Uglier than an August outhouse struck by lightin' and meaner than a sizzlin' skillet full of rattlesnakes, the demonic monster can rear it's satanic head when ya least expect it. The joy of a new life and the hope of a perfect family is every gal's dream . At least it was for this precious new mama 'till the wicked beast rocked her world like Teen Town on a Saturday night. This courageous woman geared up for battle armin' herself to fight the diabolical cancer of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.
Folks, I'd like to introduce ya'll to my guest poster. She's fought Satan himself and is here to tell her remarkable story. I'm pleased as punch for ya'll to meet Heather Von St. James, Mesothelioma survivor. Welcome sweetie...............
I've always viewed the world through rose colored glasses. This became an important aspect of my personality when I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 36. Nothing in my life had prepared me for that moment and I had an important decision to make: to choose between despair or to choose life.
I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma 3 1/2 months after giving birth to my first and only child. It was November 21, 2005. I was unprepared to hear the words "you got cancer" during such a joyous time. Instead of wallowing in self pity and blaming the stars for my fate, I decided to keep my head up and continue viewing the world through rose colored glasses. I couldn't let down my baby. She had the right to be raised by her mother.
One thing that may surprise many people is the positive aspect of cancer. Naturally, it is one of the worst diagnoses you can receive but it really helped to change my life for the better. I wasn't going to allow myself to be a victim so I tried to treat the situation lightly. This would help to remove a lot of the fear of the diagnosis and give me a chance to help others by giving them hope. The world's best mesothelioma doctor was also there to give me the hope I needed to go on.
I actually gave my tumor a nickname: Punxsutawney Phil. My surgery was to occur on Groundhogs Day, 2006. Groundhogs Day became "Lungleavin Day" as this was the day I lost my lung. We still celebrate "Lungleavin Day" on the first weekend of every February. This is not a celebration of the loss of my lung but a celebration of my survival and a celebration of life and of defeating fear. It is a hopeful celebration and I look forward to it every year.
Another great positive of my cancer diagnosis is all the wonderful people I have met after my diagnosis and during my treatment. These people are some of the strongest, most hopeful and passion filled people in my life. They inspire me daily and keep me happy and hopeful. I have met other survivors of mesothelioma, people going through their treatments, people trying to inform the public of the dangers of this disease and many others. These people who I hadn't known before are now my friends.
As incredible as it may seem, my cancer diagnosis and survival has enriched my life by introducing me to these amazing people and giving my life more purpose. I hope to continue inspiring others and giving hope to other mesothelioma patients for years to come.
I have to confess, This Ozark Farm Chick is cookin' on the front burner today after readin' the the positive attitude of this beautiful strong woman. The odds were not in her favor and I know that Heather had to be scared as a sinner in a Ozark twister but this little lady has earned alotta stars in her crown. She's turned her bowl of lemons 'round and put Satan under her feet by dedicatin' her life to helpin' others with this horrific cancer. Please take time to visit this extraordinary gal at "The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. "
Thank you Heather for sharin' your miraculous story which has tugged at the heartstrings of others as it has mine. Just like Praise Workout who sang this amazin' worship song from the 1995 Brownsville Revival era, she knows ya don't have to be in Pensacola, Florida to stomp out the old devil. Heather can now truly sing that she's been to the "Enemy's Camp!!!"
God bless and keep you Heather and never let go of those 'rose colored glasses'!!!
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