FROM ASHLEY'S MOM:
Hurray! Yippeee! Hoorah! Whoopie! Wunderbar! (sp??) F*ck off, damn cancer! (oops got a little carried away!) Today was my Boo Boo's last chemo treatment. All 18 down......and God willing......no more to go!
Seems like such a long, long time since our lives have felt normal. Feb. 28th was when Ashley first went to the doctor. Just a few days later on March 2, she was officially diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and went into surgery March 6. That's 210 days ago from start to finish, and it feels like a lifetime! This has been a long arduous journey for our family...and every day since Ashley's diagnosis I have marveled at the courage, strength, determination, grace, positivity.......and wonderful sense of humor she outwardly displayed through this whole ordeal. My daughter is amazing, just like so many women who are hit with this or similar misfortune. She did what had to be done, bitched very little, always tried to stay hopeful and cheerful (even through all the darn hot flashes) and kicked cancer's ass. In the midst of all that, she got married, went back to work, embarked upon a new facet of her esthetician career, kept up a relatively normal social life, and looked amazing whether she was completely bald, scarved, or decked out in her colorful assortment of fun wigs!
Today she looked beautiful in her "rocker-chick" blond & deep red wig as Nurse Maria plugged her in one last time. When her treatment was completed nearly 3 hours later, she had a big smile on her face. She playfully told all our chemo friends she didn't want to see them in there again, hugged everyone, and triumphantly walked out the door. She thought someone should have played Queen's "We Are the Champions" on this auspicious occasion. The best I could do was break out into my own rendition of "Pomp and Circumstance" as we marched down the hall and then to her car.
Jack, Ashley, Kenn and I celebrated by having lunch at the Hash House. OMG the plates were as long as my forearm! Of course, none of us could eat the whole thing, so we boxed up tonight's dinner and probably tomorrow's breakfast....and left there in what Ash calls a food coma. What a day! Ashley has her follow up doctor's appt on Oct. 12 and will find out what she does next. Hopefully it's nothing more than regularly scheduled lab tests and CT scans. She's already started rubbing her Ovation Cell treatment on her scalp and I'm hoping for her to be sporting some peach fuzz by Halloween. That will be a nice treat for all of us!
Thank you everyone, most of you I know as dear friends and family, but there are so many of you whom I've never met, who showed unwavering love and support for Ashley and Kenn and the rest of the Bartlett clan over the past 210 days. You all have been amazing and so generous......and will have my gratitude and a very special place in my heart for many years to come.
This week was a little hectic! I woke up per my usual schedule last Tuesday for my chemo appointment and as I was heading out the door the nurse called me to let me know
that they would not be able to give me my medicine today due to a lab-slip mix up. Lab-slips are what I present to the blood lab every week that tells them which tests they are going to be running on my blood. I checked all my slips and I noticed that I was missing one and had given the lab the slip for NEXT week. This is actually the second time they haven't given me all the papers, but I caught it last time. Anyways, one of the techs called me back and wanted me to head to Scripps in La Jolla for a new blood test so they could get me into chemo afterward.
After my blood test I headed to my chemo appointment and was "plugged in" by the nurse to receive my hydration fluids while we waited for the blood results...
...And then..."Oh, I guess Scripps has a new outpatient policy and the blood results will take about four hours to come in. Can you come in for chemo tomorrow morning?"
*FOREHEAD SLAP!* Is it rude to ask for reimbursement for gasoline? I'm feeling pretty exhausted at this point while they pull my I.V. out, so I give up and head home.
I woke up an hour early the next morning (Wednesday) for chemo and everything went as planned.. no rescheduling. This was to be my half-dose of Taxol which means I'd only be there for about 2 hours. Yeah, no... It was a madhouse! Every seat was full by 8am. Kenn and I even arrived early at 7:30am, but the other nurse didn't even start me til 8:30am. Bummer. I think we were done around 12:30ish.
I hadn't realized just how accustomed I had become to my "new normal" until my schedule became thrown off track. I was REALLY stressed out..
I'm still feeling a little off today because I went to work the day after chemo, whereas I usually have Wednesday to relax, rehydrate and sleep.
On a positive note, I THINK I ONLY HAVE THREE MORE CHEMO APPOINTMENTS!!!
Hey everybody! Hopefully, Ashley is now down to the big countdown.....four, three, two, one, ALL DONE ! If all goes well, she has just 4 more chemo treatments remaining......not counting doctor visits and weekly blood work, and then ongoing follow up scans and blood tests. Also, at some point , Dr. Bahador is going to do some genetic testing to see if Ashley carries the "cancer" gene.
Yesterday was Ashley's 4 hour day, but we were actually out of there in 3 1/2 hours! Ashley says she feels like such an old pro at this now.......it's like NO BIG DEAL! I still marvel at her remarkable positive attitude and great sense of humor about the whole situation. And I think to myself every time she goes out to "face the public," Ashley does such a skillful job with her make up and wigs that you'd never know what she is going through, UNLESS you actually knew her and knew what she was going through!! While she's truly looking forward to growing her own hair back.....she already bought the Ovation Cell Therapy 3-Part System to accelerate the regrowth.....she says she will miss the days when she can come home and just through her hair in one corner of the entry way and her purse at the other. Last week she was pretty sick due to it being her double dose week, but this week, she was actually able to drive us home herself. This is partially due to having her nurse lower the amount of benadryl given with her chemo treatments. Now she's only knocked out for about 30 minutes instead of for nearly 2 days.
Ashley is eating well......most of the time and really looking forward to going back to the gym when her treatments are over. And she's still having such a great time with her "removable" hair. Her newest wig addition is a 2 toned medium brown w/brassy highlights number, which reminds me of her 9th grade school photo. Tomorrow she's actually driving herself to Temecula to visit our "other daughter" Sierra to go wig shopping there. I guess Kenn may have to put up another shelf in the bedroom if she gets an additional wig.......oh well...she has to make the best of a crappy situation!
Ever since Sierra & Mitch and Jack & I gave her a new camera for the wedding, Ashley has also been having a wonderful time experimenting with the various settings, F Stops, apertures, and special effects and she's getting to be quite a good photographer. Here I am still trying to figure out how to use the basic digital camera Jack gave me for my BD LAST year!
Well, that's all for now folks......it's such a relief to finally feel more positive and hopeful and post happy news. I hope I can continue to do this in the weeks to come. Til next time. ; ) ab
Ashley's Chemo Update for 7/31/12 Round 4, Pt. 3
Well... Ashley finished her 4th round of chemotherapy yesterday. She has next week off from treatments for her body to recuperate. Over all, she had a pretty good week (healthwise.) After a big crash & UTI during honeymoon week, her blood counts were back into the normal range (at least normal for a chemo patient) and her migraines, hot flashes and crankiness were kept to a minimum. Ashley thinks some of the improvement may be due to very low doses of hormone replacement therapy she recently started. Regardless the reason, it's just nice to see her feeling better (even though she rarely complains or admits to feeling shitty to anyone but me, her Aunt Mickie or Kenn.)
Befitting the normal pattern of ups and downs in our family, the joyous celebration of Ashley and Kenn's union, was quickly followed by two tragic events. First, the death of Terry Kaelin, who for nearly 20 years was my brother's best friend (through middle school, high school and beyond) and was considered the "other brother and son" of our family. Terry leaves behind a wife and 2 young children. And then yesterday morning, as we were getting ready for Ash's chemo appt, her best friend Lucy, who lives in Texas, called to say her mother-in-law had just lost a 2 year battle with cancer. For the past 2 years, Lucy has been the faithful caretaker of her mother-in-law and father-in-law, along with wrangling 3 darling children under the age of 6, and watching over 2 nieces, a husband and a good size house....and I think there was a pet or 2 thrown into the mix. Lucy has been a constant source of helpful tips and a champion of loving support to Ashley and me ever since Ash's diagnosis.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the Kaelin and Walker families. I hope those of you who have sent your prayers and good mojo to my Boo Boo, will add these two wonderful families to your list as well!
That's pretty much it for now. Hopefully, if all goes well, Ashley will have to undergo only two more months of chemo. Til next time! ab
(here's a photo of our daughter the day before her wedding, at brunch with her new in-laws, kenn and us)
** I regret to inform my loved ones that I have had to disable visitor comments due to the fact that I have been "cyber-stalked/harassed" and these people have gone so far as to post hateful messages on my fundraising website. I am deeply sorry, and most of you know how to get a hold of me or one of my family members to pass a long a message if you wish. It's unfortunate that my friends and people who wish to show support cannot do so in a public forum.
We are married! The wedding was beautiful and our honeymoon was very fun..
As far as chemo goes, I had my two-med-chemo day a few days ago, and I'm pretty tired. Kenn and my parents take excellent care of me, though. I've just been resting for the past few days. I should be back on my feet by this weekend.
For anyone who has visited this page recently, you would have seen an obscene and hateful message put on here by one of Kenn's bitter exes'. One of them, Stephanie Anne Beasley-Bashaw, is Kenn's ex-wife and has been harassing me for years now. The other ugly soul, whom has recently joined the effort is Natalie White a.k.a. Natalie Janssen. Both of them have written me some very poisonous emails, privately, under alias Facebook accounts but now it seems as if their consorted "efforts" have reached one of my fundraising websites. I'd just like to encourage all of my loved ones to remain calm, as these people will eventually go away. If they don't, I possess their phone numbers and addresses.. any attempt to threaten or do bodily harm to me will result in MORE police reports, as one has already been filed on Ms. Stephanie Beasley.
Edge picked me up at 8:15 and we made our way through traffic to arrive at Dr. Bahador's office before 9am. The place was packed.. almost every chair was taken. I think they had a scheduling issue, because the wonderful English couple The Cook's (the wife being the one who Dr Bahador introduced me to) were not there, and had left a message with the nurse saying that they would come later in the day to see me.
Edge was very interested in the whole "chemo port plug-in" process, and watched Dan the Nurse very carefully as he inserted the chemo needle into my chest.. Judy was the same way when she took me to my appointment a few weeks ago. After that, we looked through some pictures from Edge's visit to Texas and we chatted a little about his trip. He left for a small period of time to go pick up his daughter from his ex wife's house, then dropped her off with Mona so he could come back and make sure I returned home safety. Before he left, Kay Harger asked me to come see her when I was finished. Honestly, I thought I was in trouble for something! I even said to her, "Haha, am I in trouble? I feel like I was just asked to come to the principal's office." She said, "No," and flashed me a big smile.
During Edge's time away, the sweet English couple showed up for Dawn's chemo treatment. (Dawn and I have been email pen-pals for several weeks now. She's the lady who suggested I get testosterone cream to help with my hot flashes and other side effects from the menopause.)
Dawn looked beautiful as always -- wearing makeup, a cute summer dress and a curly brown wig. Shes very petite and pretty.. reminds me a bit of Lucie. Nigel is tall, blonde and dashing. Dawn sat down next to me while Nigel ran to Starbucks to get us some coffee. She offered me a white envelope, and said it was "a little something" for me and Kenn. When I opened it, I found a handwritten note, a gift card for Claim Jumper and another for Starbucks. I almost cried. How thoughtful of them!
Dan unhooked me from my IV and then Dawn and I switched chairs. We chatted for a bit about how we've been feeling since our last treatments. We talked about our hair, our energy levels, Dr. Bahador, etc, etc. Nigel came back with our coffee and they asked me to tell them EXACTLY what Kenn did for a living. When I told them, they seemed very excited.. (I had previously mentioned to Dawn that Kenn had been laid off his electrician job at Amee Bay).. Turns out that Nigel used to teach classes for an apprenticeship program, and could probably get Kenn in! I believe the school is called IBEW.. once you're in, they place you in a job in the electrician field, then train you to become a Journeyman. It's a five-year program. I trust Nigel's advice in this area, as he is a very, very successful physicist.
More to come on that topic. Kenn will call Nigel tomorrow. Nigel already spoke with the program director and he's very interested in Kenn. How exciting!
Edge came to pick me up and I hugged and kissed The Cook's goodbye, then went to find my nurse practioner, Kay Harger... all smiles, her and Christine (the medical billing lady) came walking up to me to present me with a huge case of beautiful bracelets that they had been working on the night before. They said that they only usually give the bracelets out when someone has completed their whole chemo process, but I'm a special case because I'm getting married on Saturday. All the bracelets were SO pretty, but I could pick only one. You wouldn't believe it, mom, I happened to pick the one that had REAL diamonds in it! Hahaha! I think I have an eye for the expensive stuff.
Despite having poisons pumped into my bloodstream today, I really had a great day at the doctor 's office.
Hello everyone. It's been a long time since I last gave you an update. As Ashley's wedding date draws closer, I've been so consumed by all the last minute details, seems like I don't have the time or energy for much else.
Ashley started her 3rd month of chemo yesterday. It was her long day. The weekend leading up to yesterday's session was very busy. First we had a very lady like bridal shower at the Aubrey Rose Tea Room (with hats & pearls and dainty little sandwiches) on Saturday afternoon, followed by a NOT so lady like after party at the Bartlett Pub that night. Then, we had a Father's Day potluck BBQ at our house on Sunday.......Ashley and I still haven't recovered!
Ashley still looks beautiful and amazing. If you didn't know her situation, you'd never know by her appearance all that her body is going through. She's having a lot of fun with her variety of wigs and make up and is certainly enjoying her new "model-like" slim body (I'm sure Kenn appreciates it as well!) But, the effects of chemo tell a different story inside her body! She's tired and sometimes shakey. She has random, sharp pains in her abdomen as her damaged nerves are trying to rebuild and reconnect. Her nails are brittle and yellowed, and she still has debilitating migraine headaches for several days after each chemo session. This week's blood tests showed that her white blood cells and neutrophils are getting way too low, which makes her much more vulnerable to infections. In fact, she now has her 2nd urinary tract infection since coming home from the hospital in March. Her nurse said that without the painful Neulastra injection this week, she would definitely crash by next week and would have to dis-continue chemo UNTIL they could build her levels back up. Ashley pretty much slept through most of her chemo session yesterday (luckily, I was able to catch a catnap as well!) Then she crashed the rest of the afternoon after we took her home.
On the lighter side, Ashley has come up with a relatively unusual way to deal with the hot flashes----or at least she did at her "after shower party." She just wears her bathing suit around the house to avoid getting toooooo sweaty. Of course, at the party---Ashley's attire consisted of her bathing suit, her bride- to -be banner/sash, a feathery white headpiece and heels---she looked like a beauty pageant contestant! (Ooohhhhhh- to be young and so thin again!!!)
Well , that's all I have time for today. Seems like there's still so many little things to do to prepare for the wedding in 17 days. Please keep your prayers and positive energy directed at Ashley (and I could use a little extra mojo myself) so she can have the energy and strength to enjoy her special day.
Seems like such a long time since I did my last update. Ashley began her 2nd round of chemo yesterday. Physically, she's holding up remarkably well. She's mostly tired and still doesn't have a big appetite, but at least she's eating. She has, of course, lost her hair by now.....but still looks great with her assortment of wigs & scarves. Her blood tests show Ash is dehydrated and a little anemic, so we've added iron & more pedialyte (sp?) to her supplement regimen.
Emotionally & psychologically, she is often quite drained and frustrated. She has been dealing with various people at the state & county agencies for disability, unemployment, and medi-Cal. Seems like she's got caught up in this weird, unending conundrum! Because she is trying to bring some normalcy back to her life, Ash has been working a few hours (no more than 8-10) a week at Simply Spa. She isn't working on clients, just covering the counter, phones, etc. However, because there are still so many health restrictions from the chemo, she unfortunately lost her job at Friends of Cats. When she notified Disability that she had returned to work, they cancelled her whopping $23/day. When she notified EDD that she lost her job at FOC, they said she was not eligible for unemployment benefits because she was only willing to work part-time. (Remember--she used to work 6 days a week between the 2 jobs prior to her cancer bombshell!) And when she applied for medi-Cal they just flat turned her down! Have you ever tried calling any of those agencies???? It's way worse than dealing with the DMV--sorry Jack, Chuck & Sonia! Sometimes Ashley would call nonstop only to reach a constant busy signal or if she did get through, she'd literally be on hold for 3 hours and then be magically cut off! Very FRUSTRATING!
But my Boo Boo is a fighter---so she got up at 5:30 this morning, got ready for her spa job and determinedly drove herself to the closest EDD office. She figured she'd sit there until she had to go to the spa job at 3 pm. Fortunately, Ashley was the first one through the doors this morning and at least got her disability benefits reinstated. She still has to go to other offices to talk to a person face to face about unemployment benefits & medi-Cal. She'll face that another day!
On a much brighter note, there have been two wonderful fund raisers done in her honor in the past 2-3 weeks, which have really raised Ashley's spirits.....First, my amazing sister, Mickie, sold ovarian cancer awareness bracelets at her work. The generosity of her title company co-workers and real estate associates was heart warming and unbelievable! Then, Bellus Academy/Cosmetology Schools held an Ashley Moore Day at all 3 locations and the outpouring of love and support from the staff, students and clients was absolutely incredible. Many of you were able to participate in these events. Ashley and I want you to know how much we appreciate everything that has been done for her. So far, several family members and close friends and co-workers, as well has numerous kind individuals we've never met, have all very generously contributed to Ashley's cancer fund or held fundraisers on her behalf since her devastating diagnosis. We want to give each of you a gi-nornous hug!
Ashley has a great picture of herself and her oncologist, Dr. Bahador, and we took a few more pix during chemo yesterday. Hopefully, Ashley will post those for me, since I am so technologically challenged. Well, that's it for now. I'll update you next week. Love and appreciation to everyone! -anna bartlett
sidenote from ashley:
i haven't been feeling well since my last chemo treatment which included the carboplatin and taxol medications. i'm not sure if it's the steroids or the medications that have been making me feel ill, but i'm doing my best to take all my supplements, eat whenever i can, stay hydrated and try to rest. thank you all for your unwavering support and understanding! xoxo, ashley.
Hi everybody Ashley Moore was diagnosed with stage III ovariancancer. She recently had a very invassive surgery to remove the tumors. Currently she is recovering. She is in a lot of pain but coming along. The next thing to look foward to is chemo. Considering everything she has gone through, she has a good attitude and she wants to do what ever she needs to beat cancer
Ashley will have veryhigh medical expensesthat will be very difficult to pay for and she'll be out of work for 4 to 6 months and possibly more. Right now Ashley should only have to focus on her cancer and not stress out about her finances. This is a time when Ashley's friends and loved ones should get together and support her in anyway they can. Please contact me if you want to donate by check.