Vibes Against Triple
Regardless of having to go on medical-leave and move back to Michigan from North Carolina (and move in with our parents, lucky girl), Ash has remained positive and focused on giving everything she has to fight this disease. While she may feel emotionally supported by family and friends, she, unfortunately, does not have the same positive outlook for her financial situation. As a school teacher employed at a Catholic school, Ash already struggles to pay all of her bills. And while teaching may be the most rewarding job one could ever imagine, we all know it does not provide the most stable salary throughout the beginning years of the career. Furthermore, due to Ashley having to temporarily leave her teaching position and take medical leave throughout chemotherapy, the medical expenses have continued to add up.
Therefore, our family would love to ease some of this burden in order to allow for her to focus on what is important right now: staying strong and kicking butt. Ashley has a long road ahead of her; she will continue chemo throughout the summer, followed by several surgeries over the next year. We are asking that you help support this little fighter in any way that you can – prayers, keeping her in your thoughts, donating towards her medical expenses. Your prayers and generosity are sincerely appreciated.
Thank you for your love and support!
Chelsey and Jessica Avery
Ashley starts the day with bone pain, a pain she describes as the stinging feeling in your shin bone when you accidentally run into the coffee table. This is a normal side effect of the chemo that continues even after the chemotherapy is complete, which, halleluiah, it is. She also has developed the unfortunate habit of waking up at 5:00 am every morning, which is most likely due to her anxiety of the upcoming surgery.
Is this going to be a depressing post, you ask? No way! I am only telling you about these current mishaps so you can truly appreciate the following sentence: despite the pain and feelings of anxiety, Ashley still wakes up EVERY SINGLE MORNING exuding a positive energy and feeling determined to spend her day going as many places as possible, as well as seeing as many loved ones as she can fit into 24 hours. She’s a machine, people! In fact, she came back to Michigan for one week, and in that week alone, she visited my grandma twice, had lunch/dinner with numerous friends, drove up north to see two of our aunts and a few cousins, and spent a sister’s weekend in Saugatuck! Instead of letting this disease take from her and/or hold her back in life, Ashley is embracing this journey and spreading positive vibes to all those who she encounters.
What must Ashley take on, and demolish, next? Surgery. Ashley will be getting a bilateral mastectomy on July 3rd. 6 days!! I’ll give it to you in a very simply explanation: during the surgery, the surgeon will find out if the cancer spread to the lymph nodes. If it did, radiation will be the next step. The surgeon will also be looking to see if the chemotherapy worked its magic, but the results won’t come in regarding this for a week or so. If the chemotherapy was not fully effective, Ashley will have to do more chemotherapy. If the cancer has not spread and chemotherapy was effective – we are very hopeful this will be the case since Ash has kicked butt thus far - the final step will be a few reconstructive surgeries.
So, Ashley spent this past week in Michigan celebrating all that she accomplished during her five months of chemotherapy. We mourned the boobs and allowed her to shed a few tears, but Ashley ended the weekend dancing the night away and spreading her contagious positive energy; we wouldn’t expect anything less! And now, as Ashley flies back to North Carolina, she has several oncologist appointments and surgery preparation to complete throughout these next few days. The bilateral mastectomy is going to put her out of commission for quite some time, but she will have plenty of help. And, just like everything that has led up to this point, we have no doubt that she will overcome this next obstacle and come out even stronger and more determined to take on whatever the world throws at her next. Stay tuned, people, there is still so much fight in this girl, and we have yet to see all that she is capable of!
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out it.”
With love, the girl who is extremely lucky to call this super woman my sister,
There are still many challenges, steps, and procedures in my future... but we will keep fighting!
I'm scared to end something I now feel in control of to start a new challenge. But I need to remind myself how hard this was and that I took this terrifying part head on and persevered!
So far, the chemo seems to be doing its job! The tumor is shrinking more and more. She is taking each weekly treatment with a positive attitude and fight.
While the days are hard to get through at school with energy and side effects, she is happy to be back with her kids. Everyone at school is being wonderfully supportive and trying to help her in any way they can to make the days easier.
Each week she will continue her treatments. She has a rotating list of friends in Charlotte and family members flying in to help her get through the day of chemo and weekend after.
We sincerely thank you for bringing some positivity and light back into the Avery household.
With so much love,
Chelsey and Jessica Avery
Just got this update to my thread. Nice job Chelsey. Ashley, you are a warrior! Hope you're recovering from your surgery ok. Looking forward to hearing more news. Sending prayers and love. You're fortunate to have such amazing sisters and parents.
Nice informational update Chelsey. What a fine group of young women you girls are. Much love to you all.
So proud of you Ashley! You look Great! Keep up the good fight! Our prayers are with you!