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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heather’s Story…Guest Post

Heather Von St. JamesIf you ask anyone who knows me well, they would tell you that I am an optimist. I've been optimistic throughout my life. Whether I was having a good day or a terrible day, I could almost always find a way to keep smiling and make others around me smile as well. However, my optimism would be severely tested when I turned 36. The year started out to be the happiest year of my life, thanks to the birth of my beautiful baby girl. Three and a half months after her birth, I received my shocking cancer diagnosis.


On November 21, 2005, I found out that I had a deadly form of cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma. Hearing the phrase "You have cancer" was truly surreal. No one can ever be prepared for cancer, and my diagnosis was unexpected and shocking. At first, my body froze and I felt numb. However, I soon realized that I had a choice to make in this process. Was I going to blame God and become bitter, or could I make the decision to fight with courage and optimism? I looked into my baby girl's face and instantly knew that I had to fight this disease with everything that I had. I summoned my inner strength and proceeded with hope.
It probably sounds like a strange thing to say, but so many good things have happened as a result of my cancer. There have been dark days in this journey, but the down times have given me valuable life lessons that have changed me as a person. I met other patients who seemed to have no hope, so I determined that I would find a way to encourage and uplift other patients. This goal gave me a sense of purpose on my hardest days. My incredible physician contributed to my positive attitude. Since he was the world's leading
mesothelioma doctor was confident that my treatment would be successful. My surgeon scheduled my tumor removal operation for Groundhog's Day in 2006. My tumor quickly became known as Punxsutawney Phil thanks to my surgery date! In fact, we also renamed Groundhog's Day, and now call it Lungleavin Day, since that was the day my lung was removed. My family celebrates Lungleavin Day every year. During this special party, we remember all the gifts we have been given through this cancer journey. It reminds us to choose hope and believe in the power of optimism.
My greatest gifts throughout this cancer process are the wonderful friends that I have made. I cannot imagine my life without these incredible people. We have laughed together and cried together, and now we work together to spread awareness for the disease that has affected each of us and our families. ~ Heather


Thank you so much for coming over to read Heathers Inspirational Story…She is a pretty amazing woman! Please visit Heathers Blog by clicking here.  I’m sure she would love to hear from you as well! xoox, tracie

14 comments:

Japolina said...

Inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it

miss flibbertigibbet said...

How inspiring! Thanks for sharing.
Lorraine

Lavender Cottage said...

Heather's story is very inspiring and I'm sure she lives each day to the fullest.
Judith

NanaDiana said...

I read about her on another blog, too. Amazing story, isn't it? xo Diana

Kate said...

I have Heathers blog on my side bar yes she truly is an inspiration and such an amazing woman. Have a wonderful week

xoxo
Kate

Terry said...

Heather is an inspiration for us all. I can't imagine going though what she did, but by the grace of God she is here to help others and tell us her story.

pballard said...

Thanks so much for sharing her story. Glad to find her blog. I know we all know someone with or have had cancer in our lives. I am following this amazing story here if you would like to read it. She is amazing.
http://lovingonshawna.com/

Sandi said...

Very inspirational Tracie! What an amazing woman.
Blessings~

Rachel Pallas said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Heather.You are a brave woman. Blessings to you and your family. :) Rachel

Hibiscus House said...

Traci Thanks for sharing Heather's story. It is very inspiring. God bless her.
Dolly

awal.ny said...

What a wonderful uplifting attitude she has. I think having a positive attitude helps tremendously.

Petite Michelle Louise said...

Heather is a truly inspirational, brave and amazing person! Thank you Tracie for sharing her with us!!

jewels in the garden +: ) said...

Tracie thank you for sharing Heather's inspiring story. My daughter just finished a year of chemo for breast cancer and is now going through tests to determine if nodules in her lung are cancer. It's been a difficult year but her strength and positive outlook keeps us who love her strong as well. She has 2 little ones who keep her smiling through the dark days. Blessings,
Julie

Junkstylediva said...

Inspiring story! I am also a cancer survivor andd its nice to read positive stories of survival from others.