Oh my gosh….the craziest thing happened: I woke up this morning bald.
And my teeth are bigger. My sister Perry and I joke that we have horse teeth, it takes work to close our mouths. My teeth grew even more with the absence of hair.
I slept in a ski hat last night. It was awesome.
My head feels like it has mint or wintergreen on it…..you know that “cool” feeling?
Diesel (our dog) never even noticed my hair was gone. Dogs are awesome.
I took a shower last night and still used shampoo and conditioner. I don’t like rubbing my head against the grain of the hair…..so I could only wash it in one direction. I’ll get used to it. I didn’t have to put a towel on my head afterwards. I just pat my head dry!
I watched the video from yesterday this morning with Boo and it got to the point where she’s staring at me and I asked her what she was thinking at this moment. She said: I was thinking “are you sure about this?”
All of your comments and messages about the rite of passage video and the cancer chronicles are so overwhelming. And so appreciated. I am completely humbled. I don’t think of myself as an inspiration. I mean, why should my simple little life be at all inspiring? I don’t know…..someone said yesterday that I have a lot of readers and maybe that this is why I was chosen to have cancer. Maybe? I know everything can have meaning behind it….and I don’t want to waste it.
Here’s the honest truth: I do choose joy everyday. There is rarely a moment that I am not upbeat and positive. I’ve been questioned countless times through email: there’s no way you could be this upbeat, it’s not normal, it’s too exhausting, it’s weird. Maybe it’s not normal, maybe it is weird. But it takes less energy. Life is terminal….I’m going to die. That’s the only thing I know for sure. I could be worried about paying medical bills….but I know we’ll figure it out. I could get angry at an incorrect order at a restaurant….but I’d only ruin the waiter’s day. I could be self conscious about what I’m wearing but everyone else is probably self conscious too….and it sounds ridiculous for all of us to be in a group being self conscious about ourselves. We aren’t living in the movie Heathers. With any inconvenience I try to tell myself: This too shall pass. And I know it will. The hardest part is realizing it before anger and frustration set in. I remember one day when I couldn’t find Boo’s lunch tickets for school…..all prepaid. Brett was out of town and I was feeling overwhelmed. I got so flustered and frustrated and we were late for school and I took everything from the counter……and literally threw it all very dramatically all over the kitchen floor yelling “NOW let’s see if I can find the @#$@#$ ticket!” Papers, magazines, pencils, snacks…..everywhere. Boo just stood there in horror. She probably thought she was next. The second we walked in the school office Boo said “Ooooh, Mommy made the biggest mess. She threw stuff all over the kitchen. She was so mad. And she said a bad word.” All I could say was “yep, I need a chill pill. pronto.” It was just a stupid lunch ticket. I probably lost a year off my life with that little rager. I probably lost another year cleaning up the huge mess. And it breaks my heart to think about how horribly Boo’s day started out. It wasn’t worth it.
Anyway, it is just impossible for me to respond to all your comments from yesterday, and if you’ve been around a while you know I like to respond. So I wanted to say thank you. You took precious time out of your day to comment and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I read every comment.
Lisa~The SweetTalk Shop says
When I look at the picture above, I don’t see fear. I see a beautiful woman. May your day be joyous!!
mrs d says
you are always going to have someone that says something negative – oh well. they’ll get over it. I am so glad you choose Joy. It really does make life so much easier. It makes life so much more fun! and you have a better life, marriage, and your kids are happier. Everyone is just at ease and that is so much more fun!
HUGS! Like I have said a million times…. you rock the bald!
Thank you for sharing your journey and lighting the way for so many others who are afraid, alone, or have lost hope. I just wish I could rub on that beautiful head to get some of your mojo 🙂 You go, girl.
Cyndi F says
Ashley – you ARE an inspiration, an example of courage, and a true testament of what a life lived in faith looks like. Thank you for sharing your story. My daily devotional yesterday made me think of you – Phi 4:4 “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!” Praying for you and your family.
laura~eye candy event details says
LOL – loved this post. Thank you for sharing about your ‘rager’ . . had one similar to that the other day & seriously . . .I mean seriously . . . we ALWAYS feel like the biggest tools afterwards when our daughter ‘witness’ these rare moments, so why do them is right?? I don’t know about you but too much ‘mommy guilt’ associated with that to try & not do it ever again. But we are human. We have hormones. And I am sure it WILL happen again [LOL] – maybe next time will be a little better though. =) LOVE the post – keepin it real! =)
You look so good with long and no hair! I’m totally jealous :). We should do a hat-a-thon and make hats to donate.
Elisa F. says
You are just stunningly gorgeous. In every possible way.
XO, thanks for sharing your thoughts this Sunday. I just facebooked how crabby I was that I can’t stand to be around myself today. My poor kids…..I think I needed a little smack in the face from you today….
You are WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and you are so right….it is a lot less exhausting to choose JOY…..so much good energy is lost when bad feelings, anger, etc. are chosen…..and because of YOU….I do choose JOY everyday….thank you so much Ashley
Wow! Thanks for being R-E-A-L… this sounds like the rebirth of person. I want authenticity. I am striving for the courage every day to tell my story, to be real, to not have the fear that the real me is so frightening that I will lose it all. I guess that you have faced such pain, fear, and real loss already that you are giving in and giving up on the expectations of how to keep those small little secrets. Like sharing your story about the lunch ticket! I can’t tell you how that resonated with me! I know you are an awesome Mom and when Mr. LBB was out of town you were stressing and I know, I know, how that can be… and it happened.. and it was incongruous and all it took was Boo’s face to show you the way back. I have had moments like that. But you have real courage, and a legion of fans to share it with you. I admire you being able to live in the beauty of your truthfulness. You are a beautiful soul, and you DO inspire us. Not just because you are telling your story, all of it, but because you see and feel Joy in every moment or strive to. I love your hummingbird nests, your ski hats and the delightful way you describe what’s going on with your body as it goes through changes. I can’t wait to hear Lisa’s story. I’m sure I’m not alone. As always, pulling for you… Victoria
Karen Peterson says
Just watched the video you posted of having your head shaved and I have never witnessed such a loving scene; you remarked that you didn’t see how your “simple little life” could be so inspiring, but that is the whole point of it 😉 It offers a glimpse of courage and a demonstration of how all of us can choose to live our own “simple little lives” because for the majority of us out here that is the life we are living. Does that make any sense at all??
It makes me love my life and where God has placed me and is a reminder to be thankful for all things in my life even when I feel as if I am not making a difference in someone else’s life or when I keep messing up 😉
We’re cheering for you!
I cried my eyes out watching your video and now, again. You are amazing and I know God must be smiling down on you. What a brautiful testimony of someone who is overcoming.
Reading your words shows what a happy, joyful and positive person you are. You get it. Pretty sure we would be best friends if we lived near each other.
Michelle Poole says
I have no doubt that you’re as upbeat in real life as you present in this blog. I feel as you do about joy taking less energy than being pissed off. I’d like you to know that I wear my choose joy bracelet daily and it helps me choose not to freak out about every little thing. You see, I’m a social worker in Riverside County and I work in Children’s services which can be difficult, to say the least. I am choosing joy now and I have you to thank for it. Thank you Ashley!
The baldness looks great….and I laughed when you wrote that you left the house early this morning to buy donuts….I hope you had one for me. I`m 2 lbs away from loosing 40 lbs and once I`ve lost all my weight, which should be in the next couple of months, I`m going to go buy the yummiest donut.
Hope you are having a great Sunday and if you ever want me to knit you some hats, let me know! 🙂
Thank you for sharing so much with us Ashley. You truely are an inspiration! I’m happy you choose joy and inspire me to do the same. Oh, and you look just a beautiful without hair.
I totally get that feeling of “I’m not an inspiration”…only I had a HUGE fall in my walk with Christ, and as I try to let Him pick up the pieces and rearrange them, I’m being told how amazing I am, and how blessed people are as they watch me recover…and this was all MY fault to begin with.
So, trust us when we say that you are an inspiration to us. You have been hit with something far outside of your control and each day you share with us that “one day at a time” approach. You show us that even when we can’t change anything, we can choose our attitude…and yours is affecting us in the most blessed -and inspiring- of ways!
Thank you, Ashley, for sharing the struggles, the fears, the laughter, and the JOY with us!
Your video was so intense, raw, beautiful, amazing, heartbreaking, loving and just so incredibly real. I showed my husband and he just stood there with tears in his eyes watching it. I cried. You’re something else, Ashley. Something else in a good, beautiful way. Keep on, keepin’. XXXXX
I dont think you are weird at all… I feel you are blessing.. aside from your ugly cancer. you have a lovely spirit.. that can not be fake.
I just watched your video and it brought me to tears. My sister shaved her head this week too. God bless you and thank you for sharing your story with us!
tracey wallis says
I never take my Choose Joy bracelet off you remind everyday not to sweat the small stuff so thank u . U are an inspiration <3
My daughter and I are sitting here looking at your blog and she said, “She looks beautiful like that'” and I agree! You are in my prayers daily. Have a happy Sunday evening!
YOU’RE thanking US…when we are forever thankful for your openess, willingness to share and to lovingly interact through these challenges. I wouldn’t miss one of your posts for nuthin’. Encouraging me to take the joyful path each and every day. Thank YOU!
Eleanor cooper says
Still so very awesome!!! You just said probably what most of us have thought but never say. If only we could learn to Choose Joy. Thank you!!!
Today would have been my father’s 67 birthday and I’m at a birthday party for a new friend sitting in the corner reading your blog. Perfectly happy ;). Thank you thank you and thank you!!!
You and your mom are beautiful. I like to think I would do the same for my daughters. You are blessed to have her in your life…oh and Mr. LBB and Boo! Your blog has given me a new light on life, if you can choose JOY then I know I can choose JOY as well. Thanks for sharing your life with us.
Kathie Maruska says
I am a Momma of six year old twin boys who were born 4 1/2 wks early due to pre-eclampsia & hypertension! I was sick after their birth and struggled with controlling my protein levels! I had to see a nefrologist (I didn’t even know that was even a doctor)! Needless to say I wasn’t upbeat and positive initially….all I could think of was my failing kidneys and not being around for my family. When I read your post it has inspire me to remember and think back…i felt selfish! I beat it only because I needed to wake up and make a change. That experience scared me but woke me up at the same time. I may not having failing kidneys anymore but I have other issues that I have to live with…but I live it knowing that life is to short! Sometimes I forget myself and when I begin to lose my temper I remember that yes their is a reason for everying and I thank you for sharing your life with all of us. After crying last night and reading this post about your big teeth and bald head I couldn’t help but laugh…I too have big teeth (my children said that they hope not to have teeth like mine)…haha. You are REAL as are all of us. God bless you and your family!
Kristina @ A Home Made by Kiki says
Thanks for such a great reminder to not dwell on things! I tend to be a worrier and over-analyze everything. I don’t even want to think about all of the time I have wasted on worrying!! I just experienced a miscarriage this last week…total shock after having zero complication with my first 2 pregnancies! I don’t comment much on your blog, but I am a faithful reader…and I am so inspired by your positive spirit!!
Lois Boyer says
Ashley, you are truly inspiring. What a challenging event you are weathering with amazing grace and strength. AND….you are beautiful bald!!!
Jennifer Erwin says
Every moment of life is like gold.. Every single one.. Bless you
My dear lady you are truly a gem in life. I read your blog with alot of how much I wish I had her faith, joy and wow !! Thank you for letting me know there are truly people out there like you who are really facing many difficulties in life and not being down . Thank you for writing this blog and letting others be so inspired by you and your positiveness about life.
Thank you for being you and dear lady you are a beautiful person with or without hair !!
Amanda @RusticRemnants says
That is exactly what makes your writing so beautiful and inspiring Ashley. It is so obvious to all of us who have been blessed to “know” you over the years that you are who you are and no one else.
Valerie King says
I stumbled across your blog today. When I say stumbled, an old high school friend posted your video on Facebook this morning. I sat here alone at my desk, warm puppy in my lap and allowed the tears to stream down my face.
I am humbled by your grace. I see the love in your husband’s eyes. Every inch of you seeps with peace, love…joy. Not cancer.
Cancer is ugly. I’ve watched it creep into the lives of others around me. Most recently, my twin sons very best friend. Unfortunately he had a very rare form of Leukemia and went home to be with Jesus a year ago. He was 10. Today, I still wear his orange bracelet. I never remove it. It is a piece of me. My hope never runs dry. We will find a cure.
You are amazing. You wear a cape….I see it flapping in the breeze behind you. First, because you are a devoted wife and mother. And second, because you are a fighter. A beautiful fighter. I’m praying for you. You are an inspiration. God bless you.
Jen Boles says
You are such a joy! I started reading your blog via pin on pinterest where you had placed your Elf in awesome not kid friendly situations. Thank you for reminding me again for the upteenth time to not worry about the little things.
You’re awesome, sweet one. Oh my, how you are a beautiful light in this world for Christ.
Your positive attitude really is an inspiration though. The video was beautiful, you are beautiful, there is so much love in your family and your mum is amazing.
Kristina Churchill says
Don’t forget the sunscreen for your head;)
Always thinking of you!
Seriously… You are an amazing women. – end of story… Life is too short – your choose JOY – YOU are such an inspiration of simple thankfullness.
God bless you. xxo
Just started reading… Love you already! Get it girl. What ever it is
You have seeped into my life…I think about you, I pray for you. I even discussed choosing joy with my husband. He listened. (((hugs)))
Sarah Zamora says
Well said, my dear. You are inspiring others in so many ways. We all believe in you, as a mother, a designer, a wife, a writer, a creator, and as a girlfriend too! Thank you for speaking your voice, in all of your transparency.
Never underestimate how many others are reached by your network. 😀
Hi, I have never commented before, but always read your posts! I believe in my heart you can get through this because God is a healer. “God is good the devil is bad…and they never switch places!” The devil trys to derail us with diseases, but God heals us because he is a good GOD! A book my father mentioned a book to me called “10 hours to live” by Brian Wills and I think you would like it, just by reading a little of it off of Amazon, it took my faith to different levels! You are an inspiration to me and there have been times where your post bring me close to tears! I loved your video also, your such a strong person and touching so many lives! 🙂
Lil Miss Red T-Shirt says
I think your faith and hope let you see the bigger picture in life.. most of the time. It’s harder to get upset about something trivial when you see meaning in the greater scheme. Most people probably throw stuff all over the kitchen regularly. I know so many people that live in constant stress of one thing or another, never relaxed and always worried about something. I can’t say that I’m much different than that, but living that way sure is exhausting.
Maybe I should copy and paste what I always want to write here.. “the world seriously needs more people like you.” For real. It would be such a better place.
New reader here! Absolutely love that I have found you! I, too, live with an abundance of joy & I often wonder if this IS my heaven. I feel so blessed to find people that want to celebrate life & surround myself with those who laugh often! Thanks for reminding all of us that there’s so much to be happy about even when there might be some kind of hiccup in each of our days. Anddd I love the Housewives….California is my fav! 🙂
In a few days, it will be my turn to shave my head. I hope to experience it with as much grace as you ~ You are a beautiful person and I’m so glad I came upon your blog. May we all understand how to live life to its fullest each and every day. We only get this one shot …. May you continue to be a blessing to others!
I am not exactly sure why I am so drawn to your blog every single day? The only explanation I can think of is the light that comes from your soul draws me to it like a moth to a flame. Thank you for being so sweet, honest, bold, positive, and cheerful. I am a better person when I leave this site. Until the next post that is 😉
Thank you. I’m not very good with writing down words. Especially when I’m feeling speechless due to awe. So I’ll simply say “Thank you.”
Ashely, over the past few days your blog has made me laugh out loud. I realize some people may find that bizarre, but I think you are probably just fine with that! I’m somewhat new to your blog, but I’ve become quite attached to your Lil Blue Boo craft updates and chronicles of “momhood” and womanhood. While you may not see yourself as an inspiration, you are certainly an entertaining, down-to-earth, life-loving, creative chick. In my book, you’re a jewel of inspiration 🙂
Alice Larkin says
I found your blog a few months ago and have been following along with so many others everyday. Thank you for being so honest. Thank you for being so brave in the face of all kinds of sadness. You mentioned your faith and i would encourage you to cling to your belief system and faith as that and the obvious love of your family are what will hold you up and carry you through during this season of your life. During an especially tough time in my life I was reminded that everyone of us is walking around with a stake though our hearts that hurts. Remembering this has put everything into perspective for me. It leads me to remember to treat each person with an extra measure of respect and love for none of us truly knows what is going on in our hearts and minds. I will continue to pray for continued comfort, peace, healing, and joy for you and your family.
Again I say— you are a complete inspiration. At church this morning— at special intentions….mine was Boo. May she realize how very blessed she is to follow your footstep. So much grace. I am grateful for your strength because it continues to inspire me.
I was helping in Peyton and Sienna’s class last week and they were both at my table making a snowman. Sienna literally was making a masterpiece (scarf with fabric etc…)and of course my daughter (who has a mother with zero creativity) was amazed. Peyton said “who taught you that?” Sienna said “my mommy. She knows how to do everything!” Of course I got tears in my eyes thinking of how symbolic that was and they started laughing at something else silly. You are touching everyone and everything Ashley! Even your 4 year old knows it. Those times where you feel like you can’t do one more thing…just remember that she KNOWS you can do everything. We are all here for you!
I know that you just think that you are you and what you are isn’t any big deal but that is just because you are you. I don’t think that there are very many people on this earth that are capable of handling your life with the grace and joy that you do.
The line from the Help fits you perfectly-
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
All I would add to it is “You is joyful.”
I am a new follower, Ashley, (from the other side of the world) but already completely devoted. You are beautiful – inside and out. Love and Light to you and your family.
Dear Ashley ,
You make me laugh out loud with your post. I have those morning panic attacks, I just don’t know what my children say about me at school…I don’t want to know. Hugs and joy to you.
Patricia Blomeley-Maddigan says
You are an inspiration, Ashley, not just for those of us with health issues, but for all of us, your readers.
Kelly D < :) says
Danielle Pinkerton says
“A happy person is not a person in certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes”. ~ Hugh Downs
This reminds me of you Ashley! Your positive attitude in dealing with such a nasty disease. You’re a positive light in the way you choose to deal with and handle what has been laid out for you. You are an inspiration to so many of us, thank you for being REAL! You’re living a life that is spiritually authentic and I thank you for that!
Your movie, WOW!! What a beautiful gift you are giving Sienna and your family. You look beautiful. I had my teenagers watch this and they couldn’t hold their tears back. (and let me tell you, it takes a lot to make them feel that much emotion for someone other than themselves) My teenagers, I am sure like many, are self centered most of the time and rarely think of others and their problems. They find reasons to be angry and get annoyed with others, especially their siblings, for the smallest infraction. It is easy for us all to take each other for granted and forget what really is important and what life means and to treasure it. I think they walked away changed teens from watching it.
I have a picture on my wall that I have had for awhile, it says “Today is a Gift, that is why we call it the Present”. Thank you for making me stop to remember that!! As always, you are always in my prayers!! I am on my way to 5:30 mass, and I will be saying a prayer for you, your family and Lisa, as I am sure she too, being so close to you, could use some strength from the big man up above. xo
Dear Ashley, I’m quite certain that it is not high on your list right at the moment, but like my daughter who had breast cancer at 28, you have the perfect shaped head to be bald. How beautiful you look still! When treatment was over and her hair started to grow back, it grew into the most darling short cut ever. So enjoy your head in all its bald beauty that couldn’t be seen when it was covered in hair.
Lisa in TX says
Ashley, it’s my first time to comment, but I have been following your blog for a while now. If you are “weird”, then I hope we all can be “weird” with you! Praying for you!
The reason everyone thinks you are such an inspiration, is because of your simple and positive life. It is such a world that seems to be run by chaos and negativity. Those that doubt your simple, humble, honest good attitude, haven’t had the experiences to see it in action for themselves. It is very humbling for me to see your simplicity. I feel the same way most of the time. being negative is poison and like cancer can over run our bodies. I love that your faith is a strong part of you. I’m not of your same church, but I am of your same FAITH.
Love and prayers always,
you once again prove that beauty is what is on the inside ~ I love you with hair, no hair, ski cap ~ you are beautiful and inspiring xoxo Bev
You brighten my day. How many other people can say that, about a person they never met? I always read, and think, ok… calm down. Whatever is “THAT” bad in life isn’t THAT bad. Breathe. That’s all you can do sometimes. Thanks for posting. I love that it isn’t eloquent, or some literary genius writing. Hope you have a good Sunday evening too. I sewed a dress today and tried it on my little girl. She twirled. She laughed. What else do we need in life? Really… All we need is love (because love, comes peace, and joy comes with laughter…. just a healthy dose of both each day. 🙂
You look beautiful! And I have always loved your teeth 🙂
I chose joy months ago after reading your blog and today I have even more favorite Ashley quotes:
“just be a good person and enjoy the ride”! “life is terminal”, “this too shall pass”,…
Love from Spain.
You make me want to be a better person who chooses joy every day,
Catherine Lacey Dodd says
Gosh, you are unreal and fabulous!
Sending you prayers and positive thoughts
Jessica R says
I look forward to your post everyday. You give me a breath of fresh air! 😉 Don’t lose your awesome’ness. U rock! God Bless.
Meghan Jensen says
Choose Joy! And if you can’t, Choose Donuts and it’s almost the same thing! Love you!
Jennifer J says
I need to print this out and keep it!! You are amazing. I do day care, and the kids I have on Saturday for eleven hours seem to be animals escaped from the zoo. They destroy my things. They seem bent on hurting each other. The oldest boy keeps stepping on the three girls, and last week I found out that he once broke his sister’s leg by stepping on her. They have five different care givers in the seven days of a week – and mom long ago just gave up. I try so hard, and they just make me crazy – and mind you, I have already raised my own six children to adulthood!! So I have to tell myself “this too shall pass”, and lots of things like it, so we can all start getting through Saturday without the last half hour being a permanent “time out – no talking”. You are so encouraging to me! I am so glad I found your blog. And I do pray for you and your family and friends almost every day. I really wish you the best.
Deanna Middleton says
God bless you and your family.
Ashley, you are inspiring because you are so real, and down-to-earth. I know that God is truly working in your life because His peace and strength shine through you. “This too, shall pass, it’s only a season.” is soooo true. That is exactly what I would remind myself when I went through cancer. Be Blessed. Job 22:28
I love your writing. I really do. And believe me, I don’t just read anything. I don’t have patience for most blogging. But your writing and pictures are both so captivatingly real and vivid. Great job.
Stacy Rivera says
I have been following your blog for only a few brief months…..I could ramble on and on but all I can say is that you are such an incredible person and such an inspiration to me….I saw ur video this morning and I could only watch just a bit….I tend to be an emotional person to begin with but when something like that is right is front of me, it’s just too much….Maybe it had a little something to do with the song by Sia….It’s one of my favorites and tends to hit a little something inside of my heart…..You are living what every woman fears….Yes, I pray to God that it doesn’t happen to me but if it does, I can only hope that I show as much courage, strength and grace that you have shown and continue to show all of us and your family each and every day….God bless you 🙂
XXoo Your new bloggy friend
wow man.. you are doing something right. My mom is like you and just amazes me. There’s a reason we should focus on what is good, pure, noble, true, right etc. Because it’s life giving. God is onto something isn’t He? 😉 I’m watching and learning. And you’re right. Life is terminal. Period. But how we handle it doesn’t have to be!
lisa jack says
You are SO amazing. I aspire to be more like you!!!!! I let too much get to me & its silly.
Claudia Méndez says
Probablemente sea la unica mexicana que te escribe, sabes me encanta tu blog, he segido tus post, y me encanta lo que haces, hace poco me entere del cancer que te esta poniendo a prueba, yo creo que eres un angel que Dios nos envio para darnos el mensaje de que todo en esta vida se puede, si tu puedes salir adelante con tu enfermedad y ser tan optimista y siendo tan bella por dentro como por fuera; nosotros tenemos el compromiso de darte a ti animos para seguir y las GRACIAS por ser tan fuerte y compartir con nosotros tu vida.
con amor Claudia.
Rocio Estrada says
I just saw your video and the tears were rolling non-stop. You look BEAUTIFUL! I can see the love and admiration that your family has for you. I loved your mom’s surprise…I would have done the same!
Your “Choose Joy” approach makes sense and made me reasses the what is truly important in my life. Thank you for the inspiration and sharing your personal life!
You are a beautiful person inside and out and may God bless you and heal you in time.
You most definitely are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being a light unto so many of us. I just love you. You make me want to be a better person and I thank you for that.
Watched your “bald is beautiful” video and thought back to when our son, Michael, lost his hair (it fell out exactly 6 months after his leukemia diagnosis…in about an hour one evening…weird!). A few of his friends, his brother, my husband and all his Bible study guys got together in our garage to have their head(s) butched…wish I’d thought to video it (we took pictures, I’ll try to find them). This time, three and a half years later with his relapse (he was three days shy of his cure date) his hair fell out in about a month and he didn’t want anyone to know or see. I wrote you a couple days ago about relating to your chemo meds. I’m happy because he feels well enough this weekend to go spend time at a friend’s ranch for a couple days (no chemo right now)…almost like a “normal” kid! I’m going to show him your video so he can see how you chose the joy in sharing your hair! Molly (our daughter) and I both donated our hair two times (and she’s a blonde and I’m a redhead…they’d never had red hair donated at our salon!) but we didn’t shave our heads…maybe when ours grows out enough so we can donate again! Much love to you and family…I’ll be thinking of you when Michael’s getting his LP next week and TRYING to choose joy! Kimberly
You’re my hero! I wake up every morning now and decide to Choose Joy because of you!!!
Ginger Powell says
You are doing a great job. Thanks for sharing. Chemo is not easy and losing great hair is not easy either. I know from experience. I just finished chemo this week. My hair is starting to grow back. Its baby hair but its there. Just wanted to say great job.
You have no idea how much you are helping me lately. I wish I could give you a big hug. I fall toward anger sometimes in dealing with my health and keep pleading with God, the universe, all of it, for 5 more years withy daughter. But you are right, it is just a ride. A ride that should be full of laughter and memories and kindness and love.
You are probably sick of hearing this Ashley, but i’ll say it anyways… you’re awesome! You truly are inspiring! I’m amazed at how positive you are. At how joy-filled you are! I love reading your posts. Thank you for being so transparent and reminding me to Choose Joy every day!
I want to be more like you. Seriously, I have those “lunch ticket” moments all too often. I’m going to try and remember this the next time I’m tempted to freak out 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!!
You’re amazing. Simply amazing. 🙂
THANK YOU for openly sharing your amazing story and journey. You truly are an inspiration and a gift from god for me. I’m currently a single mom with two young kids one about the age of your little “boo”. We are currently living with my mother and helping to take care of her. She is about 2 weeks behind you in starting Chemo for the first time. This past week was her first difficult week from the Chemo and we are waiting on the hair loss any day now. I just got finished dealing with a crying little girl who is scared and didn’t like watching Grandma be so sick at dinner time. She is scared of seeing her bald and I have searched for some way to help ease the fears. Luckily with the power of facebook someone had posted your rite of passage blog. You are amazing and your outlook on life has touched me tremondously. Thank You! I will be including you in my prayers tonight I hope you and your family can make it through this difficult time quickly and enjoy many years of good health and happiness.
Ive been reading your blog and I am in awe of you and how you are choosing joy through the journey you are in. I proudly wear a “choose joy” bracelet and not only does it remind me to choose joy it reminds me to pray for you and your family. I believe God is using you as a portal to speak to so many! As a believer myself, you speak to me and I feel blessed by it. God bless you and your family.
You are gorgeous, Ashley! Inside and out, with or without hair!! Thank you for sharing your story, you are truley an inspiration!
You think just like me. So we must both be weird! I think people forget we are all going to die ? Both my parents were surprised and angry when cancer hit them. That’s why I try and live,everyday. I wake up and think ” am I happy today, is anything worrying me or a black cloud on the horizon” and everyday it’s been “nope!”
I started following your blog when you had your op. I too had just had an op. We had similar scars. It was nice following someone else’s recovery. But mine was just major spine surgery, which I’m recovering well from, yours is a totally different ball park.
I would like to think I would be coping and dealing with everything just like you.you are a great example.
I look forward to the time ahead reading about your recovery.
I cry almost everytime I read you. And it’s not because I feel sad for you… I feel so stupid thinking that I have the worst life anyone can get, with a job I truly hate, and no time for my family, feeling so disgraced…and then I find out that you could be crying all day, leaving yourself lying on the bed and complaining with “Why me” thoughts, but you choose joy… as you say “DO Choose Joy”.
You can’t say you’re not an inspiration… Let me tell you my friend that all your words make me thing that I can CHOOSE JOY every day… It’s hard of course since all my life I was programed not to choose it, but as you say, it takes less energy and makes you happier.
Thank you Ashley, for giving me the chance of re-think about my life and the Joy I need to choose in it. I don’t need to find the joy. It’s there. I just have to choose it and enjoy… and as you know I’m not the only one.
Vicki Turner says
Not sure if the Swenson side of the family is known for the big teeth, but definitely the Perry side…lol. You can thank your mom..hahaha…I gave them to my daughter Lindsey, and she is for-ever saying she has horse teeth too! I think your smile is stunning, as is my daughter’s 🙂
Praying for you Ashley, Love Cousin Vicki
Kimberly Limer says
I love the ski cap, and this post was so great. I had wondered to, is she always this positive? The lunch ticket story was so true, and I know that I have done that before too, and looking back, it is sad that I acted like that in front of my kids. Following your blog has made me realize the things that matter the most. I lost my Dad in October, and since then, I have wanted to change the way I live my life, and Choose Joy is such a great motto to help stay positive. I had shared your video from the salon on facebook the other night, and found out that my sister in law follows your blog too!!! 🙂 It was so great, and she wrote, “Choose Joy!” on my page. It is amazing how many people love you and follow you.
Thanks for being so strong and you ARE inspiring, even though you may not see it, I tell everyone about your blog and how amazing you are, because your story has touched me and helped me appreciate the little things in life, and for that I am thankful!!!
Sherri Y says
You are such an inspiration, and finding joy is exactly what I’ve been working on this year! I had to share a link to this post with my friends. You are in my prayers!
Jennifer S says
i have been following your blog for a while – my sister follows, too. we are both inspired by you. the video was amazing…you are a beautiful person surrounded by a beautiful, loving family.
You most definitely ARE an inspiration! I think your situation, and how you’re choosing to face it, forces all of us to realize that no matter how bad life gets, there is still so much joy around us, and most importantly, IN us.
You are so right Ashley!! Lately I feel like i have been living a show of Real Housewives! I seriously do! I have lost one good friend – a really good friend– because her husbands best friend was cheating with a single friend of mine and he decided that I might know (which I didn’t) so he took something that I said and twisted it to mean something else to ruin friendships so that he would not be threatened with the thought of sitting at a table full of friends with me. On Wednesday night I was out to sushi with some friends and they were freaking out bcauase the restaurant was out of crispy chips and they would not make the dish without them…I seriously thought they were going to skewer the waiter…..I told them they were being negative Nellys…they reminded me, It’s negative Nancy, not negative Nelly! Of course they did! I am not so familiar with her! Later on that night I had a friend have one too many martinis and tell me what she really thinks of my parenting skills and decisions I make for my kids – that ended with me telling her to get out of my house! It got worse, but I will spare you the rest of the details. I am not sure how I have gotten caught up in this chaos! It’s SO not me. I have always been the one who is the voice of reason at our get togethers, when they are complaining about people, husbands, life, etc. At this point, though, I am pretty much over it. It saps SO much energy to be negative!! I wear my choose joy bracelets, I have given them to all of my friends, my daughters and some of their friends. It’s a simple message and I don’t know why people have a hard time living it! Why DO people think it is easier to be negative and mad. It takes SO much mental, emotional and physical energy to hold grudges and anger. I’ve obviously decided to take a large step back from all of this. I forgive her because for me, it is easier to understand that people have things going on that I may not know about that have an effect on their behavior and I feel it is just easier to feel sorry for them and try to understand where they are coming from than to just be mad about it. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about you and your message while all of this has been going on. You really do keep my spirit going! Joy really is the easier choice. Thank you, Ashley for making it so clear! Hugs to you and your beautiful family!
ps- If you run out of Housewives episodes, email me!! I’ll give you all the gory details of Wednesday night! lol!
Well sister…you are an inspiration, like it or not! I love reading your thoughts, I use them often to get myself out of a funk or to inspire my students. You have inspired me to resume journaling, something I was religious about as a young woman and have failed to do for many years.
Thank you for YOU, your words and your humor…
You inspire me and make me want to live a better life. You wrote, “Live a fearless life, full of joy and happiness” and I plan to make that my mantra! We all deal with “stuff” every day – big stuff, small stuff, but you are so right that we need to focus on the joy and happiness and let all that stuff go! Thank you! Thank you so much – I’m so happy I discovered your blog!
You are so beautiful. Inside and out. My husband shaved his when my son’s hair fell out, and he still wears it bald. Now it just saves us on the barber’s fees (:d)). My DH does have one small word of advice for you. He says, and I am quoting “Don’t forget the sunscreen on the first sunny day”, and that “She is so ROCKIN’ that look”. Good luck Ashley prayers are with u. By the way your mom is SO ROCKIN’ the look too.
You are truly an inspiration to me. I’ve been trying to live a life with less drama. Less needless worry and bullsh*t that just adds up to a bunch of nothing. Reading your blog makes me see how worth it it all is. I say a prayer for you every night, I just think you’re amazing. And the video? I have no words. I just sat there amazed, wishing I could have been there with you and your family to cheer you on. All the best.
I think you have GREAT horse teeth 🙂 and you really do look beautiful without hair! I put on a hat to see what i would look like without hair and it wasnt good…. I cant wait until you kick cancer right in the ass.
I just found your blog ( a couple of weeks ago) and I have read almost every post! Your creative talent is incredible, your perspective on life is even more incredible. I think about you before I “loose it” over my son’s potty training, and the messes my 9 month old makes. “What would Ashley do”? Thank you for sharing your life and talents with us all. I look forward to your posts, whether they be about your personal life or your craftiness, every day. Keep posting and keep choosing joy. You have touched me. Thanks.
I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and I love the way you write. Your recent story has really moved me and helped me… In November I went to the doctor about a suspicious mole, hoping it was nothing but paranoid because I spent my childhood in the sunny desert of the Middle East. They cut it out and the day before New Years I went back to get the results. I barely remember that conversation except that it seemed to go on forever and the doctor had a very posh voice. It was stage 1a cancer. I haven’t been really able to talk about it. I still feel numb. My feelings fluctuate between “they’ve cut it out, its gone, I’m cured, there’s nothing wrong with me any more, I’m fine” to the panic of “he said the c-word!!”
I’m rambling now but my point is that I want to thank you. I know what I’m going through pales in comparison to what you’re going through but I love your positivity and I think its really helping me to be upbeat too. I wanted you to know that. I’m going back in on Monday to get some of the surrounding “healthy” skin taken away to be sure they’ve got it all. I’m nervous because I hate the thought of being cut into but I’m going to make myself stay positive. It’ll be ok.
Patrícia Pinheiro says
Hello beautiful angel!
Today when watching your video of the hair, I went back to thrill me with you! Congratulations on your attitude
of courage. Congratulations on your beautiful family love. Congratulations on the joy of living. You make it seem that everything is easier. I am here, far away, always rooting for you! May God continue to bless you! Kiss in the heart!
*Sorry for the english google… =)
I guess I am curious as to whether or not you were this upbeat prior to cancer or has cancer made your more aware of choosing joy. I only ask because when I was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer in March, I almost instantly became more positive. And I’m definitely sure that it’s because the alternative was too hard to bear. It’s like I made an instant decision in my head on how to deal with the diagnosis and the following months. And I will say that it was easier to stay positive in the first few months. Much more difficult as time went on and chemo built up in my body, and I felt worse and worse. I so appreciate your attitude!
Shelley Kahn says
I just have to tell you that I too am a cancer patient and mommy of 2 Boos. 🙂 I am currently sitting in chemo reading ur posts. One of my dear friends pointed me in ur direction this a.m. And I just happen to have 4 hours on my hands while I sit here trying to keep myself entertained, so I thought I’d take a look at your blog. OMG!!! I can’t stop laughing!!!! I know all of these people sitting around me think I’ve completely LOST IT!!! I typically read things and think “oh yeah, haha, that’s funny”, but I literally had tears STREAMING down my face as I read ur post & I literally couldn’t catch my breath!! Hysterical!!! Thanks so much for making my day!!
Just so you know, I do this every Wednesday and I’ll be looking to you for my entertainment going forward. Don’t let me down!! :)) Best of luck to you in ur journey. I will keep you in my prayers. Keep on keeping on!! 🙂