Ashley's G-tube surgery was successful. She is eating well, and we are using the G-tube for supplemental nutrition and medications.

Ashley's prognosis is not good when viewed strictly from a medical perspective. Dr. Winick told us, after showing us the most recent MRI, "Now we need God's help". I asked her, "Barring divine intervention, how much time do we have?" Her reply was, "We are probably looking at months."

God is still in control. Thousands upon thousands of people are interceding on Ashley's behalf. God has the power to heal Ashley. We do not doubt that for one millisecond. What we DON'T know is whether God's answer to all of our prayers for Ashley's healing will be "Yes" or "No". That does not constitute a diminished faith, but rather, I believe, a balanced faith. Please continue to pray.

I do have one request for those of you who will be seeing Ashley or talking to her after reading this. Please don't say anything that will reveal to her the terminal nature of her prognosis. Please don't treat her any differently than you would otherwise. We have not told Ashley exactly how grim the outlook is, because we don't want her to give up hope. We want her to maintain a positive outlook and an expectation of victory over cancer.

As I said earlier, it is completely in God's hands now. Even if His answer is "No" and the cancer eventually takes Ashley's life in the near future, we want every single day to be filled with joy and fullness of life and wonderful experiences up to the very end. We don't want to do anything that will destroy any of that for Ashley, and we will do everything within our power to prevent anyone else from doing anything, even inadvertently, that would diminish Ashley's hope and cast a dark cloud over her final days. (And if God's answer is "Yes" and Ashley IS healed of her cancer, then the days that lie ahead will become wonderful memories that she will be able to share with her children and grandchildren!) Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

We had a wonderful trip to New York this past weekend ... a marvelous gift from an individual benefactor named Mr. Harper who has been one of the primary purchasers of Ashley's and Justin's 4H pigs and goats over the past few years. Click on the picture of Ashley below to see pictures from the trip.

Let me quickly clear up a couple of rumors that we have heard recently.

  1. Ashley is NOT in a coma or on life support. She has actually been feeling pretty good most of the time over the course of the past couple of weeks.

  2. She has NOT been taken off of all chemo. As mentioned above, Ashley's prognosis IS very grim, but Dr. Winick wanted to go ahead and keep Ashley on some kind of treatment so that she wouldn't think that we have just given up hope (thank you, Dr. Winick), and also on the outside chance that another kind of chemo might actually do some good. Right now, Ashley is taking cyclophosphamide in pill form, once a day.

One last thing. Please be assured that we read every single personal e-mail sent to us (although I do sometimes delete forwards without reading them, simply because of the volume of e-mail I receive and the short supply of time; and because most of them I have already received 10 times anyway!). We appreciate, more than words can express, every single expression of love and support shown to us, whether in person or by e-mail or regular mail or phone. I also print out every personal e-mail we receive so that Susan can read them, and can share them with Ashley. However, it is becoming more and more difficult to send a personal reply to every e-mail received. So, if you send us an e-mail and don't receive a reply, it is not because we didn't receive it or didn't appreciate it. It is simply because of the law of supply and demand -- a short supply of time versus a large demand for the use of that time. Thanks for understanding.

Thank you for your continued prayers and love.

God bless you and yours.

With warmest regards,
-Paul O'Rear (Ashley's Dad)

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