Thursday, December 29, 2011

2nd checkup, echocardiogram, round 9

There is an app called Blogfire, if you would like to receive these posts faster than the computer email delivery then download the app. (thanks mike and libby)

Aly had ultrasound at 8:15 this morning, then bloodwork, then met with doctor to review ultrasound results, then had echo cardiogram, now having round 9 of chemo.

Ultrasound revealed that the lymph nodes that were larger are now more normal. We went in expecting a good report to be that the nodes had shrunk again. The result was that the nodes were found to be similar to the other nodes which is actually good. Not knowing exactly how much the nodes had swollen compared to normal, once we found out they shrunk 25% after 4 weeks we now realize that if they had shrunk 25% more then they would actually be smaller than normal. So short story, we want all the lymph nodes to look the same, and today we found out that they do look more similar than before.

Aly's blood work came back good again today. 2.87!!

Dr. Morrow was not here today but we met with another doctor who just approved the remaining 4 treatments of taxol and we were done with him.

Aly's echocardiogram went good, it is simply a test that looks just like ultrasound and they are measuring the performance of the heart so they have a baseline to look at when we get to the next chemo cocktail beginning Jan 26.

Aly is getting round 9 of chemo right now.

On a fun note a doctor today said to Aly, your hat looks great and that wig looks great too. Only problem was it was not a wig, we had a good laugh.

Let me say that as we have gone further in this process we have realized that Cancer is truly war. I described it as a fight at first but a fight is short, aggressive and the outcome is predictable early.

War is planning, studying, working and then daily walking that plan out. Aly and I have truly felt at war. We have had conversations that no one plans on having, especially with their 24 year old wife. This is the most tangible spiritual war that we have ever faced. This has a face, a name and inspires true hate from Aly and I toward the devil.

As the spouse for Someone going through this process the devil becomes relentless in his pursuit of attacking us. For Aly cancer has become a living breathing foe.

I am stating that we are fighting the devil in Aly's body, our marriage and our relationships.

Matthew 10:38-39
38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me you are not worthy of being mine. 39 if you cling to your life you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Only 4 more treatments of Taxol!!!!!!!

That is what my nurse said as she was finishing administering my 8th round of chemo! She said "only 4 more rounds of Taxol!" How awesome is that?! It really has gone by quickly. After Taxol, I"ll have another 12 weeks of chemo, but then I'll be done with chemo forever!!

Let me back track....Josh and I were planning on heading to Houston Thursday morning, but late Wednesday afternoon, we were offered a plane ride that we could not turn down and it was an amazing blessing. We flew into Houston Wednesday night and had blood work and chemo on Thursday...I was done at 12:45 with everything!!!!! We couldn't believe how fast everything went. Oh, and my ANC was 3.74!!!! I cant tell you how thankful we are for this wonderful blood work!

We stayed at a hotel the first night, and Thursday night, the Stanfills opened up there home to us, yet again. We had a great night, a great dinner, and a wonderful time visiting with their family. We love them!!!

We flew in this morning and I was able to get some more of my shopping done today. It's amazing how much more energized you can feel by being in a plane an hour and a half as opposed to 6 hours in a car. God is so good to us.

Next week, I have my 2nd ultrasound to once again monitor my response to treatment, as well as an echocardiogram. Because the 2nd type of chemo I will be on is much more tough on the body, they have to make sure it won't negatively affect my heart. Please be praying that the cancer is continuing to shrink if not gone, in Jesus' name. Also, please pray the echocardiogram comes back normal so I can get the FAC treatment come January 26th.

I love you guys!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

Here are some pics from treatment 8...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home from Treatment 7!!!!!!!

Hey guys,

We made a really short trip this week and are done with treatment 7. YAY!!!!!!! Josh and I headed down Thursday afternoon, had blood work this morning and then chemo this afternoon. We left Houston around 4:30 and got home around 10:30. The blood lab was down and it took what seemed like forever to get my lab results back. We were nervous that they had dropped but guess what?!?! ANC was 3.3, baby!!!! We were so excited. The people in the treatment waiting area were staring at me, but I didn't care as I raised my hands, praised the Lord, and hugged and kissed my man...whew, we were relieved! So, I got chemo and everything went well. God is SO SO good.

Josh has been giving me my neupogen shots and it has been pretty entertaining to say the least. In case you didn't know, Josh is a people watcher. I am more of a bull in a china cabinet, while Josh is particular and pays attention to details- me, not so much! I do it more now because of my profession, but I am typically not that way. I am working on it though:) So, we talked about who would give me my shots, and we decided that Josh would. He had watched my nurses do it several times and I felt completely confident in letting him do it. He did a great job and he makes it fun, of course. So, needless to say, when my blood work came back high, you can guess whose ego rose, and he wasn't afraid to show it!!! Of course, it had to do with my shot administrator:) I LOVE him!!!

The drives are getting LONG! It really isn't that bad, but I think making the trip in 2 days made it seem that way. Thank goodness, we received DVD TV show series to entertain us while driving. Not only did it keep us awake, but it made us laugh. Thank you Emily and Sam Jones for our Psych season (almost done!!) Next week, we are hoping that Pilots for Patients will be able to take us to Houston, but we will see! They have such an amazing organization and we are looking forward to meeting them.

I had one of my best weeks last week, as I had little to no body aches and very few side effects- it was great!!! The new side effect I am facing is not being able to be comfortable, temperature-wise. I am hot, then cold, hot, then cold, and the pattern continues. It is frustrating trying to sleep, sit in a car, and sleep, so I am hoping and praying this will subside soon. Once again, such little side effects compared to the normal, but figured I would tell you guys as much as I could. 

As you guys continue to pray for my healing and for God's will to be done through all of this, please continue to pray for my fertility. We are praying and believing Psalm 128, and over the last week or so, this has been on my mind a lot. 

As Christmas is a week away, I have thought much about Christ and the gift of Himself and how I want this Christmas to be different. God has chosen me, among all the other 24 year olds in the world to face this, right now, at this time in my life. I have thanked Him for choosing me as He has entrusted me to be the vessel I need to be to accomplish His perfect and divine will. I want to praise Him this Christmas. I want to be still in His presence and honor Him and be in awe of Him. I commit that this Christmas will be different and every Christmas hereafter. 

My prayer for every reader of this is that you make this Christmas different. I pray that we all get on our knees and praise and thank God for who He is and what He has done in our lives. I pray that if you find yourself far from God, that you humble yourself and seek Him with your whole heart. God is wanting to do a work through me, and it may be to reach you. So, if you are reading this, please, I beg you, and I know God is waiting on you--- come to Him. Seek Him. Repent. Please do your part on accomplishing a part of what God wants to accomplish through me. Join me in making this Christmas different. Thank God for your good health, your family, and friends, coworkers, boss, etc... Thank Him for the things that aren't going well in your life, as he is longing for you to cling to Him and seek Him so that he can do something amazing in and through you.

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:3-5 

Join me in rejoicing when trials come...

"Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." 2 Corin. 12:9

I am living proof of this verse...physically and spiritually. I have felt weak so rarely. I am so thankful that God promises me that His power and strength works best when I am weak. This is why when people say how well I am doing, I have to say it is not me!! God's strength is being made perfect. He is gets all the honor and praise.

I have the most amazing husband, the most supportive and loving family, and the absolute best friends in the entire world. Ironically, I feel the most blessed I ever have this Christmas. God loves me so much that He chose me to show His power and His love as he continues to heal my body according to His will. May we thank and praise God for all he has done this Christmas. As we struggle and go through trials, I pray we never forget all the things God has done for us---this verse has CARRIED me..please, cling to it.

Psalms 103:1-5 "Praise Yahweh, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Let us not forget his benefits!! One of my favorite worship songs is "Desert Song" by Brooke Fraser. My favorite line in the song is "All of my life, in every season, you are still God, and I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship." This is SO true of my life. I look back on every part of it. Every tragedy, heartbreak, crisis, sadness and God has been with me and taken care of me in EVERY season. I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ok, it is 2:15 in the morning and I am preaching a sermon!!!!! I promise I don't start writing intending to do that...ha:) I couldn't sleep and figured I would update you all. I better get to bed...LOVE YOU ALL!! Thank you for loving us!!!

Oh, I almost forgot, I will be debuting "Raquel" tomorrow, otherwise known as my wig:) The hair is just simply getting too thin. Even though the wig is a wig, it looks so much better than my current hair, so why not break it out. Hope you all like Raquel:) Pictures to come soon. Here is one from my 7th treatment!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ordering more Aly's Fight shirts

This is a guest post by Lee Taylor

Thank you so much to everyone who has bought an Aly's fight shirt. We have sold nearly 300 shirts thus far! The response has been amazing, and it has been such a blessing to see people wearing their shirts around town to support Aly. (If you have not received your shirt yet, please email to make sure that we get that shirt to you)

We will be making our next t-shirt order on Monday so get your orders in by Monday to make sure you have your Aly's Fight t-shirt.

T-shirts will cost $20, with all proceeds above cost, going to help Josh and Aly cover the increased expenses that come along with a situation like this.

There are always so many questions about shirts, so I hope the following information will answer most of your questions. If you have any further questions about sizes or orders, please email the t-shirt team at . We are all volunteers who have jobs, so please give us 24 to 48 hours to respond.

Ordering Process

Some have said the shirts fit slightly smaller than a normal athletic t-shirt. If you are concerned about which size to order then you may want to order one size larger than normal, but we can answer those questions if you email us at

PayPal and Credit Card instructions

1. To pay with PayPal or a credit card, please follow the link and enter the donation amount which covers the cost of your shirts.

2. The second step is to email
with the shirt sizes desired, and we will get you a
confirmation for your order.

To see the t-shirt follow the link below

If you wish to pay some way other than via card then arrangements can be made by emailing us at

Thanks for all your support,
Lee Taylor

P.S. A huge thanks to everyone who wore their shirts and took part in the CCS basketball benefit for Josh and Aly. It was an incredible night!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Round 6- check!

Treatment 6 done. Halfway through Taxol!!!!! Praise the Lord! We had a rather uneventful trip, which is a good thing. I came down this week with my mom and sister, and my brother- in- law came in yesterday. We relaxed and shopped and had chemo yesterday. My ANC came back at 1.47 which was definitely high enough to get chemo. I just pray it continues to stay that way...I know it will.

My neupogen shots should have been delivered to our house on Saturday, and I was to take one shot Saturday, one Sunday, and one Monday. Well, they did not come in and we are still waiting. I just got off the phone with the on-call pharmacist at the specialty pharmacy where we ordered the shots, and she said they did not get sent because the prescription was invalid. The only part lacking was the instructions on how to administer the shots! So frustrating, because we know what to do and to administer one each day for 3 days after chemo, but they cannot fill the prescription without all of the information. This totally makes sense, but just wish someone would have called me so we could have done something about it.

These shots are important for not only keeping my immunity up, but for my counts to be high enough to get chemo on schedule. I am to call my doctor and the pharmacy first thing in the morning to try and get all of this straightened out. I know everything will end up ok, it is just hard to know you need a shot and you can't get it!

Once we get all of this figured out, they will be delivered to us weekly, which will be much easier than going up to MD Anderson or another hospital.

Please pray I can get a shot tomorrow and that my ANC will not you all. I am so thankful for a good week of really was great. I don't want that to be overshadowed by my frustration with the shot issues... I know you all will be praying that I get my shots..THANK YOU!

Here is a pic from #6!

UPDATE 8:25 p.m.

When we posted this, we got a call within minutes that allowed me to get the neupogen shot tonight. Wow, the hand of God and His favor is upon us. Whoever read this and prayed immediately, I cannot and will never be able to thank you enough. We also will be able to get it tomorrow and Tuesday. So, I'm only one day late, as opposed to 2 or 3 like we thought it could be.

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation--so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?"

God is taking care of me and He is hearing all of our prayers. I have always known God hears us when we pray, but WOW! I will not be afraid...the one who holds my world in His hands is the One I trust. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finally headed home!!!!

We are so glad to be headed home! We thought we would be home a week ago, so we are ready to be home. We went to a church service last night so we could head home right after my shot this morning...did I say we are glad to be heading home?!

I know you guys already know because of Josh's post, but ISNT GOD SO GOOD!?!! I can't begin to describe the weight that has been taken off of me. What I knew God was doing in my body has been proven. Others now know what I already knew...God is healing me and will continue to until I am cancer-free!!!! Oh my goodness, what a day that will be!

The last ultrasound I had was the one when they saw the suspicious lymph nodes and did an immediate biopsy that came back positive for cancer. To say that laying on that ultrasound table is unnerving, is such an understatement. I get undressed and lay on the bed for about 15 minutes, then a lady comes in and does the ultrasound...she literally does not say a word as she measures the lymph nodes on the screen. I am praying the entire time, resisting the devil and thanking God for good results. Once again though, doubts can fill my mind. Has it spread? Is that why she's not talking? Is it not responding? Maybe thats why it's taking her so long to measure...thoughts like these run through my mind. Thankfully, I have the power of the Holy Spirit and I can combat those negative thoughts with God's word. She finally leaves and tells me that the radiologist will come in to give me the results. I wait for another 15 minutes. Tears streaming down my face, praying and believing for good results. The radiologist finally comes in and tells me there seems to be a 25% improvement...I so badly wanted Josh in the room with me for this, but they don't allow you to have anyone come back. Yes, it was lonely and scary, but such amazing moments with me and my Heavenly Father..vulnerable, desperate, trusting, and resting in His presence. As the radiologist left the room, I just praised God over and over.

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and He will flee from you." James 4:7

Dr. Morrow was thrilled at the response and she is just so great. I will be taking 3 shots for 3 days after each treatment to help with the ANC level. It is amazing that I haven't gotten sick with my levels so low. God is surrounding me as a shield.

"He is my hiding place and my shield. I hope in His word." Psalm 119:114

"But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head." Psalm 3:3

We met with my reconstructive surgeon and we discussed what we would do come surgery time. Lots and lots of new information. We loved my doctor and we will meet with them again probably around March or April. Reconstruction will happen 6 months to a year after radiation.

Considering everything, we have actually had a good couple of weeks. I was able to spend some much needed quality time with Josh and we had a great few days with my mom and Ms. Renea. We have shopped, rested, and Josh and I even got a massage. My sister and my mom blessed us with a massage, and it was amazing. We got some Christmas shopping done and it feels good to have some of that underway.

These last 2 weeks have been the worst I have felt thus far. I still feel ok, but many headaches...please pray this subsides. I am so thankful and blessed to only be having few side effects. The neupogen shots have caused my lower back and body to ache, along with the headaches. It comes in waves and right now, I feel great, but that has been a struggle. Overall, I am so thankful to feel like I have been.

We have been staying with one of my mom's friends, Ms. Tammy and she and her family are so great. We had a blast visiting with them last night. God has put such a desire in Josh and I to do for others what has been done for us. I think I have already said this, but it just keeps being planted in us over and over. We want to give. We want to serve. We want to go way out of our way for others in ways that may seem over the top.

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me." Matthew 25:35

We have been so taken care of. Thank you for loving us!!!!

Getting one of my neupogen shots.

                                                     Treatment 5 done!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Aly's Fight T-shirts!! and a benefit game this week!

This is a guest post by Lee Taylor

I know that everyone has been waiting to hear word about the Aly's Fight T-shirts. We just picked them up today, and I think they look AMAZING!! It is going to be so cool to see people around town supporting Aly and hearing about her story... or better yet her testimony!

We will be dividing up the shirts between now and Monday and then figuring out a plan to get them in your hands. We will post that information by Monday evening. If you have any questions please send them to There are some extras available, but I am sure that they will go fast.

Secondly, the Claiborne Christian School varsity basketball teams have dedicated this season to Aly. Their coach, Robert Mitchum, and the team also decided to dedicate their first game this Tuesday night, December 6 to Aly. All proceeds from the game will go to benefit Aly and Josh as they continue this fight. This is an incredible gesture and is all the more meaningful because of Aly's history as a cheer coach and Josh as a basketball coach. This will be a great night. More info on the game can be found in the video below. Admission is $5 and the games start at 6:00 PM.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bam!!!! White blood cells galore and shrinkage!

Aly had the ultra sound this afternoon and we found out that the lymph nodes are down 25% which is great! The last ultra sound Aly had was where our journey took quite a turn so to have a great experience now is much better.

Aly's blood count came back 1.68 which is only .02 low and is plenty high enough to get chemo today. Aly is much happier now, I was scared for the doctors safety if she told my wife she couldn't have chemo.

We are truly blessed with Dr Morrow, Aimee and Courtney. Certainly not all the people but the ones we really run into.

So we have to stay in Houston to get neupogin shots the next three days and will come home Sunday. Aly will now get neupogin shots for three days following each chemo treatment which should help solve the low white blood cell count.

Aly told the doc that the nupogen shot in the belly hurt her back and the doc asked did you think about taking your pain medicine and of course Aly the beast didn't even think about it. To that the doc just stared at Aly and said are you kidding me.

God is working through my incredible wife.

Cancer: we now have evidence that you are losing, the snowball is rolling I would get out of the way if I were you.