Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guest Post: Making it Through Beautifully

I recently had to pleasure of meeting a woman named Heather through this blog world (virtually of course!) and she shared her story with me which I found to be very inspiring.  She battled pleural mesothelioma shortly after her daughter was born and is now bringing awareness and helping others by sharing her story.  Her story is below but check out http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather also for more information about Heather and mesothelioma!
Making It Through Beautifully

The very first moment I laid eyes on my newborn baby, Lily, I felt that I was the luckiest mom in the world. I was so ready to be a mom that when I finally got pregnant nothing was going to take me by surprise. I read all the right books, ate the right foods and visited my doctors regularly. Like most mothers-to-be it was a very exciting time as I planned out how my life would revolve around our new baby. When Lily finally was born, motherhood was everything I expected and more.

However, everything changed when three months later I was devastated to learn that I had pleural mesothelioma. Nothing prepared me for the day I found out that I had cancer, nor the mesothelioma prognosis that I could possibly have only 15 months to live if I did not seek treatment immediately. I solemnly vowed I would do whatever it took to be there to raise my daughter.

I began the fight of my life, missing an entire month of Lily’s life. Cam and I had decided on a treatment in Boston where they removed my left lung, and the lining of my heart and diaphragm. The remainder of my treatment lasted the rest of Lily’s first year. My parents lovingly took Lily in so that her life wouldn’t become as disjointed as mine had.

Once home, and due to a loyal husband and a network of people who helped, Lily and I began to play catch up on time together. I cherished every minute we had to play outdoors, take walks, have play dates and visit the park. I wanted her to know how much I loved her and how lucky I felt to have her.

Not much has changed in the eight years since Lily was born. My husband Cam and I still love her more every single day knowing we are blessed to have such a beautiful, bright and optimistic daughter. Although she doesn’t remember much from her first year, she knows we are grateful for her and she understands the value of life and she knows what we went through as a family.

Facing mesothelioma cancer was terrifying, but there was actually a lot of good that came from the bad. It was a time no one knew what to expect, but we all did the best that we could. Somehow we all came out happy and together on the other side. Our family is closer than ever and we take nothing for granted. The reason I share my story is so that others going through something similar may know that they are not alone and that it is possible to make it through beautifully.

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