Surgery Is Complete!

Hi all:
Great news – Ashley is completely out of surgery! The plastic surgery (Dr. Mackay) portion went according to plan. She is awake and in recovery now. After an hour or so, Mark will be able to see her. Please continue to pray for her recovery as well as the determination of how many chemo treatments she will have.
We serve a mighty God! Thank you for praying without ceasing this morning for Ashley and her family. I will continue to update you as the day goes on.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
-Rachael

Cancer Is Removed!

Hi everyone:
I wanted to let you know that Dr. Steinhaus has completed her part of the surgery. This means the cancer has been removed! The lymph-nodes that were cancerous have been taken out as well as the ones surrounding it. Ashley and Mark will get results on 3/31 to tell them how many chemo treatments she will need. Please keep praying for the least amount possible!
As of now, plastic surgery is taking place. Ashley has about an hour and half left of surgery.
Thank you all for continuing to pray!
In His grip,
Rachael

Surgery Has Begun

UPDATE: As of 7:45am, surgery has started. Join us as we pray for the least amount or miraculously no cancer in the lymph-nodes.
“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭MSG
Thank you for praying!
-Rachael

Updates From Rachael

Good morning! I will be posting updates through the day today on here as well as the facebook page. Thank you for praying for Ashley’s surgery today!
The Lord gave me this verse at 4:30am today and I think it just perfect for today. Join in on praying for Ashley in the name of the Lord!
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:10‬ ‭AMP‬‬
UPDATE: As of 5:30am, Mark and Ashley have arrived at the hospital. Please pray for the check in process as well as pre-op to go smoothly. To start the day, we can pray this verse over Ashley – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
In His mighty grip,
Rachael

Surgery Week

Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for all your sweet well wishes, emails, texts, prayers, and love this week. I wanted to give you a bit of an update and answer the questions I am receiving most.
Mom and Dad arrive this evening. They left the day of my original biopsy, February 8, so I haven’t hugged their necks since my diagnosis – I am anticipating quite the emotional reunion.
Wednesday I have to be down at this hospital by 1:00. First, I see my plastic surgeon, Dr. Mackay, for him to mark me. Then at 2:00 I go for the dye injection. They said this could take a few hours. The hospital campus I am having my surgery at is about 45-60 minutes away from where we live so we decided to stay down at a hotel by the hospital Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning I have to check-in at 5:30. The surgery is scheduled to start at 7:30 and last about 4-5 hours. Afterwards they keep me for another 2 hours before Mark will be allowed to see me. So I probably won’t be in recovery room until 2:00 in the afternoon.
Right now I should be able to be discharged 24 hours after I am put in recovery – so home probably by late Friday afternoon. I have an appointment with Dr. Zelnak, my oncologist, the morning of 3/31 where I should be able to find out the pathology results which will determine post-surgery treatment.
We did move this past weekend. What a whirlwind ride. We came in the house to beautiful and generous gifts from neighbors we haven’t even met yet. We were blown away. Friday night I went to bed in tears thinking what in the world have we done. There is no way I can unpack and make this place feel like a home for my boys in 5 days. I was overwhelmed with how much there was to be done. But Saturday from 9-4 we had about 10-12 people (coming and going throughout that time) helping us unpack. We got the boys rooms all set up, drapes hung, kitchen unpacked and organized, boxes unpacked, and even lunch provided. When the boys arrived it immediately felt like their home. Even the play room was all set up perfectly. Saturday night I was able to sleep in peace knowing that this was our home.
Monday I went to my last Leaders Council meeting for CBS (Community Bible Study – I spoke of CBS in an earlier post. Hopefully if you are new to this site you have gone back to read all my previous posts, but if not check out CBS. Doesn’t matter your Bible knowledge, your gender, your occupation, or even your religion/denomination. It is a world-wide ministry so there is probably one in your area. If you do anything (besides pray for me) find a CBS class in your area to join and you will have made me happy). Anyway, the ladies prayed over me. It’s fitting that I got ‘the call’ on a Wednesday morning at CBS and the entire class surrounded and prayed over me. And on Monday at Leaders Council the entire leadership team surrounded and prayed over me. I felt sent out to surgery fully covered and protected in prayer.
The love and support that continues to flood in (and I mean like a rushing flood, not a gentle trickle) is so humbling and overwhelming. We have no idea how we are even going to pay everyone back for their time, resources, money, support, and love. God has blessed us with such amazing friends and family both locally and far away. A sweet friend said, “Ashley, it’s just a testament to how you and Mark have loved and served everyone in your life that they are actually repaying you – this is their pay back to you.” <Insert humbling ugly cry now!>
This is Easter Week – the week God provided hope to a hurting world. I’m still not scared and have no fear. How? Because I serve a Savior who isn’t dead in a cave, but a Savior who is ALIVE and reigning from his throne. Why should I be scared? What do I have to be fearful of? A few thousand years ago Jesus said, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26:39) Yet! Yet I want your will not mine. Do I want to do this? No! I wish I could said, “Actually God, I’d rather have what’s behind door #2 please”. But when I think about it do I really want what’s behind the next door? Probably not. It might be easier, yes, or it could be harder or worse. So I say, if it is your will Lord please take this cancer away. Please free me (and my family) from suffering through this time. Heal me in a miraculous way. YETeven if you don’t I will proclaim that I trust you and I want your will to be done more than mine. (I mean he’s the one that created the world and predicted his own death and resurrection and actually rose from the dead – the last thing I created was an Excel spreadsheet and I can’t predict nothing – so I think I’m gonna go with and follow him).
So as you celebrate Easter this week. As you remember the hope that was given to you this week by an actual event in history occurring about 2,000 years ago: be encouraged. Receive his gift of life and hope by trusting that he died on ‘the ol’ rugged cross’ as the ultimate sacrifice to pardon all of your sins so that you could spend eternity with the one that loves you most.
Enjoy the fun of Easter with your children hunting for eggs and eating candy. But more importantly, rest in the peace and hope that was the purpose of the first Easter.
And if you don’t have a church home to worship this Easter feel free to watch with me (I’ll be tuning in from my bedroom this weekend): http://northpointonline.tv (They have services being broadcasted all weekend: Saturday at 4:30p & 6:30p and Sunday at 9a, 11a, 2p, 4p, 6p, 8p, & midnight. (all times est)

A Few Announcements

Good morning!
I hope you are having a great week. I have a few things to announce to you all!
1. Team AJ Wallpaper: If you have an iPhone or Android phone, we’ve created a screensaver for you to make your wallpaper. You can download it by clicking here. If you have any trouble with this, please email and I can send it to you via email. My contact info will be at the bottom of this message.
2. Meals for the Jansen Family: On the calendar you will now see dates available to provide a meal for the family. To sign up you simply click on the date and chose to volunteer. Make sure that you then write in the comment field what you will be bringing them. That way we don’t have to worry about duplicates. There are also a few dates that you can sign up to bring them their bi-weekly groceries.
3. Necklace Order: In the next week or two, we plan to order a personalized necklace that’s being designed in honor of Ashley. It will most likely be around $15-20. If you are interested in purchasing one, please click here to submit your name and contact information. When it comes time to order, we will reach out to you.
Last but not least, I have TWO reminders. There are still a few spots to sign up to pray for Ashley at specific times during the day. You can see that sign-up here. And together we are so close at covering some of the out-of-pocket costs. If you would still like to give, you can do that by clicking here.
As always, if you have any questions let me know! Thank you for the prayers, love, and support you are providing to the Jansen family.
In His grip,
Rachael Walkup
Cell: 770.402.8559
Email: rachaelwalkup@gmail.com

An Update & A Thank You

Hello,
I will say I had this written and then some how it erased – off into cyber space somewhere. Frustrating, but it will probably end up being shorter so I guess that’s good for you.
I wanted to give you an update on some more results, upcoming doctor appointments, and what the future may hold.
As you know I tested negative for BRCA 1 & 2. After these results they sent my DNA to be tested in a separate gene panel and in my phone consult this morning with the genetic counselor I found out that the second panel was also negative. So that is all very good news and makes my diagnosis of breast cancer at the age of 36 completely random. Well random to scientists, but not random to the Great Physician.
I do not have any upcoming doctor appointments or tests. I will not see any of my doctor’s until my surgery on 3/24. This is a wonderful reprieve but at the same time does cause a little bit of anxiety. Until now I have had little milestones to meet whether it be a doctor consult, a test, a blood draw, but now the only thing left is the (as my dad says) ‘John Wayne’ event. The big deal is all we are waiting for.
So what happens after surgery? I have received this question quite a bit. Well we will have to wait for the pathology report to know the results of the tumor as well as how many lymph nodes have cancer. Right now my MRI results see two enlarged and my PET scan only showed one. Dr. Steinhaus will take probably 4-6 out. If 3 or less show positive for cancer then I will start a 12 week cycle with 4 chemo treatments. If 4 or more show positive for cancer then I will start a 20 week cycle with 16 chemo treatments. After this 20 week cycle I would have radiation. Obviously, we want you to be praying that it is in 3 or less lymph nodes. Let’s just pray big and pray that no lymph nodes are involved at all.
After treatment is complete then I will go in for my follow-up plastic surgery where they will do the implant transfer and complete my reconstruction. After both my initial and follow-up surgeries I am unable to lift anything over 10 lbs (read: Garrett) for at least 8 weeks. We will have mom, my mother-in-law, sister, and friends living with us off and on to help take care of me as well as G-man.
I have received many emails, FB tags, phone calls, and had conversations regarding alternate treatment options. We received some great advice (from Bill) and he told Mark: You be the researcher and you always need to know more than she does. (And I have stayed off WebMD and all google searches by the way). As much as I know that this is all out of love and care Mark and I are trusting his research, our doctors, our second opinion, and what we feel at peace in doing. So this will be our treatment path going forward.
The second part of this post I wanted to say Thank You. We are overwhelmed and humbled by all of your love and support. The prayer schedule that Rachael set-up is just amazing and I love to look at it and pray for you at the same time you are praying for me. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it you can click here. We cannot believe the GoFundMe page that Jeni set up for us. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it you can click here. All the friends (Kelli, Jeni, Rachael, Katey, Catherine, Sarah Ashley, Kimberly, and I’m sure more I’m forgetting) and my Mother-in-law who has picked up, brought home, kept for a play date, or came over to babysit one or more of our boys to allow me to go to all these doctor’s appointments and have these tests run is just amazing. We could not have done it without you. We have had boxes and packing materials delivered to our house. We have had meals brought over starting the night of my diagnosis up through, well forever more I’m told. My friend Jeni flew with Garrett to Texas to drop him off with my parents so that we could be toddler-free and get packing done. We found favor with our sellers and they are allowing us to bring things over to the basement and garage before we close. Mark brought over the first load last night and we had 6 guys (new neighbors that we do not even know) show up to help him unload. Our new neighborhood is just amazing already and showing us such love and support – we can’t wait to get to know all of them. We have had all sorts of cards and gifts mailed to us which has been such an encouragement. The spear-head so-to-speak to a lot of these things has been my bestie Rachael Walkup. She is who set up this website, is in the process of setting up a meal calendar and care calendar, scheduled a surprise Girls Night Out for me at my favorite Tex-Mex place, has carpool for the rest of the school year for my boys all set-up and based on some questions she has asked me recently I think she may have more up her sleeve as well. It’s just amazing to see the foundation of your friendships during your time of need and witness the body of Christ at work.
Now I can’t do thank you’s without mentioning Mark. (cue rolled eyes and romantic music now). I told him recently that he has been such an amazing example of how Christ loves and serves the church. That’s the purpose and goal of marriage and he has embodied that for me. I see it everyday. He is relying on the peace-maker and peace-giver throughout all of this. He is carrying a lot. He makes the phone calls to the insurance company, the hospitals, the doctors, etc. He still handles his roles as employee, father, and husband (and friend by the way – he has continued to be an amazing friend to others – calling them to check on them). He’s coaching Luke’s soccer team. Oh and by the way did I mention we are packing and moving? But my guy is a champ. He’s handling it all with the utmost grace and I’m so proud to call him mine!
I want to close this book of an update (that I’ve already written twice) with one last point. As you know we have a toddler toddling around our house. And with a toddler it’s pretty hard to keep windows clean. There are always little fingerprints on them. Keeping that in mind I wrote this in my journal last week: “But what makes the craziness not chaotic is that You are so involved.  Your hands and fingerprints are all over everything.  It’s like when I look out the back door window and it’s clear the hand prints all over it scream “Garrett has been here”.  Some are smudged.  Some are full on hand prints.  Some are just finger tips.  But it’s obvious.  That’s how this whole adventure has been.  Screaming “God has been here”.  “Holy Spirit involved”.  “Jesus has made his mark known.”
So be encouraged members of Team AJ. He’s got this. He’s not surprised. He is very much involved. And the next time you look out a window and see a hand print (before you wipe it clean) remember that He has his hand print on your life too. You can look out the window and take in the big picture and the hand print not really distract or bother you – what you are looking at is clear and the hand print gets lost in your gaze. But if you change your focus and concentrate on the hand print itself you can see all the finger lines and smudges and the big picture is what gets a little blurry and out of focus. This is the picture of God’s hand print. If you focus on the big picture, it can become overwhelming and God’s hand print gets lost in the gaze. But if you change your focus and look at the details of His hand print on your life you can be at peace, there is no fear, and you can be thankful and encouraged for where you are. You can see Him working and stay focused on Him.
I am at peace. I have no fear. I am thankful and encouraged for where I am. I see him working daily. And I’m choosing to stay focused on Him.
Love to you all,
Ashley

Praying For Ashley

Good afternoon:
First, I just wanted to say thank you for joining this website. I’m so glad you want to be in the know about prayers, needs, and praises for the Jansen family. Over the next month, there will start to be needs posted on here. If you ever have questions on anything you are welcome to reach out to me anytime. My contact information is below.
The reason I’m sending out this message is because I set up a sign up sheet for specific times to pray for Ashley everyday. There are 4 openings per time slot from 5am to midnight. All you have to do is a pick a time that you can commit to praying for Ashley everyday and then write you name in next to that time.
Thank you in advance for the ways you love and support the Jansen family.
Anchored in Christ,
Rachael Walkup
Cell: 770.402.8559
Email: rachaelwalkup@gmail.com