Friday, February 27, 2015

Miracles Do Happen

Are you sitting down? Maybe you should sit down.

Tomorrow I'll be doing something WAY better than sitting on a white powder sand beach with a tropical drink overlooking crystal clear water- I will be getting a unilateral modified radical mastectomy.

That means the one of the most talented, experienced, IBC breast surgeons in the world, will be removing one of my breasts, the skin around my breast, and lymph nodes that are enlarged from cancer around the breast, at 1pm tomorrow (Friday).


Today was pretty stinkin' terrific. Whenever we come to Houston we are enveloped with love with our host home's insane hospitality, seeing some of our bestest friends, and hanging out with friends at MDA. One friend even brought the beach to us today and left a bag with beach-themed goodies at the check-in desk. The best part was a "european-style" swimsuit for Brad. The ladies in the breast center waiting area got a nice chuckle out of that. :-)

I had a pretty good morning finding out from the radiologist that my PET from the day before was clean, my thyroid biopsy came back that nodules there are benign, and it appears from the ultrasound that the tumors in my breast are stable. I honestly was a little chagrined that I had caused such a ruckus to get all my appointments rescheduled to this week, cancelling the trip, etc.

We met with my oncologist in the afternoon, he reviewed the three reports- PET, MRI, and ultrasound with us. Even though my right breast has been growing in size, all three reports said that the tumors were either stable or decreasing (don't ask me how that works!). The best part though, was that he wanted to take me to surgery. I couldn't believe my ears. My oncologist, surgeon, and radiation-oncologist all sat in the room with me to go over the plan. I'm so impressed with my team. They are literally the top physicians for IBC in the world- all working together on my case. Wow.

Initially the surgical team was talking about doing the procedure sometime in the next few weeks. I asked what the constraint was that needed more time- the schedule or my body. They said it was the schedule. At that point I started begging my surgeon to take me tomorrow. It was 3:30PM by that point and she said there was no way we could get surgery scheduled that quickly. She finally caved and said she would just check and see if anyone from scheduling was even still in the building. Lo and behold, she graciously moved stuff around, someone in scheduling was still at work, anesthesiology stayed late to have my consult, I ran around the lab area with people just waiting to see me - blood work, urine sample, x-ray, and EKG. One lady popped out into the hallway I was rushing down to leave and she said - are you Ashleigh? You need an EKG! So I went in and got an EKG. Just pure craziness.

I came out of the lab into the waiting room, singing loudly the hymn, "Count your blessings name them one by one!" The whole time we were running around the hospital getting all this stuff done, I kept excitedly telling the medical people that I was getting to have a mastectomy tomorrow! Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. (But let's be honest, that's nothing new.)


On the drive in to MD Anderson this morning we prayed that God would guide us through the day and that He would prepare us for whatever He had planned for the day.  But as it turns out, we were not prepared for what He had planned.

The very best-case scenario we had been expecting for today was news that the doctors had a plan C prepared despite the fact that tumors had been growing (again) while on chemo.  We're feeling the pressure of running out of good (or really any) chemo options combined with the fact that my tumors had apparently been getting resistant to yet another set of drugs.  We honestly thought we'd be facing a difficult decision about whether to try pre-operative radiation or yet another set of increasingly ineffective chemos.

It just goes to show how small our expectations are, how little faith we have in God accomplishing miracles.  We're very thankful that so many of you who are praying for us apparently aren't afraid to "swing for the fences" and pray for the big miracle, because that's what we got today.

If you remember the post from just before Christmas when we got really bad news at MD Anderson, there was a moment in the doctor's office when I expressed in despair that "God has decided not to answer all the prayers, not to heal me.  He's not giving me a miracle".  Then we had a miraculous encounter not five minutes later when a stranger, seemingly speaking directly from God, prayed over us and said "God, let this woman have the faith to know that You still perform miracles".

Today that story came full circle after we got our amazing news.  I couldn't help but think of my despairing cry from just a few months ago, "God's not giving me a miracle", made in an identical room to the one we sat in today. As one of the nurses left the room, as the door was closing, she said three simple words that captured all of our temporal turmoil and all of God's steadfast faithfulness over the last few months.  The nurse's words came to us as a renewed battle cry, as if God himself was issuing a response to my desperate cry from a few months ago:

"Miracles do happen."


  1. Your miracle is unfolding before our eyes!!!

  2. Ashleigh! So so blessed and thankful to hear this news! My family and I will be praying for your surgery today and believing for the very best results. I love how God is strengthening you and surrounding you with people who are fighting for you and encouraging you. God is the great miracle-worker and He holds you in the psalms of his hands! Much love to you today and always.

  3. *palms of His hands (but the Psalms are wonderful, too...) :)

  4. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! This is a miracle!!!!

  5. So amazing! Big prayers for you and your team today.

  6. Tearful jubilation and loud praise for our Heavenly Father!!

  7. The kids are all "mommy, why are you crying?!" Truly a miracle. May you have many, many years of serving your family.

  8. Ash-LEIGH!!!! My heart is turning flips for you, right now! Miracles DO happen! He is the SAME yesterday, today and forever! I have LOVED your faith through all this, and this post made my day! I love you, Sweetness, and am praying for your procedure. May God continue to bless, keep and cover your precious family - and your body. His Word is true, and I'm so glad your spirit (and faith in Him) has sustained you during this entire process! Four words for you: "Won't He DO IT!!!?!?!" Woohooooo! YES, He WILL! :-) (insert Happy Dance) Love you, Doll! Woot, woot!!!

  9. Yay!!!!! Wow, such amazing news! I'll be thinking of you during surgery and hope for a swift recovery!

  10. This post just made my day! I am so happy for you and will be thinking of you and your family all afternoon during your surgery. I hope everything goes perfectly!

  11. Sing Praise, forever God is with you! Love hearing the miracle part of this story! Praying for your team of doctors during the surgery, and continue healing of your body!

  12. Praying now with my sights set on David's fifth birthday CELEBRATION!!

  13. Thank you, Ashleigh, for this post. I have the same diagnosis, and your story, your emotions and your faith helps me in my I ibcjourney.
    God bless you.
    Best wishes from Russia.

  14. Ashleigh and Brad, You have been an amazing testimony of faith. Prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery so you can go back to just being a mom and wife.

  15. شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام التفاؤل شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر كما انها افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل نقل عفش واثاث بالجبيل والخبر والقطيف والدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف


  16. اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

  17. اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
    شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل عفش بجدة
    شركة نقل عفش بمكة
    شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة نقل عفش بينبع
    شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
    شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
    شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
    شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
    شركة نقل عفش بابها
    شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
    شركة نقل عفش بنجران
    شركة نقل عفش بحائل
    شركة نقل عفش بالظهران
    شركة نقل عفش واثاث
    شركة نقل عفش


  18. افضل شركة نقل عفش بالدمام

    شركة المنزل افضل شركة نقل عفش بالدمام فهي تعتمد علي افضل الفنيين و النجاريين لفك و تركيب العفش و افضل العمالة المدربة علي نقله و تغليفه بافضل الطرق لعدم حدوث اي اضرار
    شركة المنزل شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام مع افضل السيارات المخصصة للنقل و الشحن مع امهر السائقين
    نقل اثاث بالدمام