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.
The first time I read through Ashley’s journal, It felt unfinished. It felt like something was missing. I don’t know what I expected. It was my wife’s life after all. I was there. I knew when she stopped writing and when she died. But as my eyes saw the last entry, somehow I expected more. I expected an ending. I expected some set of magical words that would make everything ok. Instead, it just ends. On November 11th Ashley stopped writing. A few days later the amount of morphine she was taking forced her to go to sleep and on November 18th she died.
During treatment, Ashley read various cancer blogs. At first she appreciated reading someones experience with this disease. After a while though, she quit reading them. She got tired of these blogs ending unfinished and suddenly stopping. She got tired of the subjects dying. I guess it’s ironic that her life has now become the same thing. Her journal is now an unfinished blog.
The difference though is that through this unfinished journal, we have been able to help so many people. Not only the kids and their families that we’ve sent on vacation but also anyone who has ever gone through tragedy. Ashley and I never wanted to be pitied. It was horrible that Ashley got sick and even worse that she died. But everyone has terrible things happen to them. Ashley had a great life. I am a better person for knowing her and my life has been immeasurably improved by having married her. Through Ashley’s journal and The Cancer Journal Project, I hope that you can understand what cancer treatment was like for Ashley and I. I hope that in some small way it’s helped you. Even though the journal may feel unfinished, The Cancer Journal Project is the conclusion.The Project stands as a living memorial to Ashley and all of the people that helped make this possible. I hope that no matter what, you feel better for having read it.
- Kenan Irving