Archive for March, 2012

Bald is Beautiful…………LOL….Right

Written by Ash on . Posted in News

Do you know how many times I have heard this expression, “Bald is Beautiful”.  Seriously people, who are you kidding here.  There is nothing beautiful about being bald.  I know I have a couple of friends out there that work it, a Gramps or two and a Bishop here and there, but me……Um, nope.

It was beautiful that I was told I would lose my hair in 12 days after treatments began and I was able to keep it 17 days, not saying that I could do anything with it because it was falling out faster than my kids get cavities, but I still had hair on my head and was ME. After my second treatment, yes I am way behind on blogging, I definitely started to notice pieces coming out here and there, especially in the shower when I washed my hair.  I began not evening touching or combing it for fear of it seeing a chunks left in my hand or the brush consumed with hair.

The whole hair thing had completely consumed by thoughts and it was driving me NUTS!  I was waking up several times at night to look at my pillowcase.  After all, I had been warned by several survivors that I would wake up one morning and my pillow and bed would be covered with hair.  There is nothing more disgusting than sleeping in a bed with a bunch of loose hair.  You might as well kill me now.  Even if I didn’t turn on the light, I was beginning to hold my pillow to the side of the bed and shake it several times a night or simply flip it over.  I couldn’t believe that me, of all people, was losing sleep over losing my hair.  But I also knew that this simple phase was going to be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome and it needed to take place in order to take the next step.

After the kids left for school on Valentine’s Day, I was sitting on the couch in my pajamas.  Chad was kneeling in front of me asking what he could do to help like he does daily and Kambree was standing next to me.  I had a chunk of hair fall down in my face and Kambree grabbed it to move it back out of my eyes…….well, I probably don’t even need to say what happened next, but for those of you who are not completely awake while reading this I will.  The entire chunk of hair came right out of my head and she was left holding it in her tiny hand.  She looked at it, I looked at it, then I looked at her.  This is one time I wish I would have had a camera to catch her priceless facial expression.  She responded with AaaGGGGGGGGG, your hair just fell out Mom!  There was no denying the processing that was taking place in my life.  I look at Chad with tears in my eyes and said, “It’s time, babe…..let’s get this over with”.  It still brings tears to my eyes as I type this and I can’t believe I am wiping snot on the blanket that I just washed today!!!  Brother.  I still can’t tell you why the hair affected me this way because I would like to say that I am not a very vain person.  My hair wasn’t the thickest, most beautifully colored hair on the block.  In fact, I usually had roots (which by the way are in style right now, so that totally sucks), I always had split ends.   I would have no excuse now to getaway for a couple of hours to pamper myself and my hair.  Now how was I going to hide those zits I started to get getting along my jaw line or the ones on my forehead when I turned 35!  Betcha none of you thought of that dilemma, huh?  More than anything, though, was the fact that I, in a matter of minutes, really and truly became, SICK.  I looked sick and now others would see me as someone who was sick. Up to this point, nobody had a clue.  I was sick only in the inside and now I was sick to the outside world as well.

Chad grabbed his clippers first then his razor and I grabbed a chair to set in in our bathtub.  I held my head in my hands, looked straight down and away he went.  Chad didn’t say much during the process, I could only imagine what was going through his mind.  I cried.  Kambree on the other hand did not hold in her comments at all.   At the time I was thinking how insensitive is this 3-year-old…….did she not understand what I was going through?  But, she did make me crack a smile when she said, “AaaGGGGGGGgg, I can’t wait for my kids to see this (she calls her brothers her kids), my mom looks like a BOY!!  I can’t wait to be a mom, then I can shave my head too.”  I simply love this girl and the things that come out of her mouth.

The shaving process took a lot longer than I ever thought it would, about an hour to be exact.  After all was said and done, Chad said look at me and I just couldn’t.  I couldn’t look at my best friend and see the horror on his face.  His “Sunshine” of so many years, sitting in an empty tub, bald, crying and an absolute mess.  This was a Valentine’s gift he will never soon forget, I bet.  I asked if he would leave me alone for awhile while I tried to pull myself together and he and Kambree left.  I sat there feeling empty for a few minutes and then decided that I had to buck it up and get over this and quick.  You see, I had a date to dance with my 10-year-old at his school in 30 minutes.  Boy, was this going to be a shocker to him.  The kids had no idea what had taken place and to be honest, I intended on having them all be a part of the shaving “party”, but when it came down to it, I was the one who wasn’t ready.

I got in the shower, got dressed, put my make-up on, and tried on a few different hats…….all in less than 25 minutes!!!  Holy crap, let me say that again, I had just gotten ready in 25 minutes.  Hey, this was pretty cool.  Chad didn’t think I would go and when I called him to tell him I was on my way to the school, I think he was a little shocked.  Afterall, he hadn’t see my yet and who shaves their head and then goes to an elementary school to a party?

I walked in to a couple of really good friends waiting and saving me a seat along side Chad, all of whom said how great I looked, but really…..what are they supposed to say, AaaGGGG you look like a boy?  Haha  It’s what happened next that turned everything around for me.  I sat down and within seconds Kaige spotted me.  He smiled and then started walking towards me.  The horrible mother in me, started to say to herself, “On my gosh, he’s coming over, he’s going to rip my hat off to see if I really did it in front of all of these kids!”  As Kaige got closer and closer, I started to shake my head back and forth like don’t you dare touch this hat if you know what’s good for you boy.  He arrived, leaned over and gave his mamma the biggest hug and said, I’m glad you could make it mom…..you look beautiful and walked back to his dancing partner.  Seriously?  Who does that?  Needless to say, he brought tears to my eyes.  It was then I knew, if my kids could accept this and be adult about it, then by heck so could I.  I sat there having a sense of fulfillment that if nothing else, I had raised this child to be a respectful and kind human being.  If things didn’t work out in my favor, I could move on to my next assignment knowing that I had raised my children to be good people and that brought a lot of calmness to my heavy heart at that moment. 

Kaige danced with several girls showing off the dances they had learned throughout the year and then the last dance belonged to me.  He came and took my hand and we walked out onto the gym floor and danced together.  I love this child of mine and the young man he is growing up to be.  Here are a couple of pictures.  My very first picture with no hair.  I was a nut and wouldn’t allow the camera to be present during my hair appointment with Chad, silly I know. 

 

 

P.S.  Since I am blogging about this particular time nearly a month and a half later, I wanted to let you know about all the positive things about being bald….and no, beautiful is still not on my list.

1.  You can do some serious saving both on water and hair care products.

2.  My time to get ready in the mornings has been cut down to a 1/3 of the time.  I can even beat Chad getting ready.

3.  I’ve had the opportunity of showing Chad what it is like to kiss an unshaven face…He let me rub my head on his face to feel the prickies, resulting in me cutting his lip.  lol

4.  I can go into a dressing room to try on clothes and come out looking exactly the same way, no longer do I have static electricity or look as those I had just had a cat fight with the neighborhood stray cats.

5.  No more nighttime ponytails that make your head feel so sore in the mornings.

6.  When the wind blows, well……the wind blows and that’s it. 

7.  My bathroom counter has been able to stay clean because I don’t have all the cords from blow dryers and curling irons sitting out all the time. 

8.  And sometimes it’s just plain fun to mess with the kids and scare them.  I’m thinking that come Halloween time, I’m either going to be the coolest character from Avatar or the newest James Bond girlfriend if I can work on my accent and continue to lose weight.  My goal is the tight leather pants. 

9.  All meals, not just Sunday dinner, will be hair-free.  Your Welcome kids.

10.  Hair and is just that……HAIR.  It grows back in time, but for now…..I’m cool with the hats and scarfs. 

No Pain No Gain?

Written by Chad on . Posted in News

So this new chemo is NASTY!  Have I ever said how much I hate seeing Ashley in pain?  It is horrible to watch some one you love and admire go through some of the most nastiest stuff out there, and not being able to do anything about it.  I know it is all part of the process.  I guess the old adage is true…No Pain No Gain!.  As Ash would say “At least I know it is working. If it’s kicking the trash out of me its gotta be killing this damn cancer”.   Today is the 5th day after her first dose of this second round of poison. She is dealing with some bad side effects.  Right now her bones, joints and most of all her feet are taking the worst of it.  Today she appeared a little better so hopefully she is through the worst of it and the next few days will be seeing her on her feet and kicking some trash.

A quick funny story… I have always taught my boyz to be tuff, not to cry and to never wear girly looking things…especially pink. It was just the man teaching boys how to be men, or so I thought.  My older boys and I always have late night talks discussing all kinds of things.  I love this time.  We have the best of talks.  Well the other night we were talking about the early days in High School with Ash and I suddenly got emotional.  After all the tears were over, They both pointed out that I was in my pink shirt and that I was crying.  Wow!  My two older boys quickly reminded me of how very wrong I was and how things have changed with pink, crying and being a different kind of tuff! My oldest reminded me that we are still tuff, but that other stuff with crying and pink..yeah, your pink wearing army is alive and well..We love you Ash!

Angels Among Us

Written by Chad on . Posted in News

As many of you know, Ash finished her first full round of chemo last week and we were to get another PET Scan on the following Monday.  Well Monday March 19 came and we headed in for the scan.  As I entered the waiting room and said goodbye to Ash for a few hours, I sat in that waiting room, in the very same place I did a few months back when this whole journey started.  I reflected on all the things that have happened since then.  I suddenly got very emotional and had that lump in my throat, (you know the one that us guys get when we try to be tough and hold it all in and hide our emotions so we can appear tough?) Well It was too strong to hold in. It just came out and I let it. The people in the waiting room probably thought I was a crazy dude, but I did not care. This was strange. It was not a feeling of sorrow however, It was a feeling of gratitude.  I could feel the support and prayers of the many angels that have been with us through out this journey. Yes, all of you are those Angels. Your prayers for Ash, your faith, your hope and your love does not go unnoticed. And for that, I thank you.

The PET scan took about 4 hours, but before I knew it we were done.  We of course had to wait another day to find out the results.  I can tell you that Monday and Monday night for us were filled with tons of anxiety and a little fear to say the least.  Well finally Tuesday came and it was time to meet with our Doc to find out the results. When Ash feels better, I will let her go into details on the results, but in short; HOORAY!!!!!  The tumors are shrinking, some tumors are even gone. We are not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot, but the chemo is working.  It is also taking its toll on Ash, but she is tough and doing good.

Moving forward – The Doctors have decided to continue with a second round of chemo. This will be done with some different doses. From what I understand it is deeper and effects the bones and joints.  This round will last another two months and we will continue every other week.  After completed, we will get another PET scan and then surgery followed by some radiation.

Ash will probably get upset and take this photo down, but here is a pic of her at Kashton’s Birthday.  I think she looks so good.  I love all the scarfs.  She rocks the look!

Feed Your Faith.

Written by Chad on . Posted in News

Lately the red devil and all that other nasty poison has taken its toll on Ash. Whenever she has an ounce of energy it usually gets used up pretty quick.  I know it has been a while since her last post so I wanted to shoot out a quick update of where things are.

A few weeks back we had a very successful garage/bake sale that was put on by our current ward and old ward, as well as some very true and sincere friends. There are so many people to thank for their efforts on that day and beyond, I could not attempt to list them for fear of leaving some one off. But you know who you are.  Seriously, we have been  so amazed by the Christ like service that is being done all around us.  We are truly blessed to know and associate with such great people in our lives.  Thank you all for the prayers, texts, phone calls and visits!  We are so lucky to have so many warriors on the battlefield fighting this cancer with us.  It gives us great strength.

So today, here I am sitting here watching Ash as she takes the last drops of chemo for 5th hour and the last time for today. This completes our first round. Are we done?…NO! Not by a long shot. But this is a good way to track the progress.  We saw our Doctor this morning and he told us that after this round is over we have a week and a half and Ash will get a PET scan to see how good we are beating this cancer.  We are very optimistic and faithful that the results will come back in our favor.  The plan after we see good results from the PET Scan will be surgery, followed by more chemo, followed by some radiation, so we still have a ways to go. However, I know that if we continue to feed our faith our fears will eventually starve to death. When you really stop and think about it all, in life we really have two choices, give up…or fight like hell! And guess what?  We choose to fight like hell!  I am so grateful that Ash is the person she is. People often tell me that I married up and honestly I know I did.  She is way out of my league. I am so lucky to have her.    What amazes me the most…still to this day she has not lost her faith, she remains spunky, feisty and positive, even on the worst of days when I see her so sick, she NEVER complains. She just takes it in stride.  I have one amazing woman!   Love ya Sunshine.

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