Just Another Chapter…

 

In Our Story

The story on how Ryan and I met, fell in love, and got married is something straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. It’s a great love story, one I’m sure I’ll tell you about one of these days. Both our early to mid 20’s were, well, let’s just say turbulent years, ha. Individually, we have walked through a lot of life in a very short time and when we started dating it felt like we were each other’s safe havens from day one. I say all of this because we are strong and know God has written our story more beautifully than we could ever have dreamt, so this next season is just a chapter in an extraordinary story that is only ours to walk.

A few weeks ago you may remember me saying that I had to cut my Nantucket girl’s trip short because of a family emergency. Three weeks before my trip, Ryan had his tonsil’s removed. They had been bothering him for over a year and interfering with his sleep.  He originally saw an ENT about his allergies and testing showed he is severely allergic to all things grass which was making his sinuses swollen… That made perfect sense, he LOVES working on our yard and had been outside more than normal over the past few years. In addition to starting allergy drops, his ENT thought it would be best to remove his extremely swollen tonsils in hopes to improve his breathing and overall life. No tonsils, no problem! 

The ENT told me several times not to worry about his tonsils, that there was nothing notable there and that in a few weeks we would be back up in running. So I headed to Nantucket. That Thursday Ryan called me from the parking lot, in the pouring rain, after his 2 week post-op appointment and through tears told me they had found cancer in both his tonsils. I lost my breath. The pathology report came back showing as Classic Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the doctor was just as shocked as we were. Needless to say, I was on the first plane out of Nantucket. My sweet friend Carly was with me and made sure I ate something and drank a bottle of water before putting me in an Uber and sending me to the tiny airport to get home to Ryan. That was the longest flight of my life.

From minute-one of finding out about the cancer, Ryan has been a pillar of strength and grace.  It has already been my greatest honor to walk alongside him as we together face cancer and fight it head on. The past few weeks have a been a whirlwind of appointments, needles, IVs, and scans. Each step of the way he has been a bright light in every office he has walked into. We’ve locked arms with one another in a way only cancer can could make us. Even though there are more unknowns than knowns, we feel stronger than ever. 

We are so thankful for a hope-filled prognosis, Hodgkin’s reacts extremely well to treatment. Yesterday we were notified that his PET scan indicated Stage 1e.  We couldn’t have been more thrilled and relieved, or more thankful for that tonsillectomy!

So fast forward to today. I’m currently typing out this post out as I sit in a freezing surgical waiting room. I am counting every minute while Ryan is in surgery to have a port placed in his chest before his first chemo treatment tomorrow. Are we nervous? Yes. Are we scared? Sometimes. But mostly hopeful. We are excited to see what God does with this beautiful story of ours. We know first hand that He is the king of making lemonade out of lemons and we are here for it. All of it. 

I wanted to fill you all in because you are like family to me, and selfishly, I want your prayers. 😉 But also our biggest hope in sharing is to shine light on the good in the every day. I’m constantly on the lookout for the “rosy” side of things (old habits die hard).  That’s what this blog is all about, so that’s what we will continue to do! I have no idea what to expect in the next few months and have ZERO clue what our life will look like, but what I do know is that it is always good and that we will continue to search for it and share it. 

So, nothing will really change around here… I will still be sharing my favorite drugstore beauty finds, stories, and latest obsessions because those are things worth noting, am I right!? But I do hope to keep sharing a little behind the scenes peek into our life as we lace up our hiking boots and take on this next mountain together.

Much love,

Ashley

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

 

 

86 Comments

  1. July 10, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    Love, love, LOVE you guys!

    xoxox
    C

  2. July 10, 2018 / 9:40 pm

    Oh my gosh Ashley!! What a beautiful post – I definitely cried reading it. Thank you for sharing and you can COUNT on many prayers from me. Sending you two so much love.

  3. July 10, 2018 / 9:41 pm

    sending light and love to surround you and Ryan!

  4. Taylor
    July 10, 2018 / 9:41 pm

    Your faith and grace are inspiring. Praying for peace and strength for the days ahead

  5. Sarah
    July 10, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    Ashley,

    As my mom was 6 months pregnant (with me), my dad was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was scared. Scared to die, scared to leave my mom as a single parent, but mostly scared to not meet me, or see me grow. He came out on the other side healthy and happy and watched me grow for 19 years! I obviously don’t remember it , but they always shared that it was a HARD time, but they were a better couple and better parents because of that journey. Praying for y’all, but I just know that y’all will be better because of this!

  6. Anna Hough
    July 10, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    Oh Ashley, this breaks my heart to hear. Praying for you and Ryan and know God has a plan in all of this. I know you both must be such a light to everyone you meet through this experience. Praying for this next chapter for you both. ❤️
    -Anna & Houston

  7. Sarah
    July 10, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    Prayers for you and your husband. One of my best girlfriends had lymphoma and came out stronger than ever on the other side! Remember blankets and warm clothing for chemo days, lots of books and activities to keep your minds occupied.

  8. Rachel Vaker
    July 10, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing sweet friend. Your story is such a testimony of God’s never ending love and His perfect plan for us and it has been such an encouragement to me. I have loved watching your love story with Ryan unfold from a distance. I am lifting you and Ryan up tonight and will continue to be praying. I hate this for you, and I am so very sorry you are having to walk through this, but I am thankful our God is the great physician and loves you and Ryan more than we can ever imagine. You both are on my heart and please let me know if there is anything I can do ❤.

  9. July 10, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    Had tears in my eyes reading this! You two are amazing and a such a bright light for Jesus. He’s got you both in his arms. XO

  10. Emmy
    July 10, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    Your outlook is an inspiration and a light. You both have my prayers! ❤️

  11. Elizabeth Langgle-Martin
    July 10, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    Thinking of you and your sweet husband. Sending love and light your way.

  12. July 10, 2018 / 9:47 pm

    You’re positivity through hard times makes me so thankful you are the influencer you are!! Prayers for your family.

  13. Kim
    July 10, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I will pray for his complete healing. I’ve been fighting colorectal cancer for more than 3.5 years. I’m not yet 42 and have three sons. There will be days it feels impossible but my best advice, not that you asked for it, is to take it one day at a time. Or, if that’s too much, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. Also, it’s ok not to be strong all the time. I try to remind myself of things for which I am thankful. It sounds as if you will do the same. Best wishes!!!

  14. Abigail
    July 10, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Praying for you both! Hoping God covers you in peace in this season.

  15. Deirdre
    July 10, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    Prayers!!!

  16. Kristen
    July 10, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    Praying for you your positive attitude and faith are a huge inspiration to me!

  17. Taylor G
    July 10, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    I am overwhelmed by your bravery and positivity in such a trying time. My prayers are with you and your family!

  18. Annamarie
    July 10, 2018 / 9:57 pm

    Ashley! I have been following you for several months now from Kate Bryan when you all collaborated together. I have enjoyed your blog so much! I am praying for peace in this new chapter and that fear will not lay hold of you both. There is a great book I think you will enjoy by Christine Caine called Unexpected. It’s a gem and it’s got such good biblical truths to encourage you. God sees you both and He hears our prayers and He is working. You got all the prayers from me! I will keep praying!

  19. Danielle Norcross
    July 10, 2018 / 9:59 pm

    The world needs your faith and love! Keep shining your bright lights and know you have lots of prayers on your side. All my love to both of you, and I look forward to celebrating at Buccan when this is behind you two very soon! xo

  20. Jessica
    July 10, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    Oh, my sister in Christ, I will faithfully lift your husband and you up in prayer as you face this mountain together. You have written quite a testimony to having faith in Christ Jesus and I look forward to seeing how else God uses you and this story to further His kingdom. I found your blog after meeting your precious grandmother at our small town farmers market here in Geneva, FL back in December- she just glowed with pride when she spoke of you. She is a precious woman and I’m certain you’re just as graceful and kind as she. God knew what he was doing when she gave me your blog address and tonight as I mindlessly scroll Facebook, this blog update appeared. I am honored to stand in the gap and pray for a brother and sister in Christ during your time of need. XOXO

  21. Teresa McDanel
    July 10, 2018 / 10:01 pm

    We are praying for Gods healing for Ryan and peace for you both.

  22. Lesley
    July 10, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    My prayers and thoughts are with you both.

  23. July 10, 2018 / 10:08 pm

    I’m so sorry y’all have to walk through this but what an amazing perspective to have. You definitely have my prayers for your husband. Stay strong and take it day by day. My older brother had non-Hodgkins lymphoma and I’ll never forget my mom calling me at work. I left immediately and drove to Austin. I took my bro to his chemo appointments and stayed with him for the weekends afterwards while he was sick. It’s tough but you can do it!!! You’ll both be so much stronger ❤️ lots of love

  24. Crystal, Jorge, Scarlett, and Juliette
    July 10, 2018 / 10:09 pm

    I am in shock right now as I read this!!! I know if anyone can get through this and come out stronger, it is you guys!!! I am sending lots of love your way!!! You got this!

  25. Michelle
    July 10, 2018 / 10:10 pm

    Storming Heaven with prayers for you and your husband!! Praying for peace, joy and understanding during this season of your lives!! ❤️❤️

  26. Ashley
    July 10, 2018 / 10:13 pm

    Ashley & Ryan, you are in our prayers. Praying for full & complete healing.

  27. Kerstin Cochran
    July 10, 2018 / 10:14 pm

    Praying for the best outcome for Ryan (and you). Stay strong and positive, and lean on one another.

  28. Jennifer Whitman
    July 10, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    Prayers for you both during this emotional time! xoxo

  29. Melissa
    July 10, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    Sending prayers for peace and healing during this hard season. Your grace and perspective are already such a testimony! I’m blown away. Keep your chin up, and also know it’s okay (and healthy!) to acknowledge when it’s a hard day. Ask for support when you need it, and let your community be a blessing to you

  30. Caroline
    July 10, 2018 / 10:19 pm

    Praying for your sweet family! What a beautiful post. Love your optimism and faith! Thinking of you!

  31. July 10, 2018 / 10:23 pm

    Ashley…thank you for sharing so we can pray for you and Ryan. You are a bright spot here and it is a privilege to pray for you guys.

  32. Kristen Ley
    July 10, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    So much love and you know we’ll be praying ❤️

  33. Brie
    July 10, 2018 / 10:30 pm

    Praying for Gods hand to be in you, Ryan, and all the healthcare professionals involved in his care. Thank you for yours and Ryan’s sweet testimony! Continue to shine brightly!

  34. Kate
    July 10, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    Prayers for you both

  35. Jessica
    July 10, 2018 / 10:43 pm

    Your blog has always been a source of inspiration for me, for so many years. Saying many prayers for you and your husband. Your positive attitude is an inspiration to us all.

  36. Vanessa Beeler
    July 10, 2018 / 10:47 pm

    Lifting you, Ryan, and your families up in prayer! ❤️

  37. July 10, 2018 / 10:52 pm

    Ashley, thank you for being brave and sharing your trial. I am praying for you both and am trusting God will work this out for your good and His glory! Shine!

  38. July 10, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    Tell Ryan Aunt Dana and Uncle Gary are praying and I have been in those shoes. Mine was breast cancer stage 2B, but still cancer. He may remember I called it “My Great Adventure”. This is a battle you can win. God has His loving arms around both of you. Love & Prayers to both of you.

  39. July 10, 2018 / 11:11 pm

    I will be praying for you both Psalm 23 will be my prayer for you all. God has you both in the palm of his hand

  40. Loren
    July 10, 2018 / 11:18 pm

    Ashley,

    I have had the privilege to spend time with you and Ryan multiple times over the years and have always admired your infectious positivity and candor. My mother was diagnosed with stage 2 hodgkins in 2013. The diagnosis was a few months after I moved to RI and it rocked my world. Chemo takes a toll, but with you and both of your families and friends by his side, he’s GOT THIS. Strength, love and faith will prevail… I know Ryan will power through this, just as my Mom did, and you both will come out stronger and more resilient than you are now.

    So much love to you both –
    -Loren and Aaron

  41. Laura
    July 10, 2018 / 11:20 pm

    Praying hard for you guys! Praying for a good outcome and anticipatory healthcare professionals. Having gone through health stuff myself, I think it’s harder for the supporters. There’s a fight, a will, a peace, and spiritual strength when you know God has a plan for your illness. Praying you’re given the words, the strength, and the peace that you need during this time.

  42. Aimee
    July 10, 2018 / 11:58 pm

    Praying for you and Ryan right now. You are right about the Hodgkins responding well to treatment. My brother-in-law was diagnosed stage 4b Hodgkins 8+ years ago now and has been cancer free since his year of treatment ended. I am sure that my sister would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about their journey. God bless you both!

  43. Emily
    July 10, 2018 / 11:59 pm

    Praying for both of you!

  44. Kat Lynch
    July 11, 2018 / 12:41 am

    Sending you lots and lots of prayers and hugs your way

  45. Jenna Gilbreath
    July 11, 2018 / 3:00 am

    Lifting you both up in earnest prayers! Thankful that the Lord cares for Ryan and hears each and every prayer coming y’alls way!

  46. Teri
    July 11, 2018 / 6:29 am

    Praying for you.

  47. Melissa
    July 11, 2018 / 6:43 am

    Oh sweet Ashley and Ryan!! I will be praying for both of you every day!!! You have been a bright light in my life so many times!! I have never met you but I do love you!! ❤️❤️

    God is good and faithful.

    xoxo,
    Melissa

  48. July 11, 2018 / 7:58 am

    I was dx with CA last summer and these verses became my go to verses as I have walked through this adventure. Hope you find them encouraging to you as well. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest. Then he tells Joshua to follow the Holy Spirit. “then you shall set out from your place and follow it” “in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before” Joshua 1: 9,13; 2:4

  49. Merritt
    July 11, 2018 / 8:49 am

    Praying for peace and quick healing and skilled doctors and kind people for you to interact with on days when things go wrong! How beautiful yalls story will be and what a testament of faith. God will do amazing things! Thank you for sharing, y’all are in my prayers.

  50. Avenlea Bixby
    July 11, 2018 / 9:29 am

    Ashley,
    Praying for you both!! Thank you for sharing – it is an honor to be able to cry out to God on your behalf. Thank you for being open about your faith and trust in God, what an opportunity God has given you to share His hope and peace with your blog readers.

    Love,
    Avenlea

  51. Lindsey
    July 11, 2018 / 10:45 am

    I admire your positivity and perseverance in this journey! I will keep your husband and you in my prayers ❤️

  52. Ruth Alleyne
    July 11, 2018 / 11:07 am

    Praying for you Ashley and Ryan!

  53. Shannon
    July 11, 2018 / 11:35 am

    You are both the epitome of grace! So sorry to read about this stumbling block but it appears you both have the best attitude! Sending prayers your way and please keep us updated!

  54. Nicole
    July 11, 2018 / 11:41 am

    Stay strong and stay his path….for God is Good! May he continue to bless you and your family. Praying for you!

  55. Tracey
    July 11, 2018 / 11:52 am

    Praying for your family!

  56. Abbey
    July 11, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Sending love and prayers. Rest in God’s presence and peace, it will get you through. My husband was diagnosed with cancer shortly after we began dating 12 years ago. It was a tough time but we leaned on each other, our community and God to get us through those rough days when we didn’t want to go to the hospital again or when we wanted to give up. It truly is the foundation of our relationship and when things are hard now, we go back to those times when we were stripped down to our inner most core to realize what is important. Be a source of comfort for him and try to provide the simple pleasures during those chemo treatments.

  57. Erin
    July 11, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    Sending all the good thoughts and hope your way!! You two are so lucky to have each other to help you through this tough time. <3

  58. Jessie
    July 11, 2018 / 2:41 pm

    ALL THE FEELS!!!! Sending you a big hug from Texas. So thankful that you know you have Jesus and each other to walk through his season with. We are praying for you and Ryan!!! Xo – Jessie

  59. Belinda
    July 11, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    Ashley…I applaud your courage on posting about such a difficult valley in your life. Count on my prayers for complete healing for your husband. I feel I must share this verse for your situation today, “For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
    ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬.

  60. Darla
    July 11, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    Ashley and Ryan, I am sorry you are having to go through these difficult days! You will have an amazing testimony when you come out the other side! God is so good and will be there every step of the way! You faith in God will give you strength! Prayers for both of you!

  61. July 11, 2018 / 5:15 pm

    You’ll be in my prayers as you walk this path. Sending lots of love and prayers your way, xAllie

  62. Lidia Oatman
    July 11, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing –
    Matthew 18:20
    “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

    As you share with all your web family, know that we are there in prayer and spirit under One God. Stay hopefully – praying for your and Ryan!
    In Christ – Lidia

  63. Michelle
    July 11, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    One of my favorite quotes is that” God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle” even though it feels that way at times. You and Ryan got this!!! And I def believe in angels and things happening for a reason. You two have some great ones watching over you and in having that ENT take his tonsils out. What a gift to have that and have the cancer found so quickly. So many would have just treated the allergies and sinus issues. Keep up the positivity- I’ve seen it work wonders as a nurse. Prayers and positive vibes your way!

  64. Brittani
    July 11, 2018 / 7:30 pm

    Thinking and praying for you guys!

  65. Stacey
    July 11, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    Praying for you and Ryan! You two and God have got this! Keep us updated and thank you for always being such a positive light in a world where that is hard to find!

  66. Ashleigh
    July 11, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    Praying for complete healing for Ryan and that God envelopes you both with His peace. Isaiah 43 has brought me much comfort

  67. Tia
    July 11, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Praying for you all! Your cheerful, hopeful, peaceful attitude will help bring you through this. Don’t lose the faith, God is bigger than this cancer.

    Xoxo

  68. Victoria
    July 12, 2018 / 4:37 am

    Ashley, I’m praying for you both as you begin this journey together. Thank you for being a vessel of inspiration and encouragement for so many, including me. I hope we can all do the same for you and Ryan now more than ever. God bless you both! XO!

  69. July 12, 2018 / 8:32 am

    Ashley,

    Our prayers are with you and Ryan as you fight this together. What an amazing testimony y’all will have in the end!! Much love from Texas!!

  70. Patricia Haddad
    July 12, 2018 / 9:31 am

    Loving to peruse your beautiful blog with so much to enjoy, I was shocked to read about the cancer. You both are on a journey of life, and I’m praying to God that life with prevail. You and Ryan are in my thoughts and prayers coming from Connecticut!

  71. Denise DiBelardino
    July 12, 2018 / 10:00 am

    I am on my knees praying for you both from Virginia!

  72. Erin
    July 12, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    So sorry to hear the news but incredibly inspired by your positive approach to this diagnosis. And thankful it was caught so early on! I used to work for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I encourage you to use the resources they provide in your area. It’s so important to have a support system that knows exactly what you are going through at this time.

  73. Jami Thomas
    July 12, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Praying and Praying some more.

  74. Elizabeth
    July 13, 2018 / 12:58 am

    Hey Ashley,
    You both are in my prayers!

    I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s in early April and am halfway through treatment now. Ever since this happened I have said that the only way I can imagine anything worse than me having cancer is if my husband had cancer. Such a terrible, helpless feeling and not something you can ever be prepared for.

    The beginning is such a whirlwind…you’re so busy with appointments and tests and this whole new world of cancer life that you can hardly catch a breath. It’s very cliche, but leaning into your support system and accepting help is so so so helpful.

    I was stage 2A, I am doing ABVD and my midway PET scan was clear…praise the Lord! Hodgkin’s does have such a high cure rate. This time next year I’m praying this will all be a distant memory for both of us.

    You both are in my prayers!

    Elizabeth

  75. Anne
    July 13, 2018 / 7:02 am

    My husband was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma last year. After a six rounds of chemo, he is now in remission. Will keep you all in our prayers – cancer is hard, but it strengthened our marriage.

  76. Anne
    July 13, 2018 / 7:53 am

    Also, I highly recommend a port pillow for your husband. You could make one or purchase it online (I bought one from Etsy). They make SUCH a difference in the car.

  77. July 13, 2018 / 10:50 am

    I am truly so sorry that you are both going through this. You have all my prayers for a happy end to this chapter (and many more to come).

    Sending all the good vibes and best wishes your way!

    Briony xx

  78. Caitlin
    July 13, 2018 / 11:11 am

    This was beautifully written. I’m so sorry for the tough climb ahead. You and your husband are in my prayers.

  79. Paisleigh Telford
    July 13, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    All my prayers and thoughts with the two of you. My mother had Hodgkin’s as well back in the 90’s so I know first hand the scare that it brings.

  80. Christina Thomas
    July 13, 2018 / 2:12 pm

    God Bless you and Ryan. My prayers are with you both. Your faith during this difficult time is so wonderful. Much love

  81. Salli Beasley
    July 13, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Our son was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s 8 years ago as a high school senior. He has been cancer free 8 years ago & we will have a celebration ! We received many blessings along the way, & Perry is thankful for that chapter in his journey!
    Prayerful all goes well & you both can continue telling your story!
    Many blessings!!
    Salli Beasley

  82. Emily V
    July 13, 2018 / 6:11 pm

    I went through chemo for Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two years ago. After a particularly hard workout, I was massaging right above my clavicle bone and felt an enlarged lymph node. When it didn’t decrease in size I went in for a biopsy, and was diagnosed. It was a battle (I did ABVD for two rounds and then switched to the BEACOPP), but I won. It will be tough, but try to stay positive.

  83. nicole Edward
    July 13, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    Hello I am a reader of Carly’s! I am praying for Ryan. Believing for complete healing, and peace pasts all underway.

    God I just come to you right now pray for Ryan and Ashley…That you give the doctors wisdom and grace they need to take care of Ryan. Just told Ryan and your hands Lord and I pray that your peace is all around him. Say a prayer for Ashley Lord that you give her strength to walk this out. We know that nothing is impossible with you and your name we pray amen

  84. Megan
    July 14, 2018 / 10:39 am

    You all are inspirational. It would be so easy to be angry and only dwell on the bad. Sending so much love and prayers your way.

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