"When you have recurrent laryngeal cancer that just won't take no for an answer, you have a lot of time to think about death," it begins. "The good thing is I no longer have to worry about saving for retirement, paying off student loans, or trying not to get skin cancer.”
Despite the physical and mental trials the illness put her through, Ashley believes it taught her “to let go of the insignificant things and to just enjoy the people and places.”
According to GoErie.com, Ashley was first diagnosed in June 2017 after chronic throat pain and hoarseness lead her doctors to find cancerous growths on her vocal cords. After 29 radiation treatments, she was cleared of the disease, but then it returned a few months later and she underwent a partial laryngectomy.
In August 2018, Ashley was delivered more bad news: she’d developed mucoepidermoid carcinoma (cancer of the salivary glands.) This resulted in a total laryngectomy in September 2018, as well as 30 radiation and five chemotherapy treatments. But in March 2019 the cancer came back a fourth time, leaving her with limited treatment options.
"After I found out my cancer was back for the fourth time, I went to Mexico and saw Chichen Itza," Ashley wrote. "I am extremely grateful for the life that I lived. I was fortunate to have a loving family, supportive friends, a stable and meaningful job, and a house to call my own."
She ended her obituary with some sage life advice for those left behind: don’t let "insignificant situations stress you out.”
"Do what is important to you,” she concluded. “Relax and enjoy the company of those around you. What do you value in your life? In the end, that’s what matters.”
Since being posted on her Legacy.com page, the obituary has had received hundreds of comments and condolences.
“Thank you Ashley for those profound and beautiful words,” one person wrote. “I never had the privilege to meet you, but your story is a story of hope and inspiration. Thank you for reminding the world of what matters most. Rest Peacefully,”