Sunday, June 14, 2015

Praises + Prayers (6/14/15)

Hi Folks.  I wanted to provide an update to all of you faithfully following the blog.  First, do me a quick favor: take a deep breath, and promise not to freak out.  Promise?  Good.  Here we go...

We were admitted to the hospital last Wednesday because Ash was experiencing some pain on her right side.  I won't bore you with too many details or the play-by-play chronology of the last few days, but here is the synopsis:

- Her pleural effusion (cancer in the lining of her lungs) is worse
- She has new liver mets, and indications are they are starting to affect liver function
- Her hips and back are hurting, making it difficult to even get out of bed (likely from bone mets)
- Her right side is hurting (some combination of liver mets, pleural effusion, or other issues)
- She has been pretty "out of it" due to anti-anxiety drugs and pain meds she's been on

We started a new round of chemo last night.  While it is the only option available to us that has a chance of treating her cancer, there is also a high likelihood it could cause liver failure.  So our options were to chance it with the chemo, or go home to hospice now.  Those of you who know Ashleigh and have been following the blog over the last year won't be surprised by her decision: "Go big or go home".

So with that as the background, here is where our heart is:

Praises:
+ That her liver was well enough to receive chemo at all (this was debatable for ~24 hours)
+ That she was well enough to come downstairs to the lobby and see the boys for a while today
+ For awesome doctors and nurses who have supported us over the last few days and last year.  Specifically for our main oncologist, who is a literal God-send to us.  She is the perfect balance between hopeful, supportive, realistic, and always straightforward with us.
+ For an amazing outpouring of support and love from our family and friends.  Help taking care of the boys, help with logistics, with food, and everything else we could possibly need
+ For a wonderful nanny solution for the boys (thanks to those of you who helped look!)
+ For my wife's continued good spirits, good humor, and hope.

Prayers:
+ That the chemo would be very effective at killing cancer
+ That Ashleigh's liver would process the chemo without additional stress
+ For increased times of alertness from Ash
+ For her pain to be well-managed, or preferably non-existent
+ That God would continue to get more glory from her life than from her death...but that either way we would be faithful to proclaim the hope we have that comes from our salvation in Christ.  The certainty of eternity with God, especially in the face of death, is the only reason any of us are functioning at this point.

 Two final points.  First, remember when you promised not to freak out?  Well you promised.  All our immediate needs are being taken care of.  No one needs to take drastic action (e.g. jumping on an airplane to come see us) and for the love of all that is good in the world please don't blow up Ashleigh's phone with texts, no matter how well-intentioned.  She's not in a condition to respond right now.  Please email either of us or call or text me.  My natural inclination is to avoid over-sharing like the plague, but I want to give you an update so you'll know how to pray.  I'm trusting you to not freak out - we aren't.  Which leads to point 2...

Second, whatever the outcome is from here forward, we want to continue to emphasize that God is in control.  Just earlier today our doctor was in here explaining that we really need to temper our hope that the chemo would be effective (she said maybe a 10% chance).  Ashleigh very deliberately and lucidly said "my hope is not in chemo, or in you (looking at the doctor), or in him (looking at me), but in a life well-lived and in eternity with God." Our faith allows us to face this situation head-on, not because of some cultural expectation or some psychological effect, but because of who our faith is in: Jesus.

43 comments:

  1. Bless you all!!! Praying praying praying!

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  2. Prayers all the way around. Thank you for the time you took to update us.

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  3. Thanks for the update Brad. Praying praying praying.

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  4. Wow! What a testimony to the power of the ONE in control!!! Your lives are a reminder that We can withstand the "What", not knowing the "Why", if we know the "WHO"! Thank you for sharing your story.
    Love,
    Kim Anderson
    (Mandy & Jeremy Rockett's cousin)

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  5. Praying for each of you and lifting your request to the might throne of God.

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  6. An Old Friend from Back In the DayJune 15, 2015 at 12:10 AM

    I have been following your blog and praying for y'all. Y'all are an inspiration with your hope and trust in God.

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  7. So dear of you to share. God bless you beyond measure for your amazing clarity despite the present circumstances. Much, much love, hugs and prayers!!!!

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  8. Just found this blog and read Ashleigh's story. Praying so hard that her body is healed so that her living testimony can continue.

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  9. Thank you for taking the time to give us an update. Praying that this chemo brings Ashleigh much needed relief from pain, and works wonderfully against her aggressive cancer. Please keep us all updated so we can pray effectively.

    -an internet stranger who is inspired by your story

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  10. Continuing to pray that God's grace touches not only Ashleigh but all who love her.

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  11. Lifting you all up in prayer right now, and will continue to do so!

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  12. Prayers continue for your family. Ashleigh is a beautiful example of faith to us all.

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  13. Your faith so clearly delayed here throughout. .... has bless me so !!!
    ASHLEIGH is an amazing woman of love & honoring of our God !

    i agree in prayer with you on all accounts. ... & abundantly far above !!!
    In Jesus' blessed Name, Amen.

    Blessings to each of you !!!

    Perissa

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  14. We have been praying in Georgia, alongside Justin and Kimberly Caudill. You have encouraged us and taken us to our knees. In His Love, Maren and Jeremy Chupp

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  15. How can you love a family you have never met? It is easy, with God's love anything is possible. I love your family so much and I am praying so hard for you. I love that your family has such great faith, it is so important especially in times like this. Just knowing that we will continue to live an eternal life with God at the end of our mortal lives gives me such comfort to get through hard times like this. There is a reason God may call Ashleigh home earlier than any of us expected, we have to have faith in His plan even though it is really hard sometimes. Please tell Ashleigh that a stranger from Utah is thinking about her and her little family non-stop.

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  16. Sending prayers and love. You are a wonderful rock for Ashleigh and the boys. Give her hugs from us and let us know if there is anything else we can do.

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  17. Thanking God for the steadfast love, trust, and confidence you clearly have in Him! I'm covering your requests at His throne of grace and mercy knowing your hearts' desire for His will to be done. He who began a good work in you WILL be faithful to compete it. Much love to you all.

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    Replies
    1. Psalms 39:7
      But now, Lord, what do I look for?
      My hope is in you.

      I love how God is with you every step of the way.
      I love even more that you know he is with you!!

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  19. Heard about your story through a friend. Praying for a miracle.

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  20. Praying for Ashleigh's complete healing and for your entire family!

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  21. Praying for a MIRACLE for Ashleigh!

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  22. Ashleigh, I am Caroline's father and have met you at some of your Sunday school events. I want to tell you that I am amazed at your strength and courage. I know your faith in God is very strong, but following and reading all that I have from you, I could never have imagined that your faith is so strong! You have truly fought the good fight, finished the course and kept the faith. I hope and pray that God heals you, but should He call you home I am sure a crown of righteousness awaits you with Jesus. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Dennis Gorman

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  23. Prayers going up

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  24. Praying for you and your sweet family. Miracles do happen.

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  25. Ashleigh - words of any meaning escape me this evening. I don't know you, but I have followed your story and cannot imagine what you are going through in all of this, but your testimony of faith "shines brightly like a star in the universe."(Philippians 2:15)
    My 'go to' worship prayer song has always been I Surrender by Hillsong. In part the lyrics are:
    "Here I am down on my knees again, surrendering all. Drench my soul as mercy and grace unfold.With arms stretched wide I know You hear my cry. Like a rushing wind Jesus breathe within. Lord have Your way" .
    Lifting you up before the throne of heaven tonight and trusting in His sovereign grace and peace to be enough for all of you in these difficult days.

    I'm Andrea's mom, you and a couple of friends met in recent weeks when she passed the pink tutu on to you.
    Love and blessings, may peaceful sleep and pain free rest be yours tonight.

    Have a listen if you're up to it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAbW8bDZuTE

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  26. Praying for all of you. God bless you for updating Ashleigh's blog. I know it is important to her. Ashleigh's in my prayers everyday.

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  27. Praying in Arizona.
    Your faith shines through and is an inspiration.
    Elizabeth J.

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  28. Praying for you Ashley.

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  29. Praying prayin 😇🙏🏻🙏🏻

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  30. We are praying for you and your family. The journey is one that is in His hands and all we can do is do our best to understand. May your family's strong belief in God and understanding for the reasons behind such things keep you in good spirits, despite the struggle.

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  32. افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات ومنازل وشقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل خزانات ومكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة ونقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة مؤسسة صفوة المدينة
    شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة

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  33. الشرق الاوسط من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام متحصصه فى نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ونقل العفش بالخبر كما انها توفر شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل والخبر وشركة نقل عفش بالقطيف والاحساء وجميع خدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالمنطقة الشرقية بارخص اسعار نقل عفش بالدمام وتقدم ايضا شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام والخبر
    شركة الشرق الاوسط
    شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
    شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
    شركة نقل عفش الجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
    شركات النقل البري بالدمام
    شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
    ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
    ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
    شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام
    شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر

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