Mr. LBB and I woke up this morning to Boo yelling from the living room for us to please not wake up because she didn’t want us to see what she was writing in her new diary. We weren’t awake until she asked us not to be awake. Classic.
Mr. LBB rolled over, put his hand on my arm, and said “Dear God, thank you for keeping my wife here with me.”
It’s one year to the day since I went in for surgery at Loma Linda University. I call it the day that never was….because I was under anesthesia. Funny how that works……you close your eyes and it seems like only a second passes before you wake up again. No idea how long you were under.
When I was moved out of ICU I remember Lisa calling Mr. LBB and asking if she could share an update with everyone…..and I asked him to write something on the blog. And he did. You know….you worry about me….and I worry about you right back….that’s why I love this little online community.
I was thinking about those few days at Loma Linda last night and just about gave myself a panic attack. My mind started going to what Mr. LBB and Boo’s life might be like if that night had taken a different turn. It’s stuff you never want to admit that you think about: would they be living somewhere else? who would go to Boo’s Mother’s Day activities at school? Life goes on…..
A year ago yesterday I would have told you that surgery was no big deal. I’d recover quickly and then I’d be on my way to getting pregnant again. You think you are invincible and then you lose a crucial organ that’s necessary for reproduction.
Boo asks for a brother or sister almost every day in some way. On her biography poem for school in September she wrote on the line asking about her siblings: I have a brother named Diesel. Sigh…..her “brother” is an elderly dog.
A year later we are just starting to navigate the world of surrogacy and adoption. One day when Boo was upset that we weren’t working harder to get her another brother or sister I said “well, who knows…..maybe someday we’ll add someone to our family. Where would you want a sibling from? California? China?” She got upset and insisted that she couldn’t speak Chinese so how would a sister from China work out?! I told her we’d just have to start speaking Chinese.
I’m just kind of letting my life take me where it takes me. There are no grand plans. I like it that way. There’s never any expectations or disappointments. Everything that happens…..happens. And I know it’s the way that God meant it to be in the first place.
So maybe we won’t have more than one child. Or maybe we’ll have four. I joke with my little sister that she should have twins and give me the cutest one. Sometimes Mr. LBB and I discuss traveling the world (A Year of Lil Blue Boo in Provence?)
The fact is…..I was given another chance. Actually, I was given more than another chance. When my first two lines of chemotherapy proved ineffective……that third line was another chance too. I think we all probably get more chances than we think…..
So, in closing….
(I’ve been watching too much election TV)
Today I’m thankful. I’m thankful for this daring adventure. And I’m hoping it’s a long one.
Erika @ life unfluffed says
You are amazing.
i feel so blessed to read your words. seriously ashley, your words are healing to me! thank GOD you are here today! i’m struggling with making peace that our miracle girl will be an only child, and then i get angry at myself that i ache for more when i have already been given such an endless stream of miracles in my life. ah, to relax and let life take me where i need to go!
thanks for being you.
Tleshia Farrar says
Ashley, how wonderful for all of us that God kept you here on Earth a little longer!!!! You continue to be an inspiration to us all and don’t worry my bean’s sibling is a 14 year old cat named Gus, so she feels boo’s pain. LOL!
Southern Gal says
A year. Wow. You’re a strong woman. I’m so glad God left you here for Mr. LBB and Boo…and us.
Allison S. says
I am so glad for God’s plans in your life. Choose joy daily and you will receive it.
Do thankful! You are such an inspiration, Ashley. More so today than ever… Continued prayers for you and your family!
*so – so thankful!
Linda Pelk says
I can’t believe it’s been a year and yet it seems so long ago when I read that post from Mr. LBB. You are an incredible inspiration! God has you here for good reason!!
Adriana M. says
Love your posts. So glad you are still with Mr. LBB and Boo today. I like following your Cancer Chronicles posts because my sister suffered the same cancer as you did. You remind me a lot of her. That last bout of chemo was too much for her but everynight I prayed for God to give me one more day with her. Until I realized I was begging him to prolong her pain. The night I didn’t pray for one more day she passed peacefully in her sleep. She fought such a courageous battle. So did you. I am so glad you won.
Melissa H says
Thanks again for sharing your story because it helps us all step back and appreciate… everything. Love and my heart felt prayers to you all!
Oh, man, have I been there. My son is 4-years-old and asks to be a big brother all the time. It is so hard to hear those words when you planned to have more, and want more, but life has other plans for you. (My husband was diagnosed with cancer three months after my little guy was born, and died before he turned two.)
While it is heartbreaking at times and you just want to cry, I remind him (and myself) that we are our own special little family. And since growing our family isn’t in the cards for us right now, we are going to focus on travel and just enjoying life as it is as much as possible. Your outlook is amazing and just right. I always think, yes we were dealt a shitty hand of cards. But we are also some of the luckiest people in the world for all that we do have.
As always, thanks for sharing.
I’ll drink to that.
stephanie corfee says
i’m with lisa and mr. lbb….thanking god you are still with us today…..and very thankful our paths have crossed.
Count me in as someone who celebrates you daily. You have changed how my husband and I live our lives. One day at a time, each a gift and always trying to choose joy first.
Ashlee Tomes says
You are such an inspiration, Ashley! Your attitude and outlook is always so positive! I know God is using you in mighty ways! He had a plan for you…and He knew exactly how he was going to use you on that day, one year ago! One of my favorite quotes that’s in my Daily Devotional book is this…
“You have to look for the joy. Look for the light of God that is hitting your life, and you will find sparkles you didn’t know were there.” -Barbara Johnson
You are wonderful at seeing the sparkles and sharing that with all of us! Thank you!!
Ashlee Tomes 🙂
Melanie Clement says
Just yesterday, I was praying, “May Ashley (the angel in the flesh), live a LONG, LONG, life with her amazing family!” I often think those same thoughts, “What will happen to Jaya (my 11 year old son) if I am not here?” Then, I pray, “Please let us enjoy each other for a very long time, grow old together, and live every single day like it could be the last!” I lost my father at 12 years old, and now at 39, still miss him like crazy!
I found Lil Blue Boo around this year, and am so grateful that I did. The world is a better place because you are in it.
Oops… I meant around this time last year!
Laura Ritter says
So happy for you!!! It’s amazing when that first year passes and you can look back and say “I can’t believe I’m still here & life is GOOD!” May God continue to bless you and your family <3
Word Sista!! Isn’t it hard to be around people that just DON’T get that concept…Life is what you make of it…and without your health you have nothing!
Keep on Livin’!!
I love this. God definitely has a plan for all of us. Glad that you made it through what might be the hardest year of your life. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger…you are such an inspiration.
Amazing how time passes! It is so good to look back and reflect on how God has blessed you each and every day!! Keep moving forward!!
Jane Patterson says
and ‘Bootiful’…. she keeps it real for you! God chose her for you to find that extra ‘joy’ you might need during the day!
You are blessed!
Cheryl McInerney says
I feel so blessed to have been along for this journey you have undergone. I learn this afternoon if I have ovarian cancer and I am scheduled for surgery on the 29th. Your “Choose Joy” has helped me to do just that. I look at everything differently and am hopeful I can see my three granddaughters grow up to be teenagers to torment my son as he did me. LOL. I know God will continue to bless you and I know he only gives us what we can handle.
You are loved by all who read you.
Ginger Lambert says
Praying for you to live long and enjoy the tormenting!
Ditto to all above, what an inspiration and I too am so happy I found LBB this year!
you now have the prayers and love of all of us LBB followers.
Lisa Renata says
All I can say is that I completely admire you and the way you have dealt with the cards you’ve been given. Your amazing!
I’m glad you are still here friend. xoxo
I’m with Mr. LBB – Thank God! I lost 3 family members to a tragic car accident in June (gr.nieces 13 and 19 and my nephew) who will never get another chance. Survivors mom and son will. But in the Bible it says “To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1
If we can believe in that “purpose” we will stay strong.
Thank God every morning, afterall He is the one who woke you up! <3
Lisa Cousineau says
I lost my babymaker when my Boo was 3… it’s not the worst thing in the world to have an only child. I’ve been criticized for it by other parents (with balls!) but I love my family of three… You will do what’s right for your family- when it happens. xo!
So thankful that God wants and needs you here, with us and Boo and Mr. LBB…
That whole “God doesn’t close one door without opening another one” thing sounds “hokey” but what if….you were meant to adopt and forever change a lost life….or travel the world bringing JOY and hope to others….or any other number of things that you’ve been led to with this journey? We all try so hard to make things happen…but God’s plans always win out and are so much better.
You’re an inspiration! So glad you’re here!
We are all so grateful that you are here. It is hard to believe that it has been a year.
Ashley – We have never met. But you have a profound impact on my life. I too have wondered where my husband and children would be without me, after some rounds with my own health demons. Your story inspires me, and gives me hope. Your website, and your projects make me feel better, whether I am well or ill. You would probably laugh to know that I had a group of nurses gathered around my computer two weeks ago, when I was reading about discharge dying, to pass the time in the critical care unit. So, take care of yourself. Know that you matter. Know that you matter more than you will ever know. I wore a discharge dyed t-shirt saying choose joy, home from the hospital. Take care. Continue to LIVE!
Your sweet husband’s comment brought tears to my eyes. Your Mom must love knowing that her baby has such a wonderful man in her life.
Ashley…I am so glad that you have weathered this year and come out of it as a stronger woman yet still a loving mom and wife. You are an inspiration to all women
melle e says
i needed this.
see, i melted down this week.
well, actually… before that… a few years ago i got sick.. not the cancer kind. but the kind that there is no cure for and changes everything. and is really, really expensive. and financially.. we’ve just been through the ringer.
ironically we only found it because i fell and tore up my ankle and had to have surgery. and after surgery, my O2 stats dropped terrifyingly low. and they finally started looking. and found all the granulomas taking up the space where my lungs were supposed to be. and in treating that, they uncovered the neuro stuff. and you know how everyone always says you don’t come with an expiration date stamped on you?
some of us do.
so this week, when yet one. more. financial. wall. sprouted up in front of my husband… who is so stressed and working two jobs and it’s just not enough because before all this happened *i* was the primary breadwinner…. well. i lost it.
i kept thinking… if he hadn’t met me 6 years ago, if i just hadn’t gotten on that plane…. he wouldn’t be in this situation. he wouldn’t be stressed. he wouldn’t be worried all the damn time about me and kidlet and the house and did i faint today and how much pain am i in and how are we going to pay the power bill and what do we tell kidlet after the last round of testing….
i kept thinking he would have been better off.
and then… if that stupid nurse had just been 10 more minutes, my O2s were so low, i’d probably have gone into a coma and died and then they at least would have had the chance to heal up and move on… they wouldn’t worry. my 12 year old wouldn’t come running every time he heard something fall upstairs because he knows that any given crash could be mom losing consciousness again…
so thank you.
i needed this.
it’s the other side…
the side that remembers all the things they need me for…
i’ve had a hard time lately finding that other side.
so thank you.
Karen Bolea says
My heart and prayers are with all of you. God Bless You! You are wonderful.