Well this is all new to me but I am loving meeting so many people already that I can relate to! Hey y’all! I am so thankful for the inspiration you have given me as I have decided to share my personal journey. My story is no more of an importance than yours, I just know how I have been impacted by reading other people’s stories and had to share mine as well.
Here is a little fun for those that do not know me, my name is Ashley, I am a strong-willed, independent, protective 27-year-old daughter, friend, wife and most importantly a mother. My ideal job would be to have an unlimited amount of money to just use to pay it forward for any and everyone. I love gymnastics and I wish I could still be the 17 year old gymnast I once was. My favorite sport is baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals are obviously the best. I love, love, love me some country music and I wish I lived somewhere like Nashville or Texas, so I could have that southern voice while I wear my cowboy boots everyday. Back to the music part —-> Garth Brooks. Oh my goodness, every time I see him in concert I leave with mascara down my face, sore legs from dancing the whole night, no voice from screaming and so incredibly amazed of the show he puts on.
I love life, my family and my friends. My husband is my best friend and an amazing father to our little girl. Let’s just say, I am the lucky one. Most people say it is good to have a “few” close friends, well I am proud to say that I have many close friends and I am blessed to call them my family. I am very open about my opinions, my story, and I tend to be too honest at times.
I am a picture fanatic and if you take anything away from this blog, please take lots of pictures with your family. Then save multiple copies of all of your pictures in different places just in case you lose your hard drive.
A little bit of why I am who I am To be strong is all I know, therefore I do not accept help or sympathy very well at all. (Silly to most of you yes, but hey that is just who I am and I can assure you I will ask if I need help, otherwise I’m good). But even when I know I could use the help, I can do it all on my own. Annoying right? I know, I agree with you 100%, and I will struggle with this more than I ever have before in the next few months. I have learned that time is precious, and I cherish every second I have with my little princess. One of my many struggles is that I have a hard time sharing her with others (even my husband) because I have learned that time with her can be taken away from me very quickly. Do I think this way about most of everything in life? Unfortunately, yes I do. I live in fear everyday. What if this? What if that? I have always been the realist, but after having my first child the fear grew stronger than ever before. As I look to the Lord, I know it is all in Gods hands (yet I still worry).
Ever since I was a little girl, I had to be independent. I did not have any other choice as my only parent became my angel in heaven. My memory has faded a lot and I barely remember any of my childhood. I believe my lapse in memory is an “escape” of reality at the time. When I was around 7 years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 32 years old at the age of diagnosis. She was the most beautiful person and I was the luckiest daughter (along with my amazing sister). I was so young that I did not understand any of it or I made myself not believe it. I wish I could go back so I could cherish each moment more and be there more for her. The hair loss, weight loss, sickness, hot flashes, surgeries, treatments, etc. was a normal day of a beautiful person for four years before she passed at the age of 36.
My new beginning Which brings you to the reason of this whole journey. Let’s face it, we all have been affected by cancer in one way or another. This “C” word is the scariest word in the dictionary to me. About 7 years ago, I was reading Cosmo and came across a story of a mother and daughter who was affected by breast cancer. The article went on to inform that the mother was a breast cancer survivor and her daughter chose to be proactive by getting genetic testing done. This test is a simple saliva test that determines if you carry a positive gene for breast cancer or ovarian cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2). The daughter found out that she tested positive for BRCA1 and is high risk for breast cancer. She decided to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. I wish I would have torn that article out to keep so that I could personally tell those ladies “Thank You” as they brought hope to me. I was inspired to do my own research to take preventative measures as well.
Just a few years ago, I began doing daily self breast exams, getting mammograms and researching every preventative measure to lower my risk. In my research, one disagreement I have with most of the doctor’s recommendations is to wait until your 40’s to get mammograms (unless you have a strong history). Let me remind you, my mother was 32 at the age of diagnosis. Every time I scheduled a mammogram, I would constantly be questioned and almost denied an appointment because I was a young lady who wasn’t 40. That was frustrating. My doctor informed me that I should have started being proactive 10 years prior to the age my mother was diagnosed. I am very happy that I started this in my middle 20’s.
Please continue reading and go to my next post which will go into details of my surgery. I look forward to sharing more with you all. Remember to just be you and you can make a difference! xoxo, Ashley