Some people will take any opportunity to make others smile and light up their day. Some people like to make the best of a bad situation, too. One woman in Tennessee has been doing both after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 38.
Ashley Hensley discovered a lump last fall during a self-check. She originally wanted to write it off, but she changed her mind. It’s a good thing she did because it was cancer, and it was caught early. After two surgeries, she began radiation, where she planned to take pictures for each treatment. That’s when things got silly.
Hensley told WBIR in Knoxville, “Initially, I started out and holding up number one, then two for treatment number two, and then somebody said, ‘Well, you’re gonna run out of fingers,’ so we just started trying to do funny stuff. If you give me an opportunity to dress up for a picture, I’m going to take it.”
From staging popcorn pictures to becoming The Hulk to sprouting a third eye on her forehead, Hensley really let loose. A quick scroll through her Instagram is sure to produce a few giggles. There were some pictures that stood out more than others, though.
She said, “I took a White Claw into the room one day and a little tanning shield. That was more in my prop phase, but we did a Bride of Frankenstein one that I think might be my favorite.”
The effort was partially to cheer herself up. She also really wanted to bring some much needed humor to others facing the same diagnosis. Her hope is that she makes the process a little less scary for at least one person. Her husband Nick, who has helped with photo editing, says he sees the difference his wife has made to other patients.
He explains, “It’s evident when we go to her treatments, the smile she brings to these people’s faces. So that feels really good that I’m married to somebody who’s able to do something like that.”
Nick also says this behavior is par for the course for Ashley, calling her a glowing ball of positivity.
While she’s enjoyed her silly picture adventure, she’s definitely looking forward to the end of treatment.
She says, “I think I’m going to be so happy to just be done with treatment. I’m going to ring that bell and I’m just going to radiate right on out of there.”
Her fellow patients will surely miss her goofiness and bright spirit.
To hear more about her story, check out the video from WBIR below.
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