Hola, I’m Ashley Mena, nice to meet you.
Let’s see, I thought I’d tell you about myself. I’m a lover of life (the big things and the smallest of details), wife to a gorgeous and selfless husband, mama to two delightful girls, daughter of generous and dedicated parents, and friend to many incredible people.
Actually, I am a lot of things and hopeful and bright are just two more on the list.
And I’m a cancer survivor. Well, I’m surviving cancer.
I was diagnosed a few days after the bright fireworks on the 4th of July in 2018. It was quite a shock, as loud and blinding as the ‘boom’ overhead, that’s what I felt in my head anyway when I heard the news. But cancer is only one part of my beautiful story of life.
I grew up in a farming community in a family of tulip farmers in Mount Vernon, Washington. I left for a few years to college in California and then had a little life in Portland where both my daughters were born.
Miguel (remember my gorgeous and selfless husband) is a lineman who works on powerlines to keep the lights on for our community (thanks, babe). I think he’s one of the best, he’s so dedicated to making sure people have their lights on in any storm and any emergency to ensure they’re safe and taken care of. Kind of like with this ‘storm’ called cancer.
My daughters (ages 4 and 2) are honestly little lights in and of themselves. I can see it in their eyes when they laugh, in their hearts when they share, and there’s a bit of extra electricity when they want just one more handful of Pirate’s Booty!
Lights. Lights. Lights on Cancer. Light reveals what’s in the dark. What couldn’t previously be seen… like the tumours involved in my Stage IV Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma disease. Lights on Cancer is meant to shine on my journey, on a story that’s honestly at times pretty difficult… but must be told. You’re welcome to come along -- let’s turn the lights on and shine.
So, that’s a bit about me. Again, it’s nice to meet you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining this journey with me.