All excerpts from the journal were written by Ashley. The journal covers May 7 - November 11, 2013. No changes or edits have been made to anything she wrote. Some names have been redacted.



july 1, 2013

July 1 cont…

So I am finishing last nights story today. Within probably 30 min of me taking my Xeloda my tummy started cramping and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.

I answered the phone when Daddy called b/c I knew if I didn't he would worry. But I headed straight to the potty @ the same time. We talked for a few minutes before I told him I was getting too sleepy and needed to go to bed. In actuality I needed to flush the toilet. I was pretty full of mushy pooh. I felt bad for kinda telling a fib to Daddy so I texted him and told him I was having tummy problems. I don’t like telling him when I’m not feeling well b/c I know that it hurts him but maybe he can start to understand Kenan a little better with it b/c Kenan has to live with seeing me sick all of the time. Daddy only sees it some and hears about it occassionally. I did ask hime last night though if he wanted me to tell him and he said he liked knowing and even tho he doesn’t like it when I’m sick that he’s a big boy and can handle it. I’m just not so sure he can. He hasn’t found an outlet like Kenan. 

So after 2 Imodium and some Pedialyte/Gatorade, I got into bed hoping to fall asleep. Unfortunately, my tummy had other plans… again. Downed yet another Imodium and fortunately it stopped and I was able to go to sleep

Moving on to today… not much to report. Stayed in bed 95% of the day and nibbled on crackers. I did manage to eat some limas that I made yesterday but that was a forced meal. I haven't had an appetite at all. I guess I’m afraid of what my tummy will do.

Kenan wanted to do something special tonight and spend time together but because I feel so bad still I had to put that on hold and I feel bad about that. He brought me home flowers (yellow roses) and they are beautiful. He put them in a vase and put them by the tv so when I look up, I see them. They are nice and cheery. Kenan reminded me that we are to take our good days along with the bad and make the best out of both so even tho I am feeling bad not to feel sorry about ruined plans we are going to spend nice quality time together here at home and we will get out and about another day. Look @ him trying to cheer me up! That’s sweet of him.

Meanwhile I hoping that my reaccurring rib and hip bone pain is chemo related and not cancer spread related.

July 2, 2013

July 2, 2013 Happy 29th to Me

I used to say that I would be so depressed when I turned 30. Not that I think that it is old, but b/c I wanted to stay in my 20’s. Now I find myself praying that I make it to 30

I’m still having tummy issues and popping Imodium instead of stool softeners. Kenan is calling the nurse tomorrow to see what I should be doing. Might should have called today but he woke up in a funk and I felt bad for him. Then I was kinda hard on him today too. I blame the meds but it could just be my nerves. He had in his mind today that he had to take care of his guitar stuff. Meantime our yard still doesn’t have some one to mow it and it’s starting to look like a jungle. Ok maybe not quite a jungle, but the grass is definitely getting tall. He did make sure we got a squirrel/raccoon guard today @ Lowe’s. And since he was spending all kinds of money on a board to hang his guitar, I decided I needed (yes needed) a new pot, and a plant. Initially I was just looking for a pot but then I found the plant clearance and there leaning in all it’s glory was a pink Hibiscus tree. It just needs some love and water. So yes… I am back to square one and need a pot for my Mandevilla, even tho Kenan was quick to point out that I have a pot in the storage room that doesn’t have a plant in it. Yes, I know that but then I would have to find a container for the things that I have stored in the pot. LOL. Plus the pot needs some holes put in it for drainage. Why do they even make pots w/o drainage holes? Beats me

We made it home after Lowes, Sonic (happy hour), and Wal-mart and I did some of my Bible reading for tomorrow night and then my tummy troubles started. After that it was nap time for me. I could barely keep my eyes awake before the diahrrea so afterwards I was even more sleepy. Then I had to wake up to eat and take more meds. It’s a vicious cycle. I thought I was going to sick again while I was eating but I laid down and it passed so hopefully I can make it through the night… spoke too soon I think b/c my tummy is starting to not feel so good

July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013 2 Month Cancer Anniversary

Yep 2 months ago today we found out I had cancer and it has pretty much gone down hill from there. Of course I have my good and bad days. Like here lately I can’t keep the diahrrea away. The doc finally told me today to stop taking my Xeloda until Monday and hope the tummy troubles subside. I sure hope they do. In the meantime, I am trying to eat smaller meals and no liquids while I eat. The problem with that is I have a feeling that I am still dehydrated and not being able to drink while I eat is kinda messing me up

BTW the raccoons were back tonight so the squirrel baffle didn’t work. I don’t know what to do now. I still have a bird feeder that I want to be hung but since it was a gift from Uncle Sam and Aunt Nita and it looks expensive I don’t want the raccoons to mess it up. They’ve already bent up two of my feeders.

I planted my hibiscus tree today. It’s pretty and has tons of blooms on it. Now I just have to keep it alive. I shouldn’t have been outside so long because I got a heat rash again from the sweat. Atleast now I know what it is tho so I won’t freak out as much next time. I took a shower, put some Hydrocortisone on it and now it seems to be clearing up. Don’t tell me I don’t know how to clear up a rash. Cancer I may can’t do anything about but a rash I can handle.

As you can tell my writing is getting sloppy b/c of my meds so it is Night time for me, Plus it is late so why not go to bed.

July 4, 2013

July 4, 2013 Off of Xeloda

So today marks the first full day of me off of Xeloda until Monday and it is amazing how much better I feel. I have energy and my bones aren’t aching, plus my tummy hasn’t been messing up within 30 min of me eating. But I start back Monday so we shall see how it goes after that. I’m thinking maybe I can handle it if the lower the dosage, but what do I know.

With my renewed energy, I got some organizing and cleaning done. Kenan helped in between playing with his guitar, which I appreciated. He would play and then come and ask what I needed him to do next. I can tell lately that he has really been trying to help out more and we’ve been more open with each other about things. It helps that things are slowing down for us and that we are able to get in a routine of sorts.

Bill and Linda Black had us over for dinner tonight. The food was delicious and the association was enjoyable too. Anyway we came home around 8:30 p.m. and drifted off slowly. Kenan has work tomorrow and my parents are coming to see me, so busy day… not really.

july 5, 2013

July 5, 2013 Still Feelin’ Good.

Kenan woke up and cooked me my breakfast this morning and then headed to work. Found out Kelly’s study cancelled so they were either coming in the afternoon early or whenever. Although they aren’t much of the pop iners but they don’t like committing to times either. LOL. I texted to see if they wanted to get lunch b/c Kenan didn't have any work and he was home already before they got there.

They ate their Whattaburger and I called in Kenan and I some Ponchatoula’s. Mine was yummy but Kenan said his gumbo had too much rice. Yes he likes to complain a lot. One day, I will break him out of that. LOL Yeah he will probably never change.

After lunch we loaded up into the car and went to the land that my parents may soon be living on. It’s nice. We helped them try to figure out where they should place their trailer. Daddy had to stake it out so that the guy who owns the land could see where they want to set things up at.

That meant that I had the house to myself for a while. Didn’t do anything at all, just layed on the couch and watched tv and played on my iPad.

We are going to the Farmers Market tomorrow in the morning so I’m gonna go to bed now. Tootles

July 6, 2013

July 6, 2013 Great Day in the Neighborhood

We had a great day today! Farmers market (the bomb), service, lunch @ Portico, downtown stroll which included a cupcake for me (smore) Peach ice cream for Kenan and a shared mint tea of sorts, then we came home studied our Watchtower together for tomorrow, grocery shopping, then movie (Man of Steel). Yes we had a full action packed day and we enjoyed every bit of it. Let’s just hope my body doesn’t hate me tomorrow. But Kenan and I made a promise to each other to take every advantage of our good days and that is exactly what we did today.

July 7, 2013

July 7, 2013

Then it was time for healthy food; Mahi Mahi, kale (fresh from the Farmers Market) sautéed w/ onion and garlic. I’m becoming quite the cook, if I find the recipe on Pinterest, I can do it

I am going to go to bed. Nitey Nite Bubbles (yes I know that is my nickname but I like telling myself goodnight too)

July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Woke up early-ish this morning because I made an appt. with my aunt and grandad to come visit this morning at 10 a.m. I wanted to make sure I had breakfast first and finished sprucing up a bit. I started on our closet today…finally. I packed up a box of clothes for storage and put all of the clothes that I can fit together in one spot so I can get to them better. And now Kenan has more room to organize his stuff, hopefully he will get to that soon. My fam got here right on scheduled time.

We looked at pictures that Grandma had compiled into a photo album. They brought two with them, mine and Tammy’s. There were pictures in there that I had never seen. After they left, I fixed some lunch because I found myself getting the munchies. I wanted to make sure I ate healthy today so I knew the last thing I wanted was the munchies. Don’t worry, I stuck to my guns and ate healthy all day although still not sure if I am needing to stick to this Manukah honey regimin. I’ve included cinnamon now too. I read honey and cinnamon combined are great cancer tumor shrinkers.

Who knows if any of this is working, but darn it I have to try. Especially now as I go to bed and notice that my left leg stays asleep alot and I noticed that it is a little swollen today. I don’t know what that is all about and afraid to do research but I may just have to. I put in a call to oncology today to ask about Xeloda but the dr. never called me back. Not in too big of a hurry to get back on that crap but if it is helping I don’t mind a couple of side effects as long as I can control them and feel ok during it. I want to be happy for as long as I can be Happy & Smiley

July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013 Tingling & Swelling

Today we got a lot of things done but my biggest concern the last couple of days is that my left calf has been tingling more than usual and I’ve noticed swelling. I haven’t a clue what it means and since the dr. won’t return our phone calls, I don’t know if it is my liver, kidneys, tumor pressing on my spinal chord or my brain. Like Kenan said while driving back from Monroe, I have so many things going on inside me it could be anything. It may even be something as simple as a side effect from some medicine or too much salt. I just would like to know something… anything would be better than not knowing. I guess there is no sense in speculating what it could be tho, just wish the doctor would call us back.

So while we were in Monroe, we met up w/ Jason and Dee @ Enochs. (2 for 1 burgers) It took forever to get our food but we had fun hanging out with them. we don’t get to do that much anymore

They are coming over this weekend too for slumber party; Friday-Sunday. We have plans to see the ‘King and I’ at the community theatre. I’m excited. We should have a good time. I just need to get the guest room ready for them.

July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013 Service and First Time as householder in Ruston!

We woke up this morning and went in service. Yay! This is the first time that I’ve been out in the morning during the week since we have been in Ruston. We really enjoyed ourselves although we didn’t stay out too much past noon. We didn’t want to push it, plus we still have some studying left for the meeting

The nurse finally called back today and said Dr. Mills said no Xeloda until next appt. Works for me! But then she told us that because of the swelling and tingling in my left leg mainly that I needed to go to the ER and make sure that it isn’t a blood clot. They did an ultra sound and didn’t find anything. Dr. Muhammed sent me home with orders to take some Ibuprofen and to follow up with my oncologist. So no meeting tonight, which sucks because I was sister Ambrose’s householder tonight, and I was really excited about that.

so what am I to do? Stay home, eat, and elevate my legs. And that’s what I have continued to do since we’ve been home. Now I am going to rest so I will be ready for service tomorrow.

july 11, 2013

July 11, 2013 Service Day #2

Woke up much better this morning than yesterday. And leg wasn’t swollen because I made sure to sleep with them elevated last night. I researched today and added another ailment that could be causing my tingling and swelling… B vitamin deficiency. Anyway I called my nurse back today and she was happy that it wasn’t a blood clot and she told me to just come in Monday and see what Dr. Mills has to say.

Daddy came and visited today for a little bit not too long tho. He was suppose to be meeting w/ the owner of the land they are hoping to put their camper on but it didn’t work out. Seems like a waste of gas for him to me, but I was happy to see him.

My tummy got a little upset this evening, but it will be ok. I’m feeling better now that I am laying down, and my legs are back to be elevated on the pillows

My eyes are getting heavy so I will see you tomorrow

july 12, 2013

July 12, 2013 Migraine

I went driving today for the first time in like 3 months. I was so nervous, but I had fun shopping @ Rue 21. I got some good deals too. (2 maxie dresses and a cute top for $21) It was freezing in Rue 21. Then all of a sudden my head started hurting. Throughout the day it kept getting worse and worse. Now I have never had a migraine but I’m pretty sure that is what that was. The only reason I say that is because it hurt to open my eyes and let the bright light hit them. It really sucks that I picked today to get a headache b/c Jason and Dee are coming in tonight. We went grocery shopping and when we got home I climbed into bed. I was hoping I could sleep it off. Well I did but it wasn’t until 10 p.m. that I woke up and could blink w/o my brain throbbing. Since Jason and Dee had been there a while, I got into my pjs and finally joined the party. We finally went to bed @ 1 a.m, after all we have to get up for the farmers market in the morning.

July 13, 2013

July 13, 2013 Hangin Out With Friends

We woke up and got ready for the farmers market. I needed to restock my purple hull peas and pick some up for Bro. Gipson too. I was disappointed that my booth didn't have fresh eggs. They were so good and now I am out. After the market, we went and ate lunch @ Pazzoli’s. It was pretty good. Then we walked the strip downtown. Dee and I hit a couple of boutiques. One place we bought necklaces to put our fingerprints on and our initials. We are going to exchange them and wear each others. I can’t wait for them to come in.

Night time came and we went to Cotton and to a play “The King and I”. We had a lot of fun.

Today, I got recognized twice by people that I had only seen once. The first time was @ the purple hull pea stand. She called me from across the parking lot to see how I liked my peas. I assured her that I did and that I would be back to purchase more. The 2’nd time was at The Vintage Veranda, by Ms Tommy. She said she has a head scarf that she wants to give me that was