Autism Dog Guide info!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A sad story.

I'd like to take a pause in my journey to the sea stars story, to tell another story.
                This week my friend crossed the veil to another plane of existance, and I miss her.

Another journey, a different kind. It started for me, almost 10 years ago now in college, I met a vivacious girl going to school for culinary and baking arts. Ashley was great! Full of confidence and life, didn't give a sh*t what anyone thought and she embraced her bodacious curves with gusto declaring that she loved people with all her boobs, because those were bigger than her heart.

She introduced me to my husband, the love of my life.
Honeybee knew her through the early and hardship filled years of high school so they've been friends much longer, there are SO many good stories, I'll have to get him to draw a comic of "The rapids and the centipede of doom!" at some point when the tears stop falling.

As with any friendship, there were ups and they were really good fun ups! And there were big bad ugly downs, and there were the in between times and a lot of growing up. Becoming an adult sucked because life dragged us all away from one another, jobs, no jobs, distance , no car, car, no money , no gas, and just circumstances of life and time being the never slowing ever moving thing that they are.
Life can be kind and time can be fickle.

Two summers ago Ash and her husband Jay took the time and planned a beautiful wedding, they were married in a pretty little open courtyard country-esque place and there was a lot of happiness that day :)
This is all four of us, doesn't she look gorgeous!?

I can't believe its only been two years since that happy day, and she's gone.
Last week my friend passed the veils and her energy left this world for the next, Ash was 29.
Just one year younger than me.

Shortly after her wedding Ash began to feel that something was amiss, she went to the doctor about a lump in her side that was paining her and they just put it off as
 " You're too big, lose some weight and you'll feel better"
I'm so sorry to say that this is what a lot of girls and women who don't meet society's criteria of body image hear from their doctors.

So, Ash took that and went about doing what she loved , being awesome , being a good cat mother, baking ,working and getting ready to make babies!
*Ever since I met Ash she's loved children and been in love with the idea of a large family! Nothing would have made her happier than                                     being married to Jay, and just making a huge happy family*

 A year ago Ash went back to the doctor with a cough, and it turns out that lump was still there, and it felt a little bigger. She knew something wasn't right. The response from the doctor was pretty much the same. Lose weight , and here's a puffer, its probably just asthma.

Life moved forward and time marched on and Ash did lose weight, in fact, she was enjoying eating healthfully and exercising a couple times a week. She even got inspired to go out and join the
"Run or Dye!" which was a huge victory physically, emotionally and I'd say spiritually. It takes hootspa and a rockin' attitude to do that kind of thing :)

 She and Jay took a most excellent trip down south and Ash
rocked a bikini!


And then the cough got a lot worse.
She started losing weight really fast, and that niggley little lump, well, it became a big bad lump
made ferociously apparent by her weightloss.

Ash went to the doctor a third time and they told her it was likely a cyst and that she had walking pnumonia.

What, the , everloving f*ck.
Here's where I start to look back for blame. Thats a lie, I'm looking for blame and liability from the first visit that put her on this path. I'm so mad! I'm livid with the fact that she was so ignored by the "medical community".
That was this past Christmas.
Three months later she went to the hospital for a biopsy because things were just getting worse, her health was suffering! She was half the size of herself in the wedding photo at the top, A MONTH AND A BIT LATER they had a result and she called all of us to come over for dinner and a game night.
She told us she had cancer, the doctors didn't know what type, but they know its cancer. So they were going to do more testing and she said she'd fight it because cancer is perfectly survivable a lot of the time if you catch it! I didn't know whether her enthusiasm to kick its ass was a fake it till you make it, but thats one thing about Ashley, she never wanted you to worry. She just, knew she could beat it and that was that.

So the whole cancer thing kinda put a damper on the starting a family thing, so Ash made the decision that she would just freeze some eggs and she and Jay would just have to have kids after she got better! Her eggs were just about ready when the doctor and put a stop to the process and said that she HAD to start chemotherapy NOW, the cancer was an exceptionally rare type, especially in a woman , under thirty! Sarcoma, and its an aggressive S.O.B.

This is where the story starts to just get scary, and very sad.
Ashley started to pale and seemed to fade and lose her fight, it was really frightening to
see a friend in this state!

 I was afraid she was giving up because the option of children had been taken away from her.

Her health still suffering progressively, her weight still dropping because her breathing was becoming increasingly difficult.
So she decided to put herself in the hospital and we were all really happy that she did!
Her vitality improved, her appetite returned now that she was receiving oxygen , fluids and not coughing ALL the time, it was great! Her fight returned with a bloody vengeance and she kicked the first round of chemo where it hurt!

Honeybee and I were at Kaleidoscope gathering through Ashley's birthday, which was normal, we go to this festival every year to decompress , to heal ourselves for the coming year and to be at peace with the earth, the night , the water and most importantly ourselves.
We didn't know how much we would need it this year.
She was cool with this, because this is something we need to do and we always make the up the lost time after often celebrating our birthdays together.
"I think you guys are some sort of , forest fairies or something, stick you in with the rocks and trees and moss and stuff and you're good :D " - Ash
We thought there would be so much more time.

Fast forward a month , at Ash's house we had another awesome game day between the rounds of chemo, even with the cancer having spread to her lungs, and a chest infection to fend off she was fantastic, HB and I told Ashley that she was going to be an aunty! She was so happy that she cried, and started to plan baby things and look at wedding dresses for me *grins* she SO wanted to see us get married, we've always planned to but have just never had the fundage.
She was so excited for us and happy that we're going to have a baby and that she made first aunt status, even through her sadness at not being able to have any of her own.
We had a great day, Jay made wicked pasta and Ash showed me how to give sweets to the cats, I took this picture which is one of my favorites at the moment, even though she was sick and doing battle at a cellular level she's so beautiful and happy with her fur baby.

The next week she asked me if I was up to trying my hand at a henna crown, I wasn't but I'm so glad that I did, because by the end of the day we had had an awesome time , all our moods were lifted and she was giggling like a kid X)

She loved it and I loved that she loved it <3
The next time we were able to visit her was at the hospital, and she spent the whole time showing me wedding dresses , talking babies, and life coaching HB towards his goal of finding a job.
She was so good at that , talking you into believing in yourself :)
We spent hours just chittering about silly things and crunching potato chips, because its one of the things that chemo didn't change the taste of. *She cried so hard when blue freezies didn't taste like blue freezies anymore :(  *

There's only so much time a pregnant lady can spend sitting on uncomfy hospital stools and Ashley was getting sleepy, so we collected the hug tax and told her we'd see her on friday after Honeybee's interview day on Thursday.
That was Monday, Tuesday passed uneventfully, we visited a good friend who let us borrow her washer and just spend time in a quiet , spiritually safe spot. We didn't know how much we would need that until the next day.
Wednesday hit us hard and fast, we woke to a call in the morning, Ash had stood up in the night and her femur had snapped! I cried, I've broken bones, its scary at the best of times, I didn't want her to be hurt like that! The femur is one of the hardest bones in the body to break!
We called home to Honeybee's dad, just to talk it out, and he said that was pretty run of the mill for chemo patients, that if she was strong enough she'd be ok. We were reassured for a little while, but something still felt wrong.
Thursday, one of our other friends close to Ashley called us with devastating news, Ash had had surgery to fix her leg, but her body was shutting down, she just couldn't handle all the damage from the cancer, the chemo, breaking her femur AND the surgery to try and repair it.

This was likely going to be her last day.
Time had just blown up.
Honeybee was the one on the phone, and I just saw his colour drop and he started stammering and hyperventilating, it was awful. To see someone you love so much in such emotional pain.
Of course he had an interview to get to in just one hour. Adrianne got his attention and reminded him how much Ashley wanted him to succeed at this interview and further than that , succeed at life , and being a husband and soon enough a great Daddy.
She told him that she , and Ashley didn't want him to come to the hospital today, because it would be too hard for such an old and good friend, she wanted him to remember her better, healthier and more herself. At this time she was not conscious and the doctors did not expect her to return from it.
So, we didn't.
And he did gather his courage and all the hootspa that he could muster, and got to the interview.
He got there at 1:55 ish for a 2pm interview, they were late so he sat and had a coffee until 2:05.
HB got the job right there that day!
It turns out Ash held his hand through the entire interview, she had passed at 2:01.

*gotta stop and have a good cry just here , brb*

We didn't know it at the time, but my Mum turned up later in the afternoon, Ashley had made sure that someone would tell us in person, so that we wouldn't find out via facebook.
She knew that I had obsessive issues with death and that HB having been her friend for almost 2 decades would take it hard.
And it WAS hard, it IS.

So, tomorrow, we're going together with friend to Ashley's wake.
I'm preparing myself to see my friend look not like my friend anymore, and trying to stay sane and remind myself that she's still here, just as a little less organised energy. Like taking off an old heavy winter coat when the spring comes.

The next day is her funeral.
This is going to suck, but we'll keep on breathing, keep on moving forward.

I'm going to miss my friend, my baby's best Auntie , my husband's best friend , confidant , encourager and raging centipede squisher !

Its awful , but I feel that if Ashley had been taken seriously by the medical community, she would still be alive and fighting or maybe even in remission today. I could still see her smiling face the next game night and get my a$$ handed to me at the Trains game -Ticket to Ride-
 *which, is really good , your should play it!*

But they didn't take her seriously because she carried extra weight, like I do. Like many women do.
And I blame them. Every single person who tells a woman *or man* nothing is wrong, you're just fat, lose some weight and you'll be fine. It is YOUR fault that my friend is gone, that my Honeybee, her best friend is so damned sad, that her family is hurting with the loss of a daughter and sister, it is YOUR fault that her husband is a widower grieving a clever,beautiful loving young wife.
I hope some day this stigma changes, what if we could have caught it sooner because someone chose to ignore stigma and look past what they saw physically to the underlying issue?
She could still be here.
But she's not.

By no means was she a saint,
 but be damned if she didn't live life with courage, enthusiasm and vibrance!
Thank you SO MUCH Ashley, for being my friend, I'm not good at making them and you just took me up and loved me with all your boobs! You introduced me to my best friend and gave me my  rediculously lovely husband, without you I wouldn't be the myself I am today, and I'm going to tell my Poppy all about her *or his* wonderful Auntie! <3

I'm going to miss my friend very much. :(


  1. You told it well, and true! Loved reading this, miss <3

  2. I somehow missed this entry when you wrote it. Thank you for having the courage to chronicle this difficult time. It was tough to read. But good. I will always miss her.

  3. Awesome, very touching and a great way to remember a dear one.

  4. Awesome, very touching and a great way to remember a dear one.