Thursday, September 12, 2013

From Diagnosis to Surgery

August 10, 2012: Posted a picture on Ashley's FB page with the following status: I love you little sister. I am praising God today that He answered our prayers and healed you from cancer. Looking forward to next month when we can celebrate 1 year cancer free. God is soooo good!
August 11, 2012: Attended wedding with Ashley to celebrate the marriage of her best friend, Tiffany. Watched closely as my sister danced with her beautiful baby and felt the sudden urge to capture each and every single moment. So thankful for the intuition as I asked our HS friend Missy to snap some pictures that are some of our dearest pictures.
September 5, 2012: We knew something was wrong, but weren't quite sure to the extent yet. I wrote on my FB the next day: Delete me know if you don't want a bunch of bible verses. It is how I am making it through my days. Thanks LouAnn Vicker's for today's verse: "I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him." Psalm 39:7

September 9, 2012: My sweet nephew Hanson Asher was born. He was the bright spot in the storm.

September 12, 2012: I turned 31. I found out in the middle of our sushi dinner that my sister had stage 4 TERMINAL cancer. Her was my status: My sister's status, please do me a favor and pray: I never do this...But today I ask for prayers from everyone, that today my doctors have answers and a solid game plan to put this Cancer in remission for good thank you and I love you all:)

We pray with purpose for Ashley Sult's doctor finds the key to killing this cancer for good. We want complete healing. Lord, wrap your arms around my sister and Joe. Provide them your peace, hope, and strength. Thank you Lord for my beautiful sister; thank you for my best girlfriend. Amen

Later that night:

Once again people from around the world are praying for my baby sister. It has been a very rough night, but it feels so good to log in and see how many people are lifting up my baby sister in prayer. Keep those prayers coming for my tough as nails baby sister. God can provide miracles. He creates cures that haven't been though of. He will provide peace and I will hold on to the Hope of His promises.

On September 14, 2012 I posted a blog in regards to where my strength comes from...On the 17th I created the Praying for Ashley Sult page that quickly grew. By the following Wednesday we had people from all over the world spreading their love for my sister by wearing Yellow.

In the month of September we had some great things happen...Kyle's cousin had a beautiful wedding in Bellingham, WA, we found out that Lexi was having a baby boy, and people from everywhere provided lots of support for our family. I also got to throw a beautiful baby shower for one of my dearest friends, Kandis.

On September 22, 2012 our friend Melissa Harwood offered a priceless gift by volunteering to take our family pictures to capture the moments before my sister lost her hair to chemo:
She She with her babies

My hubby started Grad School on September 24, 2012. The Yellow Campaign continued; painted nails, t-shirts, bracelets, and wacky ways of showing support for Ashley.

October 2012:  We found out on the 1st that Ashley was picked for the clinical drug. She went to Seattle to get a 2nd opinion and they supported her staying at OHSU for treatment. We had many dark days, but stayed strong and hopeful. I was there the weekend that Ashley decided to cut her hair.
Ashley had enough energy to go to the Pumpkin patch with Oaklen before Chemo took over her life for the next few months.
I attended some chemo treatments with Ashley where I witnessed the strength of God shining through.

Ashley went to the Grace Community Church Halloween event wearing a mask so that she wouldn't contract any other illness while out and about.

Ashley received the news that sent the whole world spinning: So the skinny of our good news: Ash is no longer on the clinical trial because the growth of the tumors in her liver were slightly larger than they will allow for her to continue. THE TUMORS IN THE LUNGS ARE MUCH SMALLER. Dr. R has decided to continue Doxy and Ash is already hooked up and ready to go. We still continued to praise God.

Ashley had all of us to her house for Thanksgiving. She was very weak, but geared up and hosted a wonderful holiday complete with an outing to visit our place at Eagle Crest.
9 weeks left of chemo on November 28, 2012. All of us took turns having Ashley's wonderful boy.
Ashley went through some right stuff as she discovered that she had a blood clot right before Christmas. On December 23rd we found out that she would be able to get out of the hospital and spend the holidays with her baby boy. We were all a bit crushed to have to miss spending the holiday with her, but knew she needed to be safe.
Christmas was a beautiful occasion, made even more special by seeing Christmas through Bronson's eyes. His prayer after getting his gifts, "Thank you Lord for mommy and daddy and that it is Jesus' birthday. I just want it to be Christmas everyday.

A post made on January 15, 2013: Ashley Sult update: From our mom, Shellene D Foster:'s the run is a little worried about blood clot...she might be on blood thinners for six months...he says the tumors are so very slightly bigger but no new growth. Today is her last day of chemo and he will see her in a month and then every month thereafter...he says she is stable and he's going to watch...if no new growth in 3 or 4 months they will discuss surgery. They are going to pull her PICC today and he says overall this is good news. Here is our game plan:

1. Continue to pray for Ashley (We will let you know of doctor's appointments dates so that we can flood the gates of Heaven with prayer)

2. So...this means that Ash will be chemo free for the birth of her next nephew Jace and get to be there for the delivery.

3. Did everybody else hear 6 months??? This is encouraging! Only God knows our time, but we are feeling VERY positive that the cancer has stabilized and that we have more time to pray for the MIRACLE!

Thanks for ALL of your prayers!

In the midst of chemo: We currently don't have the daily posts of needing prayer while Ashley undergoes chemo, but I firmly believe that there is a reason for quiet times...God asks us to be still. This is from my devotional last night:

Before you know it, a sense of God's whole news, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:7 ...I am the goal of your searching. When you seek me, you will find me. Jesus this devotional.

Wearing yellow on Wednesdays continues and during this time of a lull in treatment, KEEP PRAYING FOR TOTAL HEALING!

February: My hubby became COO of his company and our sweet nephew Jace David was born:
Ashley finished chemo directly before so that she could be there.

And our April 10, 2013 NEWS:

Ashley just finished receiving some of the best news that would could have expected. I will start with the bad news as I elected to receive it that way from her...the tumors in her liver and lungs have doubled in size since November. The good news...she met with Dr. Sheppard this morning and he is going to do her surgery along with several other surgeons. We don't know much about the surgeries other than the fact that it will three separate surgeries; one for each lung and one for the liver. The surgeries will be over a month's time at OHSU and will require quite a bit of recovery time, but once they are over we will go back to check up (CT's) every three months.

God has continued to show me that Ashley's life will be handed back to us in three month increments. Truthfully we all have just today if it is the Lord's will. The three month increments for a cancer patient mean SO much. It means that we have time to hope, breath, and PRAY.

We are so thankful for all of the prayers lately and would appreciate them continuing through out this process. We will be utilizing the caring bridge and Praying for Ashley page to keep people updated...

A couple of common questions?

When Ashley has the surgery does that mean she is cancer free? Yes and No; the known tumors will be removed from her and at that point in time she will be without known area of disease. She will not be deemed "cured" because of the previous stage 4 status.

What will be the plan of treatment after surgery?

Ashley will continue to have CT scans every three months for the rest of her life.

If the chemo worked why did the tumors grow? The chemo worked to eliminate others areas of disease, but did the current tumors did not respond. This is good news.

What can I do? Pray and love on our family. We appreciate everyone so much and all of the offers for help. I will be setting up another meal train and other things for people to help. If you have any questions, please feel free to message us on our Facebook page.

Love Amber

Psalm 41:3
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. (NIV)

Prior to Ashley's surgeries she decided to throw little man a HUGE birthday bash. Joe rented the Redmond Gymnastics club and several friends and family came to celebrate: