Monday, January 23, 2012

ENEMY'S CAMP (Guest Post)

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.

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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'!!!

121 comments:

  1. What a remarkable story, what a remarkable lady!
    Thank you for sharing Heather!

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  2. Thanks for sharing Heather's story with us. What an inspiring, brave and beautiful lady.

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  3. An amazing story about an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing the inspiration of Heather with all of us!

    =)

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  4. What an incredible story of faith and hope. The family photo at the end says it all.

    Thanks, Nezzy, for sharing Heather's story.

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  5. Absolutely amazing. There aren't adjectives to describe how inspiring this is.

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  6. God is GREAT!!! Bless you Heather & your precious family. May He continue to hold His healing hands upon you. Your strength & faith are incredible.

    Thank you sweet Nezzy for sharing this wonderful story ... it gives us all a boost in strength & our faith that He carries us thru these moments with those Rose Colored Glasses.

    Have a beautiful week.
    Love to you sweet friend
    TTFN ~
    Marydon

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  7. What an amazing woman! And she had something to fight for--that beautiful little girl and a loving husband. So nice to hear a happy ending. Thanks for sharing, Nezzy and Heather. :)

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  8. What a battle, gives me the chills! God bless her and may she be the oldest, sweetest grandma ever! :D

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  9. I too thank you for sharing the story of that amazing woman. It is a much needed reminder for me to always be thankful for what I have and also to be thankful for what I don't have. In the good and the bad there are always ways to be thankful to our dear Lord. My thoughts and prayers go out to this wonderful young lady. Keeping the faith we trudge on.

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  10. What an inspiring story! Great guest post :-)

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  11. A wonderful story! The best defense against cancer is a good attitude.

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  12. Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!!

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  13. I have read her story before. She is amazing. She also is right about being diagnosed can change your life. Sure makes you look at the world differently and to appreciate each birthday no matter what the numbers are.

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    1. An amazing women , such spirit and strength. Thanks for sharing this incredable story with us . Last picture tells all !

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  14. Than you for sharing this very inspiring story, Nezzy. I still have to plac her button on my sidebar but I haven,t had the time since I have been babysitting lots of grand kids....Christine

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  15. What a wonderful heartfelt post; an amazing lady. I have often heard that God only gives what he knows you are able to get through. After reading this,I can see Heather was strong enough and was able to conquer this devil.Sending good vibes to you and your family from Canada; God Bless.
    Thank you Nezzy; it was a good thing!
    Rita

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  16. What a amazing story.....thanks for sharing it with us....xxx...

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  17. She is a strong woman! I am so glad that she survived this!

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  18. What a strong and courageous woman. God had to save you. The world needed you and your world did for sure.

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  19. A beautiful story! We too have a survivor in our family (leukemia) and you have no idea how many times we sang that song.....Enemies Camp.
    I am thankful for the determination that it takes to be a survivor and I am thankful for this wonderful post that your friend wrote today. A reminder that God is in Control....NOT the enemy.
    blessings to her and her family....

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  20. She is truly amazing and those rose colored glasses??? I need to borrow a pair!

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  21. Wow - what a story of courage and a positive attitude. Thanks for sharing your story, Heather!

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  22. Wow! What an amazing story! and what a great attitude!
    Thanks!

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  23. How can I ever say "I'm having a bad day" when people like Heather have conquered cancer with such grace and optimism. Thanks for sharing her story!

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  24. Thank-you dear Nezzy for sharing this story with us! I saw a bit of it somewhere else but this young woman is truly courageous!
    And she is beautiful and she has a beautiful baby too!
    Best Wishes!
    Cindy

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  25. Oh MY Goodness:) I will certainly pray for Heather! We never know from day to day what the next day will hold!

    Hugs and prayers!

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  26. What an amazing story!

    And from the lawyer's adds on tv around here, we think of that particular cancer, as one hitting people who have worked in a bad industry, for years. But here is this young mother. Oh my how sad.

    She certainly is a wonderful and strong person.

    Gentle hugs,
    "Auntie"

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  27. Hi Nezzy,

    I'm just dropping by to wish you a good day!

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  28. An inspiring story by such a strong woman. Thanks so much for featuring her today, Nezzie. :)

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  29. I have seen cancer bring out the best in a person and a family and this is one of those inspiring stories. I love that you shared Heather and her wonderful outcome with us.

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  30. Wow. An inspiration. I needed this today.
    Thank you.

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  31. When I read stories like this, or meet people with such strength, it makes me feel like eating humble pie. It is so hard to imagine what these others have gone through. Thanks for letting Heather share her story.

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  32. Nezzy - what words are there but Praise God to one of the most courageous women I know. Sandie

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  33. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO HEATHER AND NEZZY! I just saw her story on PRIVET AND HOLLY THIS MORNING and I was in a rush to get to work. But I was able to read about her COURAGE and may we always live this boldly before it takes something this strong to change us. My momma had cancer, heck, so did my dad and they died within two weeks of each other. But they were FIGHTERS and when my momma was slipping away from me, she just said, "Well, here it is." Right before she passed away, she grabbed my hand, looked up and smile and said in Spanish, "OH HOW BEAUTIFUL!" WOOOO I think she saw Jesus!!! But we have a job to do here, and that is to gear up our strength and teach the world there is nothing to fear. Heather, YOU ARE A BLESSING!!!!!!!!!! Anita

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  34. Nezzy - you did a wonderful job sharing her story...

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  35. I love Heather's positive attitude...beautiful family

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  36. An amazing story...what a survivor!

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  37. Heather is just beautiful inside and out. Amazing young woman and story. So glad Nezzy your introduced us to such a remarkable lady.
    We can all learn from this testimony and Heather.
    Love ya
    Maggie

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  38. Go, Heather! Every blessing and good wish to you and your family. And a big hug, sweet Nezzy.

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  39. What a wonderful attitude to have when diagnosed with cancer. Thank you for sharing this story!

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  40. Wow, what an amazing story she has to share with the world. Her positive attitude is truly refreshing!

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  41. Very inspirational! Blessings to you, Heather. Thank you, Nezzy.

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  42. Rose colored glasses, indeed. What an inspirational lady. What a wonderful story of hope and perserverance against such enormous odds. Thank for standing up and letting your voice be heard. I hope the future continues to bless you with more triumphs. Take care.

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  43. There are four (4) pictures on this post that say it all, no need for words.

    The two pictures in the middle show a very pale Heather; she's obviously ill. The first and last picture display a face with healthy color in it - a recovered Heather with her baby and husband.

    That's a story with a happy end, and with a fine , strong- willed heroine.
    Blessings to you Heather, and many thanks to Nezzy for introducing you to her readers.

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  44. Inspirational story, Nezzy. I'm so pleased I popped in here today to read it. It takes a serious jolt to make us view life with different eyes and Heather is testament to the truth in that. God bless her and her family.

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    1. What a heart warming story, and so lovely to see the happy picture at the end. I'm all for rose coloured glasses and a postitive attitude ... and seeing that it works ... thanks for sharing her story with us Nezzy :o)

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  45. Heather strength and will to fight is amazing and what she continues to do for other is a test to the that fighting is worth it and god has a plan.

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  46. Thank you for sharing this. Very inspirational. What an amazing lady with such a positive outlook.

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  47. Such a truly inspirational post - so positive.

    XOXO Lola:)

    PS Nezzy, I tried several times last week to leave a comment but was blocked by Blogger. Succeeded now at last! (Won't be defeated either!)

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  48. What a beautiful lady. Thanks so much for sharing Heather with us. Truly inspirational, to be sure.

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  49. Thank you for such a positive story Heather. When one hears Cancer attached with their name, it is hard to be positive. You have listed some wonderful things that really are positve, especially that beautiful child you now have.

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  50. Nezzie, Thank you so much for sharing Heather's story by guesting her. What a brave, wonderful woman. She is an inspiration to all cancer survivors - including me!

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  51. How strong Heather is. And I love that she named her tumor, celebrates its removal and her little baby kept her going. Thank you for sharing!
    xoox
    SC

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  52. Heather is an amazing woman and what a beautiful family! God Bless her. Love Di ♥

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  53. What a beautiful uplifting story. Thanks so much for sharing. It makes me all the more grateful for all in my life, and my life. Blessed be.

    Cheers!
    Julie
    Julie Magers Soulen Photography

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  54. There are so many bad cancer stories. It's good to hear a good one from you and Heather. It gives encouragement and hope.

    I've heard that song in church. It's fun to see the congregation "dance" to it. :)

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  55. What an absolutely wonderful, inspiring story. She is a living miracle. Thank you so much for sharing her story. Hugs

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  56. thank you for sharing your story...it def gives hope and belief in miracles...touches lives for sure...

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  57. Thank you for sharing your moving story. I love your attitude and I am sure that your positive look helped every step of the way.
    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. So thankful that your daughter has her mommy here to love her!

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  58. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. God does indeed answer prayers.

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  59. Beautiful post by you and Heather wrote, Nezzy. I am so glad she beat the odds and survived to see her daughter grow. I will keep her in my prayers.

    I have a good friend battling ovarian cancer right now and we are trying to be a support system for her to help as she does her chemo treatments. Prayer is so powerful, so please keep her in your prayers.

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  60. I am always humbled when I read of such strong people and how they overcome Horrible circumstances...and yet, use the colored glasses to keep them army ready.
    I need to do a MUCH better job....but over the years of my life, I have learned to "tap into" those things (and the Lord) for battles that seem too big for me.

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  61. What an awesome story of hope...so glad that you shared it with us.....I use a lot of Philisms (Dr Phil) and now find myself using some Nezzyism's....Love your way with words

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  62. OMG Nezzy what an inspiring story...what a very brave girl and how positive is she...she just oozes Faith...YOU GO GIRL...

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  63. Wow! What a great, uplifting story! Thanks for sharing it! ☼

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  64. This is a beautiful, touching story. What an incredibly strong woman she is. I'm so happy for her and her family. Precious pictures of her and her little girl. :) So glad this story was shared with us all here in blogland.

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  65. I really loved hearing her story! She is so fantastic, and her attitude and spirit are phenomenal.

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  66. What a blessing to just read about the story of this courageous young woman. Thank you for sharing .

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  67. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I love yours & your down home humor is what we all need to get thru the day!!
    This young lady is to be commended for the fight she has put up !! I am so-o-o-o-o happy for her it turned out good!!
    Marilyn

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  68. Oh, Nezzy! What a story and praise be to God for working His miraculous power on this dear lady! What an inspiration and thank you for sharing her story with us!
    You are the sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  69. Amazing! Thanks for sharing that, Nezzy. I am waiting results from some medical tests so this was very, very well timed!!

    Hugs,
    Becky

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  70. Wow, Heather! You have so much spirit! Thank you for sharing this powerful story of hope and triumph; it's beautiful!

    As for you Nezzy, thanks for this great feature!

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  71. I had read Heather's story on the Privet and Holly and she truly is a fantastic role model.
    My prayers are for continued health for this amazing woman.

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  72. Wow Heather you are a true inspiration to anyone facing this challenge. I am sorry to say I have been watching loved ones battle this horrible disease for so long it makes me sad. I do believe attitude is truly the gift that kills Cancer and you my dear have a lot of positive attitude. God bless you and your lovely family. Thank you Nezzy for sharing this. B

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  73. Thanks for sharing this. I needed to read it today. God is so good.

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  74. Amazing!
    What a wonderful spirit she is :)

    Thanks for sharing her story with us.

    One thing I've learned is that sometimes when we go through hard things we can say " I wouldn't wish that on anyone.... but we are better for having gone through it'.

    We feel that way about our daughters battle with kidney failure at the tender age of 12-15... and feel so blessed to have come through it... and we are better people for it.

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  75. Good for you, Heather. And congratulations on still being here to write your story.

    Waving to Nezzy :)

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  76. I wish healty and happiness to all humanity.
    It's great to see you again after a long time.

    Wishing you and your family a lovely week end...

    Yours

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  77. ...I get you to my blog list, i don't know what happened before...regards

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  78. she is an inspiration to everyone. So glad she is doing okay and helping others, too.

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  79. Nezzy, this was a wonderful post about not being defeated even by a diagnosis of cancer . . .good for Heather on being so courageous. Thanks for sharing.

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  80. Nezzy, this just make other fears seem bitty and puts into focus what's important. How joyful it is to see the end photo of her family together...6 years later. Thanks for the reminder that we're never alone. There is a plan. Even though I argue with Him about it. Hugs to both of you for your messages.

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  81. I am so happy for her. That is what took my real dad in 2001. And my uncle a few years ago. My dad was a ford worker. The gloves he had to use were lined with asbestos. I was shocked to find out how much this product was used. My uncle installed breaks on cars and again they contained this same product.
    But any who, good to hear from you.
    Many hugs sent your way. :)

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  82. Thanks for sharing! Cancer knocked on my own mother's door after having my brother. I am happy to say she was able to raise us and is still with us. Congrats on your recovery!

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  83. Wonderful!!!! It's always great to hear such remarkable stories of strength and faith!! Thank you for sharing!

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  84. What an amazing attitude and example for us all!

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  85. I read Heather's story a while back. She is an amazing woman!

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  86. Praise God! she was strong enough to fight! She reminds me of my father. He had NONEsmokers lung cancer. The Dr said he would live 3 months and THANK GOD he lived 4.5 years. He fought so hard to live and gave us all strength. His positive nature was the key. I'm off to read Heather's story! Thank you so much for visiting my blog so I would come here and read this. Joining your awesome blog!!

    xoxo, Lisa

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  87. Nezzy, thanks for this great story. It's always so good to hear of someone who gather up their courage and fight when presented with such an ugly adversary. Heather shows an awful lot of courage, especially when she had such a young child. Blessings on you for the story and blessing on her for such courage. JB

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  88. What a wonderful testimony and beautiful pictures!!!

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  89. Unbelievable! What an incredibly strong woman she is! And such an inspiring story. Sending big hugs to her and her family.

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  90. Amazing story!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  91. A beautiful story from a very strong lady. I pray she is never faced with cancer again.

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  92. A truly amazing story! Thanks for sharing :) I pray God will continue to keep her cancer at bay!

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  93. What an inspiring story and an amazing woman. Thanks for introducing Heather to us. I'm off to say hello on her blog.

    xoxo jj

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  94. An incredibly inspiring story. Thank you, Heather for reminding us all how to believe.
    Joanne

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  95. what a remarkable story, a strong couragous woman!!

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  96. What an inspiring story, Nezzie!!! And she is so young!!! I also thought you had to be working with certain bad components to breathe in and inhale? What an amazing attitude this wonderful lady has!!!

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  97. Wow--what a powerful story! You have introduced me to so many amazing people, Nezzy! I just popped in to say hello and I`m leaving feeling very inspired! Thanks!

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  98. What a most inspirational woman! thank you Nezzy for having wonderful Heather to share her most amazing positive story of bravery and survival! Good for her! Take care
    x

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  99. Fabulous post. Thank you for sharing!

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  100. Wow, what an inspiration for all of us who feel bad when things go wrong...to have two lives hanging in the balance and taking the high road to say, I'm going to survive, well, that's just incredible.
    Thank you Nezzy for sharing your wonderful guest with us.

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  101. You are remarkable. Thank you for sharing your story here and helping remind us all about the really important things in life. Big hug.

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  102. What an inspirational post. Thank you so much for brightening my day with this amazing story.

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  103. So inspiring!! Thanks, Heather and Nezzy, for sharing this beautiful story. God Bless both of you!! -Tammy

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  104. Have a great week Nezzy! What a remarkable story! Thanks for sharing!
    Kate

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  105. I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and leaving the lovely comment. What a wonderful post you have here. God bless her.
    And I have to say you made me laugh right out loud when I read in your little profile on the sidebar. Sounds just like me, kinda girly girl at times but I'm out there cleaning the chicken coop every Saturday. Woohoo! So nice to meet you!
    Julie

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  106. Dear Nezzy: Thank you so much for introducing us to Heather. What an extraordinary young woman with a wonderful outlook on life. I knew asbestos causes serious health problems, but had not heard of this form of cancer, so I am now fully informed thanks to this post.
    Heather: You are an inspiration to all. A REAL survivor on so many fronts. I am sure your positivity can help many others suffering in different ways. I follow another outstanding blogger, Melynda @ http://melyndarockinthecrazy.blogspot.com/
    She is diabetic and is in the frightening situation of losing what little vision (22%) she has left in her last seeing eye.
    I would so love it if you and Nezzy could stop by and pay her a visit. She, too, has incredible courage and I know she will overcome this handicap in time.
    Big hug to you both xoxo

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  107. Great story. We can relate here as my spouse is a two time survivor....

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  108. WOW! What an inspiring story! And the last picture of her with her daughter and husband says so much! thanks for sharing!

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  109. Truly inspiring! Thank God for all His blessings, and especially for this one: that a little girl is being raised by her mother.

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  110. Such a hope-filled story. I loved reading it, and I congratulate the author on her winning attitude. laurie

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  111. This was a beautiful and inspiring story. Praise the Lord! I was so happy to read Heather's story. Have a beautiful Sunday and blessed week.

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  112. Extraordinary courage and strength. Once again proving that a positive attitude is everything!

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