opposition is not a bad thing, it’s awesome! It means you can learn and grow during difficult times and then more fully appreciate and enjoy the easy times. Ashtyn has experienced a lot of opposition. She has cried and laughed. She’s felt pain and comfort. She’s felt sorrow and joy. She’s felt fear and peace. She has missed out on a lot and has had amazing opportunities. She has been away from friends and has met incredible people. When we were alone in a small hospital room, we felt a great amount of support from the outside world. When there was nothing the human hand could do, angels filled her room. In February she didn’t have an appetite and couldn’t eat anything. In March and April she had a great appetite. After spending 2 1/2 months in the hospital, she now gets to spend eight weeks at home. I will never shun opposition. When times are difficult, joy and peace will follow. I’ll take the “bad” opposition to enjoy the “good” opposition any day.

In life and in cancer I have learned to “just go with it.” However you want to describe life, whether “a roller-coaster,” “the long and winding road,” “the journey,” “the climb,”… it’s never a predictable course, and that’s ok. I have to plan for the future and then roll with the punches as they come, adjust plans, adapt to the unexpected, embrace change, and face head on whatever life brings. It’s all good. Or eventually it will be. At least it seems that way, doesn’t it? Whenever the unexpected happens, it seems after pushing through, everything works out. So I’ve learned I need to just go with the flow with faith that “things work out, it isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out, don’t worry.”

It seems the entire cancer experience so far has been full of surprises. Nothing expected has happened. Obviously the diagnosis was a shock. The rare form of leukemia was a punch. We had to adjust plans while staying in the hospital for 39 days with many complications. March 10th Ashtyn was able to go home for, what we were told, two weeks. We adapted to the unexpected when we had to return to the hospital after four days. We went with the flow when told her second hospital stay would be a few days which ended up being 27 days. Ashtyn is now home. Originally we were told she would be home for two weeks. Yesterday we found out that as long as she doesn’t get sick, Ashtyn will be able to stay home for eight weeks. We will embrace the change and continue being flexible with whatever surprises may come our way.


14 responses to “Opposition Is Not a Bad Thing”

  1. This blog still amazes me every time I read it, I have not stopped praying for Ashtyn and am so happy you get to spend some time at home. I am about to leave this coming Wednesday to serve an 18 month mission, and I will truly miss the updates but I will never stop praying. Thanks for letting us watch this journey it has strengthened my testimony.Thanks Ashtyn for being an example. All my love!

  2. This makes me so happy! I can’t believe how her body is reacting to this. It is truly amazing! Tell Ashtyn I am so proud of her, can’t wait to c her ( hopefully soon) , and recover as fast as you can so you can do all that you want! I am so so so proud even though we weren’t the greatest of friends. It’s a blessing to be at your side Ashtyn ❤

  3. Thank you, again, for the detailed updates. I read every word. When people ask me how Ashtyn is doing, and I’m asked often, I can tell them in as clear and descriptive terms as you have written them! Our love goes out to your family. We are here for you through this journey!
    Joy Strong

  4. Please just try to feed her healthy food…her body needs the support of healthy nutrients to help her get better. I know it can be difficult to get her to eat anything at times, but fast food all the time will tax her body more than help her. We know regardless, she will fight hard and make it through this!

  5. What an absolute miracle that she could be basically cancer free in such a short time and look “forward”” to a bone marrow transplant within five to six months. And on top of all that, you already have a donor!! Considering all the awful things Ashtyn has endured, she is being richly blessed. And all of us are touched by the miracles and blessings we are witnessing? We pray these blessing and ministering angels will continue during this next phase of her treatment. God bless your entire family?”

  6. I’m so happy with each second she takes she is getting closer and closer to the bone ,arrow transplant and then will hav no cancer. I am so happy our millions of prayers have been answered and we will continue to pray for Ashtyn and when the bone marrow transplant is done and she doesn’t have to do any chemo she will be able to grow all of her hair back! Then she can live a new life with the new perspectives she has developed over this journey. I am so happy for Ashtyn and am glad this blog was created for the people who care for Ashtyn and are supporting her the whole time.

  7. I’m so happy for the positive direction! You know, the kids that keep up with your blog want to know when you’re coming to see us….

    • Ashtyn,
      Throughout all this you and your family have taught me a lot of amazing life lessons. This lesson, opposition, was the best. I always complain if something isn’t going right or whine if I don’t like a certain thing. But you taught me, yes times can be tough, you just have to fight through it no matter what, because if you have faith and are willing to fight it will turn out alright in the end. Also, that I should enjoy good times and not complain about a minor detail. Thank you so much for teaching me these valuable lessons that can make life happier if I am willing to use them. I am also very pleased to hear that you came back cancer-free! That amazed me, I could not believe it! But yes your mother was right, you gave those doctors a run for their money. And I’m glad it turned out that way! Keep fighting strong girlie! Love, Abigail

  8. Hi my lovelies! So happy you guys get to be home for the entire time! I would love to see a post about your other children and how this has effected them good & bad and how their life has changed. 🙂


    • I will start working on a post explaining how my other children have been affected. Thank you so much for the suggestion.