Suspicious Activity

Went to Loma Linda today for another checkup with Dr. R. My mother-in-law Gale went with me…..I call her my “scribe” because she always asks all the good questions and remembers every little detail. Every time I step into a doctor’s office I get “white coat syndrome”: I start sweating (my eyebrows start first), my blood pressure goes through the roof and I forget everything I was supposed to ask (even if I wrote it down) and I don’t hear much of anything. So…I either need a scribe or a tape recorder….but a tape recorder wouldn’t be my advocate like Gale is! I have Gale repeat stuff back to me when the doctor leaves the room and I scrawl it down so I don’t forget…..and she seriously sounds like a tape recorder….she remembers it word-for-word…..this is my secret “how annoying that I have to write this stuff down” handwriting that no one is ever supposed to see:



So, my HCG levels aren’t coming down as fast as they should be. Apparently they should be down in the hundreds by now…..and they are still around the 2,000 range.

Dr. R had another radiologist take a look at my MRI scans and he said my liver looks suspicious for metastases. I love that they use the word “suspicious” as a medical term……it sounds very suspicious in itself. The high levels might be due to the cancer on my liver…..that it’s too dense and may need radiation. Anyways, early next week I’ll have another more in depth MRI focusing just on my liver….that will tell us more. They can’t do a biopsy because the liver would bleed and lord knows I don’t want to lose any more body parts!

When we first got to the doctor’s office the nurse asked when my last pap smear was:

Me: 2009, I think.
Her and Gale: 2009?!?
Me: Um, yes….my favorite doctor retired and I didn’t feel comfortable going to anyone else yet. Anyways, I’m not sure why this is relevant….they just removed my cervix. There’s no more “pap” to “smear”.

There was a little concern about my weight loss. Oh, apparently I should have told my primary care physician that I have cancer. Who knew? I told Dr. R. “I can only see one doctor at a time…..don’t you feel lucky?” They win, I have an appt with Dr. Y on Monday right after my chemotherapy. “Hi Dr. Y….I haven’t seen you in a year, here’s a stack of medical files just in case I need you.” That was a hilarious call with the appointment desk:

Appointment desk: And why are you coming in?
Me: Oh, I just want to chat with Dr. Y and update her on how I’ve been doing lately.

After Loma Linda, we drove a little farther down the 10 to visit Gale’s nephew Cole who was flown last night from Hawaii to a rehabilitation facility in California. It just worked out perfectly that we got to see him. Cole was in a very bad car wreck in Hawaii a few weeks ago. Cole has a long road ahead of him and we are praying for a full recovery. I know the flight was so hard on him and his mom and Mark. He opened his eyes when we were there though and looked straight at us! I could see him in there…..I truly think it will be just a matter of time before he is responding more and more. Any prayers that were coming my way……please, please send them to Cole. Dear God, I won’t ask for anything else, just please heal Cole.

We passed this place on the way to see Cole…..I think my long lost twin may own it (and it has a drive through). Maybe “she” will relocate to Palm Desert:



Right now I’m addicted to these Dare Maple Leaf cookies that my hubby’s office neighbor Kim gave us. Brett brought them home and said you have to try these….they are the best cookies ever. I was skeptical….because I do eat a LOT of cookies. But seriously, they might be the best cookies ever. Now I just have to find where to buy them. I have to ration the box so it will last longer.  Let me know if you see them in a store so I don’t have to buy them online!



I’m resting now after a long day……and watching Real Housewives reruns… favorite line of all time: “Who’s gonna check me Boo?” from Atlanta’s Sheree.

Who’s gonna check me Boo?

I just like saying that.




P.S. The Choose Joy bracelets sold out but we ordered many more!  I’ll let you know when they are back in the shop. Check out the Choose Joy page if you haven’t had a chance yet. Have a great weekend!


  1. Meredith Klobucnik says

    Ashley you have the best attitude, I pray they don’t find anything “suspicious” and that your numbers start coming down as quickly as they should. I sure appreciate the updates, I have had you on my mind often and always in my heart. Mere K

  2. says

    i hope that you don’t need radiation. so sad!

    about the cookies: up here in Canada they are in every grocery store and very cheap, SO, my suggestion would be check retailers (grocery stores) that sell to both countries :) even walmart?

    • tisha says

      Ashley… your are a sweet inspritation.. your humor and your true love that shines through in your communication with us.. your biggest fans. Keep up the good work missy… You are doing great in your travels and recovery…

    • tisha says

      @Nicole.. I see now that they are on Mass street. I will head down and see if I can score some for Ashley and myself too..

  3. Nicole Bowen says

    Maple leaf cream cookies can be found at 😉 it is an online European food market based in Lawrence, KS If you order, try some of the Chocolove candy bars! Chocolate, cherries, and chilies??? Go figure!!!

    • tisha says

      @Nicole.. do they sell them in Lawrence?? I am in Topeka. Don’t they have a world market their? I will have to head down and see…

  4. Mary says

    Praying for you every day and so glad you have such a great team on your side. Praying for Cole as well. Never heard of those cookies but now I want to find them! Glad you have a few left!

  5. Anne Jones says

    Walmart carries them, it did not list a price but they were by Dare. Not a huge fan of Wal Mart but if they are less than $36 for 12. I would check it out. I might even have to go there in the middle of the night and see if I can get them!

    I too have you in my prayers, I seriously don’t know how you accomplish so much, I teach art an feel like I am pretty clever but I love all you share and just how you put it all together. Hugs. Anne

  6. Amber says

    Pap smears are still needed even if you’ve had your cervix removed. It’s a little like you can still get breast cancer even after a mastectomy. Kinda stinks that you don’t get the perk of skipping paps when you’ve been through so much isn’t it? Praying for only good news from the next MRI. May God bless you.

  7. says

    I so appreciate your updates! Worried about ya! Praying the MRI brings good news.

    And so glad Gale tags along with you!!!

  8. Nicole scott says

    I haven’t tried those cookies, but the lemon ones of the same brand are yummy!!! My boo’s favorite and they ate so hard to find! My dad buys them for me in Dallas.
    Now I want to try those!

  9. Genevieve says

    Hi ashley. These coockies are canadian! You can find them in every grocery store in Canada. I love Feuille d erable cookies too. You will also like coffee crips chocolat bar. Its a coffee gaufrette dip in chocolate. I stay 3 months in the US for an externship and I had to bring back coffee crips, mapple cookies and ketchup chips at the hospital each time i came back from canada. Write me an email if you have an urge for cookies. By the way, my english may be weird because im french! Love everything you do, i have learn sewing with your patterns! Its weird because i sew in english and i don’t understand sewing instruction in french! Have a nice day and take of you. Gen

  10. Tavia says

    I just stumbled over here…you are an impressive girl. I will most definitely be praying for you and Cole. Sending you love. 😉

  11. Beth Morrow says

    Thanks for the update…will be praying for a good report re. The liver…and ah ,
    God is big enough to heal you and Cole! Keep the faith, you are such a blessing!

  12. Amber Hunter says

    Thoughts and Prayers and Positive Energy to you and yours! Do you have a mailing address that cookies could be mailed too? I’m from Calgary (Canada) and have easy access to Dare Maple Leaf Cookies :)

  13. says

    Ashley – like Amber said, the cookies are from Canada. The ones you have were actually bought in Canada (in all likelihood) because of the french writing on the package. But, they’re is a similar brand at Trader Joe’s. Those cookies are definitely addictive! Thinking of you and praying for the best with the results of your liver MRI.

  14. says

    What a day girly! Love your outlook though and praying for you and Cole. By the way, i found the best taqueria near one of my twins schools today (do yall have taco trucks along the side of the road that your not sure if you would get totally sick from or be in total heaven cause it’s the best ever!?) and it’s like a drive through and sooooo tatsy! I hate sweets but am so addicted to breakfast tacos, salsa, queso and chips….thats all i need to live!

  15. Bev says

    oh, I hope the only suspicious activity has been perpetrated by that elf of yours! Prayers and positive thoughts for you. Bev

  16. joanna says

    You need those cookies! I’m pretty certain I’ve bought them at Walmart (TN). (Made in Canada packaged for US). It’s been a while though. There are some other cookies, raspberry center (my kids call them Dot cookies), they too are Canadian, packaged for Target.
    Healing prayers for you and Cole.

  17. kris says

    Ashley, I’ve never commented before…just know I love you and am lifting you up. This is what made me write, your secret handwriting…I have two! (out of five) kids that have secret handwriting! Both of them have that exact attitude-“why do I have two write this??!! LOVE it! Blessings,K

  18. says

    Sending you LOVE and a BIG hug from the UK.And if my friends knew I had just wrote that,they would be flabbergasted.I don’t do hugs and kisses. XXX

  19. Courtney says

    If you have one near you – try World Market for the cookies, looks like something they’d carry!

  20. Penny says

    Hi there just stopped by to check in. Glad you have Gail, I am “Gail” for my hubby who has colon cancer and truly he does the same thing at the Dr’s office! I will keep you in my prayers. The comment above is right, these must be Canadian cookies! They are in every grocery store, mini mart, department store and gas station here. I hope you find an easy source as they really are delicious!

  21. says

    I love your optimism, spunky and sass, Ashley! Even your delivery of “suspicious” news is wrapped in a joy-seasoned package. Precious for sure! I’m praying for you from Indiana and checking in each day. Choosing joy with you too! *hugs*

  22. Heather Clark says

    Like I told you before. During my hysterectomy the MD took a picture of a quarter sized metastases on my liver. A few weeks later, it was GONE…that was BEFORE the strong, multi-agent chemo! It was ALL God…praying the same happens to you!!

  23. says

    Talk about organs behaving badly! Now it’s suspicious liver activity. Sending good vibes that this is all over soon and that liver starts behaving itself and stops looking around furtively and hiding behind a newspaper.

  24. says

    I just wanted to tell you that YOU ARE AMAZING!; although you already know that :) You are a great inspiration. I am sending my best vibes to you. Keep being so joyful, it is contagious! :)

  25. says

    LOVE you watch Housewives!! What is it about those shows???? They are so toxic but… PLEASE I would LOVE your insight! My husband always says why do you watch that?? I don’t even watch the news because it’s so negative! LOL
    Praying for you blogging, momma, Jesus loving sista!!! xoxoxox

  26. lisa jack says

    I’m so sorry to hear your levels aren’t young down fast enough. You continue to be in my prayers.

  27. says

    love that you are choosing joy, ashley…especially through all this chaos that is happening in your life. you are such a wonderful example of strength and determination and all with humor tucked in the corners. praying for healing for you and cole. as we know, all things are possible through God. keep the faith and hang in there. gotta love those “housewife” shows! xoxo

  28. Cathy says

    I just saw those cookies in the grocery store….. only one little problem, we live in Canada. If you want I will mail some to you if you send me your address. I am not joking either.
    Our oldest son had canacer 3 years ago and is now great. We would have gone to the end of the earth for something he asked for and if it is only cookies that you wish, it is a simple request to fill.

  29. Meghan Grace says

    Big big hugs to you, Sweet Ashley. Faith and prayer is awesome! Thank God we have both!

  30. says

    You continue to be such a wonderful inspiration, Ashley with your amazing beautiful spirit. I understand about the doctor thing. My blood pressure shoots through the sky when I go. Praying for your healing.

  31. Tiffany says

    Im still rooting for you Ashley. You are a quiet giant of inspiration. I’ve never ever seen that show but I’ve heard that line before and it is so funny, I say it to my kids all the time. Let us know if you find the cookies, now I wanna try them.

  32. Linda L says

    I’m suspicious of your supicious liver activity!! LOL Praying for you always. God is big enough for you and Cole and all the rest too!! Keep inspiring us Ashley, we need you!

  33. Stephanie says

    That USED to be my favorite quote from RHOA however I have a new one—–last week when the stripper showed up at Kandi’s party and NeNe commented after, ” I took my eyeballs out of my head, put’em in my purse, and drove home.”

    Will be praying for a healthy liver. Keep your chin up!

  34. Meredith M. says

    Dear Lord,

    I ask for healing and protection for Ashley, Boo and her family. Surround them with your strength, your peace and your love that only you can bring. I pray that her liver scans will show positive results and not something worse. I pray her hormone levels will drop to the levels they should be. I also pray for Cole and his healing. In You all things are possible. Amen

    Sending you love and prayers from Texas!

  35. Donna Huisinga says

    Lovely prayer by Meredith. We’re all pulling and praying for you. You are just the sweetest lady.

  36. says

    Hello Ashley-have been a follower for only a short while…your story brings back memories. I will try to keep it short….I too had a Molar pregnancy (our son was 6 years old before we decided to try to have another child by then my endometriosis and PCOS had taken it’s toll on my reproductive system). I had the Molar pregnancy (they found it early and did a D&C and my levels came down rapidly and that was that. Got pregnant again and miscarried again at 9 weeks (another D & C). After 6 months of Clomid-they found a 12 cm ovarian cyst. Another surgery. After 4 years of infertility and 2 miscarriages and we started the whole IVF process (somewhere in there I managed to have two surgeries to deal with kidney stones). As we start the IVF process (I find out I have Factor 5-a blood clotting disorder)-no biggie we will just do a blood thinner during pregnancy. I decided (by the Grace of God-he was the one that whispered in my ear) to go get a mammogram-yep, you guessed it-breast cancer-at 36 years old, no family history, I never felt a lump, my brca gene was negative….it was in situ (stage 0) but after two lumpectomies-I was told my margins were still positive and the breast would have to be totally removed…nope, take them both. Double Mastectomy was done and I now have implants after wearing expanders for 6 months. Last year was a long year full of surgeries (6 in all-oh, failed to mention the kidney stone lithotripsy and fallopian tube removal because they were both blocked and very painful). I am about to have a long over due hysterectomy because of my PCOS (I have 2 cysts on one ovary and another on the other ovary that have been there for months)….seems like it will hever end-but I try to keep my chin up and stay busy-my point is …GIRL YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!! I could not have done half of what you are doing during all of that and I didn’t have to have radiation or chemo!!! YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ME-I TOO CHOSE JOY (although I didn’t know that’s what is was called at the time : ) I also, chose to remember everyday that sometimes “the trials of this life are mercies in disguise” (it’s a song by Laura Story (I’m not a sappy song person-but this one is just worth listening to). You see, I questioned over and over why God kept slamming that door shut when trying to have another child…I realized that had I had another, I would never had made the time to go get that mammogram or if I’d had another child, the breast cancer I had (and didn’t know about) would have grown so big that it might have been too late by the time we found it because of all the hormones involved in pregnancy. I have several questions that don’t have answers…but, I do CHOSE JOY AND CHOSE TO BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF MY GOD-HE IS FAITHFUL AND WONDERFUL-I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AND LITTLE BOO (and the Mr. too). You are amazingly cool and I admire you tremendously! Keep your humor-it’s helped me so much to keep laughing – even when it hurts!

  37. andrea.d says

    Ah yes, the Oreo of Canada. I’d also be happy to mail you some to fortify you on the journey ahead! Bonne Chance!

  38. Tiffany says

    I found the cookies at my market today (Wegmans) they are in English but perhaps they taste the same. It would be my pleasure to mail some to you, email me your address if your intersted. They had lemon too in a different shape. I even took a picture for you if you want to triple check the authenticity. Hope your having a good day.

  39. Tiffany says

    I’m in Pennsylvania, btw in case that matters…just in case your trying to track which markets carry the cookie.

  40. says

    You are in wonderful hands. Loma Linda is known for amazing doctors.
    I am from San Bernardino County so I Thank You for taking me along with you on a short trip home. Prayers for you sweetie!

  41. A passer byer says

    I know where exactly that do-nut shop is…”Pomona’ Now when I pass it, it will remind me of you…You’re a true inspiration…Keep Pushing!

  42. Nicole L. says

    That seriously made me laugh so hard when you said,”Why do I need a pap smear? I don’t have any “pap” to “smear’!” I have loved reading your blog and so appreciate your attitude. I will be praying for you for sure.

  43. Lee-Ann says

    My husband LOVES those cookies as well. We had them at home in Canada, but I have not been able to find them since we moved to the States. My mother sends us a box a couple of times a year and they disappear really quickly. They are really good cookies. Enjoy them. :)

  44. Crystal Fisher says

    Hi Ashley, I have been following your blog for awhile now, I find your writing style personable and have loved your ideas and tutorials. You are an amazing spirit, and I wish you nothing but health and happiness in the future. I saw your post on the maple cookies this morning while I was catching up on your blog (two toddlers at home and a substitute teacher so sometimes I get behind). I live in Nova Scotia Canada, and those particular cookies are in every grocery store here, although our packaging is in English. If you have trouble finding it I would have no problem sending you a few boxes, just write me an email.
    Take Care

  45. Sharon Standifer says

    Love you Ashley, I am so glad you have so many
    family members to love & help you. I am glad
    your Mom is coming. God bless you.
    Love, Aunt Sharon

  46. Ginger Powell says

    Hi again. I just sent you a message. Now that I’m reading more of your blog I’m seeing how complicated this is. I’ll keep reading. You are funny, inspiring and encouraging. Thank you. Ginger Powell

  47. Michéal says

    Who gon’ check me boo is a song on iTunes now!! I say it all the time, drives my husband nuts! Absolutely cracks me up that grown women act like that in public.

  48. says

    Hey Ash – I’m just catching up on your story and I must say your attitude amazes me! Your are a true inspiration. Now onto the cookies – if you haven’t found them, let me know! They are my absolute FAV and are fully stocked in our local grocery store. YUM. I might just go buy a box and eat them in your honor. 😉