I myself like reading inspiring stories whenever I feel life is tough and is feeling down. Starting my own beauty shop has always been my dream. Recently, starting this business had put me under great stress as it was my first time starting a business thus a lot to learn and do. They say beginning is always tough. But I didn’t think it is going to be ”THAT TOUGH”. At the same time, I also have to balance my Real Estate work too as that is my main source of income and my passion of being a blogger. I am stretching myself out…
No regrets… Although tiring but I am having so much fun doing it! I can’t be young forever so it’s better to just go ahead to do what I always wanted to do. So readers of mfp, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams okay. It’s gonna be a tough journey and never easy but don’t give up and NEVER say die!
I admit that when I am really really tired after work at night, I have thoughts like, ”why work so hard and try to do so many things for what? I have worked from morning to night, from monday to sunday everyday and sleep like 7 hrs a day for the past 2 months”. I have times that I feel like slowing down and feel bad for myself when things go wrong. Anyway what’s my suffering compared to Heather’s pain? It’s the personal will power that makes us stronger than we thought we are. I hope the following story of Heather will inspire those who are having it tough at the moment.
My Trial by Fire; How I Dealt with Mesothelioma
There’s an old African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” I never used to believe that. However, recent life events have taught me just how true this old adage is. August 5th, 2005 is a day that will live with me forever. The type of day no woman ever truly forgets. This was the day I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Lily. Other than her being taken by an emergency c-section, it was a normal birth. On that day, throughout it all, my “village” surrounded me, giving me strength for the trying process of delivery. Gathered with my husband and his family were my parents and our dearest friends as well; all having come to help usher my daughter into this new and wonderful world. And as such a profound source of joy entered our lives, the darkest of clouds slowly gathered on the horizon.
I returned to work a month later. Even the simplest of tasks seemed to drain my energy and at times it felt like I was breathing in quicksand. I simply wrote it off as the strain of being a first time parent. Yet something kept nagging at me and I soon decided to schedule an appointment with my doctor for what I hoped would be a fairly routine checkup. The end result was anything but routine and after several tests which were stressful in their own right, we found out my fatigue wasn’t simply stress… it was something far more serious than that.
Just over three-and-a-half short months after Lily was born, I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma on November 21, 2005. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer, which affects the lining of the lung and is usually brought upon by exposure to asbestos. It turns out that in my youth I had come into contact with what was then a fairly common building material and now, thirty years, later I was paying for it.
My doctor informed me if I didn’t seek treatment immediately, I had about fifteen weeks to live. The first thought that entered my mind was about my newborn daughter and husband’s life if I wasn’t there with them. The thought of them being alone in the world made me realize that I needed to do whatever was possible to rid myself of this cancer.
Leaving my daughter with my parents, my husband and I went to Boston to seek the best treatment available in the country. After undergoing an extrapleural pneumenectomy, I began the slow painful road towards recovering from my cancer completely. Being a new mother is difficult, but it’s even more difficult when you are recovering from a major surgery and going through chemotherapy and radiation. And though cancer is a horrible thing to go through, the support and love of my “village” makes every new day on earth that much more precious to me.
Heather Von St James is a 43-year-old wife and mother. Upon her diagnosis of mesothelioma, she vowed to be a source of hope for other patients who found themselves with the same diagnosis. Now, over 6 years later, her story has been helping people all over the globe. She continues her advocacy and awareness work by blogging, speaking and sharing her message of hope and healing with others. Check out her story at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog