Friday, February 28, 2014

4 Months

It's been 4 months. Today. 
Today, 2/28/14 marks 4 months since Tanya's passing. 
4 months of not seeing her smile. Not hearing her laugh or cry. 
4 months of not getting a text or phone call. 
It's been 4 months of not seeing her; talking to her, calling her, FaceTime chats, laughing or wishing we could be closer in distance to one another.
4 months of not being able to rummage through her closet for something to wear. No carpet picnics. No shared dinners. No evening walks. No shopping. No movie nights spent talking and laughing the entire time. 

It's been 4 months of not having my sister around, 4 months has passed since I last saw my sister. She was so amazingly beautiful. So beautiful my Dad asked if we had put makeup on her the day she passed; she was that beautiful! I've wished for so many things. I've wished to have been able to talk to her. To have her talk to us, smile, a squeeze, a movement...something...anything but I know deep in my heart, she WAS doing all these things. She knew we were there, we are ALWAYS there. After-all, she had to know...we weren't that quiet & she was happy about it! I know that she made the decisions she did so that she could be with us during our trip to Florida.  

Somehow her passing seems like it's been easier for me (although it hasn't) to deal with because I moved just 2 months before. In some small way I think this is how it was suppose to happen. It killed her that we were moving. It killed her to let go of me and the kids when we left Paradise Bakery that night. It killed me to leave her. It hurts to know we aren't just down the street from each other anymore. We were always together, doing something.

It feels as though I just moved away and that she will be in Arizona when I go back.  I know she won't & I know she's always with me in spirit; I see her everyday in my children, even in the smallest of ways; especially Breckin. They were best friends. If you ask him today who his best friend is, he will say Tata. I see her in myself on days when I want to give up, on anything. I see her in my niece, my Mom & Dad and my Sister!  I see her everywhere. So I know she's around and teaching me valuable life lessons. Im sure Dustin appreciates her being around too, she was always the one who knew everything about my life and marriage even if she didn't want to. Haha.  

The hardest thing for me to get past are the things that's changed since she's been gone. Relationships aren't the same (even some stronger than before), friendships have failed, hearts are broken & feelings have been hurt. I know in time things will sort out, they always do but it doesn't make it any easier. There are days when all I want to do is make a call or text, but I don't. I stop and pray. Praying. It's become a necessity & should be in everyone's lives. Tanya and I were suppose to get baptized in July last year...we never did. She was too sick, so in her honor on Easter Sunday I will get baptized. I know she will be there right beside me and it's going to be the best day ever! 

She's my rock, my strength, my Sister & one of my best friends. She's amazing and always will be, but she's missed greatly and while it's already been 4 months I know that for her, although she misses us greatly it's been 4 months of being FREE! 
Free from pain; endless doctors & appointments, medicine, tubes, monitors, being exhausted, needles, nephrostomy tubes/bags, free from being bald.  It's been 4 months of not having to fight every minute for her life. It's been 4 months of being in the most amazing place we all hope to be someday and 4 months of being CANCER FREE!  

Time will continue & on those hard days I have to simply remember that just because God doesn't answer your prayers, doesn't mean he's not listening, he's just got something better in store for you!  We love you and miss you everyday & know you are looking over us all!  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tumor Sequencing Findings...

Well...all I can say is POOP!!  We got the call from T-Gen today and it wasn't the call we were hoping for.  Not the answers to the questions we were told we would get, BUUUTTT....definitely will help others down the road... 

According to the research doctor we spoke with, this specific tumor sequencing that Tanya participated in was strictly to determine if Small Cell Cancer in the ovary is similar to that of the cervix; even though Tanya was told otherwise (and maybe was told that to get her to consent.)  Who knows.  The conclusion is that to the naked eye, they are the same but under a microscope they are COMPLETELY different.  The only similarity they have is that they are both Small Cell.  We found out that Small Cell is 100% more common in the cervix than the ovary.  Isn't that crazy?  For SCCC being such a RARE cancer, it's definitely not as rare as SCOC.  

So with that said, the study won't help the ladies currently in treatment but with ongoing research in the years to come, it will help those that will be newly diagnosed.  We are feeling kind of deflated that we didn't get ANY of the questions answered that we were told as far as treatments that work on original tumors and MET's.  However, he did tell us that while he couldn't say for sure, he was almost 100% positive Small Cell Cervical Cancer is NOT genetic.  I did the happy dance and smiled.  This puts my mind at ease as I'm sure it does Katrina & my Mom too.  Since Tanya was diagnosed, I've worried that EVERY little pain, ache or issue that's come up is this cancer or any for that matter and I worry about Ella & Brinley's life in the future.  It's a lot of stress to carry around wondering if we will be diagnosed with this monster.  

This call seriously just confirms that Tanya so selflessly gave up her tumor so that others could get the answers to the questions that she & we didn't get.  Research takes years and years & today researchers learned more about SCCC than they knew yesterday and tomorrow they will know more about it than today.  So while I'm sad we didn't get the answers we were hoping for, we did get answers and that alone is still AWESOME.  We will continue to carry on supporting the fight of Neuroendocrine Small & Large Cell Cervical Cancer for Tanya, those that went before her and those that are currently fighting! 
 We won't give up, just like Tanya didn't. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Guess what?!?  Last year, Tanya went to TGen where she was to start the clinical trial, which she did. While there, because her cancer is so rare they asked if she would give consent to let them do a tumor sequencing (dissect into a million little pieces & study it) to find out some VERY valuable information! She was suppose to get results in October, just a few days before her passing actually, and it wasn't ready. 

We were told these things can take years to complete but that since her cancer was so rare and aggressive they would have all hands working on it for quicker results. Well...we got a call yesterday that it's complete!!  While we were told a few different things about what exactly it would show we are hoping that it will tell:

1- Where it originated
2- When it started
3- What chemo will kill it & which to use as a back-up. 
4- What chemo will kill the METs and which to use as a back-up. 
5- Hopefully LOTS more but we aren't even sure all this will be given! 

While this doesn't help Tanya now, we are very hopeful that the findings will help others. The information will go to Dr. F in Houston, Texas at MD Anderson & the doctor from TGen will be calling to review the results over the next few days!  Hopefully this is a breakthrough in treatment for SCCC/LCCC!  Please keep praying we get lots of questions answered and that this truly means Tanya is still fighting...fighting for all the women currently fighting and those that will be diagnosed! 

This is HUGE!!  

- Ashley

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hope for Tanya Fun Run 2014

Well good morning...or...afternoon depending on where you are!  Today is a happy day (even though i'm sad!)  Today, we purchased a website for the Hope for Tanya Foundation my family and I have set up! 

 During Tanya's fight, she always talked about how lucky she was to have such a strong support system and we want to be able to give that to others who need the support and maybe don't have as much as Tanya had.  It's an amazing feeling to go through the steps to get something established to help the many women who have to go through this fight day in and day out.  

So while our Foundation right NOW isn't here to support research, maybe someday we will be able to help in that.  We are still waiting for the results from T-Gen on her tumor sequencing that they started last year.  These types of things generally can take years, but we were told all hands are on her study because of the rarity of her cancer.  So here's to hoping we get results SOON and can pass the valuable information on to MD Anderson!!  

Anyhow, the website will come soon, when I get time to completely build it.  In the meantime, the post was really to announce we have our 2014 Hope for Tanya Fun Run in the works!  I'm currently working on sponsors, donations, shirts, water, goodie boxes, logos, banners, name it...I'm working on it!  We need help with just about all of it!  We have the shirts ready and waiting to be printed, so that's exciting!  If you own a business, know a business owner or simply want to donate as a single, that would be AMAZING!!!  Please contact me at 480.223.2263 or if interested!

Thank you!