Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest Post - Heather Von st James

I got an interesting email from this lady asking if she could do a guest post on my blog.  I suppose this means I might be a mini-bit famous now?  Any way, she is:

Heather Von St. James

Courageous mother, wife and survivor of mesothelioma cancer.


Optimism in Tough Times
The dictionary says that an optimist is a person who looks on the favorable side of things, or a person who is hopeful and confident. However, my friends like to joke that my picture should be beside the word optimist in the dictionary! In a way, it's true. I have always been a cheerful, positive person, and can usually make others smile in tough situations.
At the age of 36, my optimism was tested in a way that I never expected. That year started off wonderfully with the birth of my first and only child, a beautiful baby girl. Just 3 1/2 months later, I heard the words I never thought I would hear: "You have cancer." When you are faced with life's toughest challenges, you have an important decision to make. You can become bitter, angry and depressed, or you can get up, brush yourself off and get ready to fight. I was determined not to lose my positive attitude, and decided to fight this disease with everything that I had.
I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I was blessed to find one of the world's leading mesothelioma doctors to treat me. I had full confidence in my physician, and agreed to schedule my lung removal surgery for Groundhog's Day in 2006. My family and I decided to call Groundhog's Day Lungleavin Day instead, to remember the day of my successful surgery. To complete the nicknames, we affectionately referred to my tumor as Punxsutawney Phil. As a cancer survivor, it is important to remember your journey. Each year, I still celebrate Lungleavin Day with those who are closest to me. It is a special time to reflect on our blessings and the lessons learned through my battle with cancer.
At times, cancer has been both my best friend and my worst enemy. However, I can honestly say that I would not change one thing about my life, including my cancer diagnosis. It was through this disease that I found out that I could be strong, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles. I am proud of the way that I journeyed through cancer, and I am thankful to say that I am still able to look on the bright side of life.
Many people that I had the privilege to meet during my cancer journey have now become my lifelong friends. We are forever bonded because of our common journey, and we are now united in our desire to help others. We are young and old, male and female, rich and poor, but our hearts have been knit together thanks to our cancer battles. I want to spend the rest of my life giving hope to others who are dealing with cancer.

1 comment:

austingurl said...

first: you are an amazing woman. I have not had cancer myself but My mother did (12 years ago this month she had a lumpectomy on her left breast) and the journey she went through was both terrifying and wonderful. She is a stronger woman for it, and so am I. I was 12 when it happened and a very shy Im 23 and not shy at all! lol.

Second: go you Giggigoofer! you win 10 Internets and lots of yarn for having a guest blog!