Heather's Story

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Last week I got an email from a woman.  A brave and inspiring woman.  A woman that has been through many mountains and valleys in her life.  But a woman that has come out on top.  After hearing her story she asked if it was something that I would want to share with my readers and my immediate response was yes.  Her exact words were, "I'd like to turn my pain into purpose and become someone that other people can look to for guidance, inspiration, and hope in situations like my own."  She's exceptional my friends.  So today, I give you Heather.  Her words speak for themselves but I encourage you to share her story with friends or family going through mesothelioma.  For more information or encouragement on mesothelioma go HERE.


Battling Cancer As a New Mommy

When you're welcoming a child into your life for the first time, that's a major life event and a big change.  For me, however, it came bundled with a shattering diagnosis of mesothelioma within just a three and a half month span.  It was nothing I could have ever imagined. Still, I am grateful that the two came together because, as my precious little daughter Lily likes to say, she saved my life.  It's because of her that I found strength within myself that I never knew I had, allowing me to defeat a disease that has devastated so many people.

I married my husband Cameron seven years before we decided to have children.  Once we finally made the decision that we were ready to welcome a baby into our little world, it didn't take me long at all to become pregnant. Not only that, my pregnancy was surprisingly uneventful considering I was in my later thirties.  The only issue that arose was during the delivery. Lily was breech and therefore I had an emergency C-section.

Like all new moms, I imagine, I spent a lot of time thinking about the child I would be bringing up and how I would fare as her mother.  What would our dynamic be?  Would I be able to give her everything she needed?  Would I be cool enough or enough of a disciplinarian?  All of these questions swirled around in my head throughout my pregnancy, but when I finally was able to see her and hold her for the first time, none of my doubts seemed to matter anymore.  I was in the presence of a tiny miracle, and my capacity to love suddenly seemed to expand beyond my wildest imagination.  I knew that I still had a lot to learn about being a mom, but I knew with equal certainty that I would do absolutely anything for my daughter.

As it turned out, what I had to do was live for her. Roughly three months after her birth, I heard my diagnosis. I was shocked and numb.  I thought of all the milestones I was going to miss out on.  I would not be able to be there to dry Lily's tears and celebrate her triumphs.  Despair overwhelmed me briefly as Cameron stepped up to the plate and discussed my options with the doctor.  It wasn't impossible, but it was imperative that we act immediately.  Otherwise, I would have only about 15 months left.  Once I could think clearly, I rallied myself and decided that I needed to take every chance that was presented to me, no matter how painful it might be.  I had to take my best shot at seeing Lily through her childhood.

The weeks and months that followed were a challenge, especially when I was going through surgery and recuperation in hospitals far from home and had to miss out on a month of Lily's infancy.  It seemed an almost unbearable sacrifice, but I thought about what I might gain and soldiered on, bolstered by Cameron's constant presence.  I was also helped by the many friends and relatives who offered their support and kindness, particularly in looking after Lily when I could not.  My parents also were a huge blessing to me during this time, as they put me up in their home so I would have time to recover from the surgery before my chemotherapy and radiation treatments began.  I'm not used to relying on people, and it was unsettling at first, but I learned to accept their help graciously.  I don't know where I would be without them.

Getting through this incredibly dangerous form of cancer was no easy task, and there were times when I wanted to give up.  However, whenever I thought about Lily, I just couldn't bring myself to stop trying.  She needed me, and it was a wonderful thing to be so needed.  My cancer journey took me from Minnesota to Boston to South Dakota and finally back home, where I was surrounded by more love than I have ever known.  It truly was both the best and the worst of times.  Now, seven years later, I am healthy and happy, and my precious daughter is in no doubt as to her role in my well-being.  She tells everyone that she saved my life, and I happily agree with her.  Because of that love, I found the courage to continue my fight against the cancer that tried to claim me.  Whatever your challenge, find your motivation and you can strive for success just like I did.


Aubrey said...

Wow. This is an amazing story!

Elle said...

incredible. this was really encouraging to read as I have an aunt with a young son who is fighting leukemia. I soo look forward to the day where she can look back at this hard time and see the good.

Unknown said...

incredible. i cried through this. with becoming a new mom just a month ago, i just felt this story so much. i could not imagine going through something like this. she is so strong and positive! thank you for sharing her story, i am so glad i read this!

Unknown said...

i want to give thanks to my dr and i will always give thanks to DR OGUDUDU who brought back my love that has left me for 6years within 48hours, i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every week end so that those that did not read about it last week will read about it this week, i have been looking for how to get this boy back to my life because i love this boy with the whole of my heart, i could not replace him with any body,one day i was watching my television when i saw a lady giving thanks to DR OGUDUDU and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost love, then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my love back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to worry that my love will surely be back to my arms within 48hours at first i could not believe because i was thinking how could somebody that has gone for 6years come back within 48 hours,so then i decided to watch and see,unbelievable within the next 48hours i got a call from unknown number so i decided to pick the call the next thing i could hear was my loves voice he was pleading and begging me on the phone that i should forgive him that i should forget all that have happened that he did not know what came over him,he promised not to leave for any reason, that he was really sorry for what he did,i was so surprised because i never believed that this could happen,so that was how i accepted his apology and the next morning he came to my house and still pleading for me to forgive, him i told him that everything is okay that i have forgiven him, that was how we started again and now we are married, i promised to say this testimony in radio station, commenting this testimony is still okay but before this month runs out i promise to say this in radio station and i will,sir thank you very much.World please am begging you people to try and thank this man for me,or if you need his help here is his email address drogududuspellhome@gmail.com. THANK YOU DR

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