Who is this Ashley girl?

Decided to try a video blog although I was waaayyy too tired!! haha… sorry!!

Hey y’all! I’m ASHLEY!!! For those of you who know me, you are thinking, Ashley – blog? I don’t get it.  Yeah I’ve always been a very private person so me starting a blog sounds like a stretch, but this is more than just a “blog” for me.  This is for those who want to follow my journey from cancer to CANCER FREE.

So you don’t know me and you found my page and you are wondering hmm…. so this girl was diagnosed at the age of 26 with Stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer and just about died?!  Tell me more about her!

Well, I am just your average bubbly girl who loves to laugh and have fun!!  I make any situation fun and can find humor in any situation.  I’m a sports junky.  I love to play sports and try new things as well as watch my Detroit teams and catch games as much as I can.  I’m a HUGE traveler and started traveling when I was young.  I’m a country girl!  I am a a very strong young woman (if you haven’t figured that out with my late diagnosis) and I keep pushing through and keeping on moving with my life.  I was born in this town called South Bend, IN (Notre Dame fans…anyone??) and lived in a small town in SW Michigan. I have 3 brothers and 1 sister.  When I was in High School I took a trip to Europe and came back to a big ol surprise… my family moved!  I ended up finishing high school in a town between Flint and Lansing in Michigan.  After High School it was time to head to college where I studied Computer Science (yuuup… you wouldn’t have guessed computer nerd, huh?) and then I wanted OUT of Michigan!  Oh wait, rewind.  In high school, I met a boy.  This boy was my friend, boyfriend, prom date and now husband!  Immediately after high school I moved out on my own and supported myself by starting my first job at a police department.  There I began working and eventually started working for other municipalities and law enforcement agencies dispatching 9-1-1. We have 2 beautiful boys (4-legged ones) one which is a golden retriever and the other is a chocolate lab.

Ok, now back to wanting out of Michigan.  Well I had a great job, great home, life was amazing but I wanted more!  I wanted to see more and experience more.  If it wasn’t for my husband, I would have taken off to Europe and lived everywhere.  He wasn’t about that so I did get to move around but only in the states.  Away we went!  I tried to get him to Virginia but he wasn’t interested, so we started our venture in Boston, MA.  We moved around to New Hampshire and Maine and I worked for a few different agencies.  Finally I got the call to Virginia!! After a few years in New England it was my time to shine in Washington, DC. Yes!  Ready for my career to take off!!

It was! I actually was taking a career change in the middle of it all though.  I got bored with computers and decided to obtain my CPA. I could continue 9-1-1 to pay the bills while I received that piece of paper so I could work on a federal level as a CPA and as that was all working out….I got ill.

It really started (when I noticed at least) in September and only increased from there.  I started having a hard time keeping food down and figured it was just my gluten intolerance because I never EVER get sick and have such an amazing immune system.  Things only progressed and I got worse.  I was losing weight and by Christmas everyone was telling I need to see a doctor because it wasn’t normal that I was buying all new clothes for my very skinny (anorexic like) body. I tried to “shake it” off and self-diagnosis myself through Google.  I waited ALL THE WAY until Feb 2012 to FINALLY go to the ER one night because I couldn’t even drink WATER at this point!!  I would take a sip and it would come back up.  I was so very dehydrated.

That night was the worst night of my life.  I was told “Ashley, you have Stage 4 Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer”.  They didn’t tell me because they knew I couldn’t handle it but when my husband asked how bad it was they replied “BAD.. she may only have a few weeks left, maybe 2 months tops”.  I was about to die.  These were the last days of my life.   Or so they thought…

After a month in the hospital getting a J-tube for feeding and a Mediport for chemo, it was time to start chemo.  My body took to the chemo and although it was very hard I began to get better.  My life was turning around my the summer and I knew I was going to fight.  I was stronger than I even knew.

Today… April 2013… I am 1 1/2 years out and I am a fighting beast.  I believe in myself more than anyone and I do believe I will WIN. Only

3 comments on “Who is this Ashley girl?

  1. Erland and Anne says:

    Hey Ashley,

    I love your attitude…..fight like heck. Never let this horrible disease define you!

    I was diagnosed in May with inoperable stage 4 PC also…been on 5FU chemo until recently, now on Xaloda….I am very fortunate that my wife Anne is my medical advocate, researcher and constant support. I can’t say enough about her and the help she provides.

    Anne and I are sending you love, energy and faith….

    Erland and Anne

  2. Hi Erland,

    I am sorry you are fighting this as well! I am now on the 5fu combo from a more harsh regiment and I’m not a fan of this chemo. I hope you are having good results on Xaloda! That is great!! I am so happy you have your wife as your researcher and medical advocate and I’m sure she is amazing support.

    I appreciate you writing me and sending a sweet message. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Hugs! ~Ashley

    • Anne Hawkins says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Anne here Erland’s wife. I follow your blog and you are doing great. Fight fight fight, never give up. This disease is evil but good wins.
      The doc took Erland off xeloda and he is now on Gem/Abraxine since the Floflox stopped working for him. He just started this past wed. He gets treatment at Georgetown on the 5th floor of the chemo units. ( these are where they give chemo to folks on trials and he was on a trial of ABT888)
      Anyway- maybe we will see you around some time , if you are ever there on a Wed morning come by we would love to meet you and share good support and encouragement.

      God Bless
      Anne

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