Today’s Wednesday’s Woman approached me about something else for my blog. When I heard what she had to say, I decided she needed to be a Wednesday’s Woman! And now, here is Heather in her own words.
My Name is Heather Von St James. I am a mesothelioma cancer survivor. When I was just 36 years old, I was diagnosed with this killer. Mesothelioma claims the lives of 90-95% of those who have it. I am one of the very few lucky ones to have beaten this disease.
Most people who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma are in their late stages of life. This is because Mesothelioma has a latency period of up to 30 years. It is caused by asbestos exposure and can sit in the body for years and years before any symptoms are noticed.
Three and a half months before my diagnosis, I gave birth to my first and only child, Lily. Of course, any cancer diagnosis will shake someone to their core, but having a newborn in the mix made things that much more surreal.
How could I go from the happiest time in my life, having my baby girl, to being completely blindsided by a cancer I had been exposed to in my childhood?
Now that I am a survivor, my mission is to turn my pain into purpose and be someone that others can look to for support, even if their situation isn’t exactly the same as mine. I have a lot of advice to offer on mesothelioma in general, but also on being a mother while enduring a horrifying diagnosis.
I am currently a guest blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog; where I share my story in full detail and also give updates about what I’m doing at this point in my life. I also do guest blogs for anyone who will let me share my story, as to help spread awareness of mesothelioma and provide some inspiration to anyone who may need it.
By sharing my story on so many different platforms, I hope to teach people about the power of hope, love and support. I could not have endured everything that I went through without the amazing support system that was my family and friends. People from all parts of my life stepped up to help in one way or another. When going through a tumultuous time in life, it is so important to surround yourself with a powerful support system. This and the message to never give up are the most important things I hope to teach through telling my story.
Can you imagine? God has given Heather a lot of strength! I encourage you to visit her blog and leave a comment. Let her know you’re a Many Hats Mommy reader!