Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guest Post... Hope and Cancer

Today we have a really great guest blogger, to read more of her story please go visit:
Thanks again for the guest blog, Heather :)

Hope and Cancer
"I’ve always been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, as seeing the glass half full. That trait, optimism, served me best when I was diagnosed with a deadly cancer at the age of 36, just 3 1/2 months after the birth of my one and only child.

I got my cancer diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma on Nov 21, 2005, during what is supposed to be the most joyous time of a woman's life--new motherhood. I wasn't expecting those three words, “You Have Cancer”. I had a choice: give up, curse God, and wallow in self-pity; or face this diagnosis head on. I took the second choice. I put on those rose-colored glasses to do the same as any new mom: fight for my life, so I could raise my little girl.

Cancer is a true double-edged sword. Most people who have gone through it will say the same thing: Cancer is the worst thing that can happen, but good came from it. My life was improved by the ordeal, maybe because I chose not to be the victim. I chose to make light of a dreadful situation, to beat the fear. Maybe because I vowed to help others who were diagnosed with it as well, to give hope when that is the first thing people lose upon getting a mesothelioma diagnosis, I see the value of optimism, I remained positive. When referred to the worlds leading specialist in the disease, I gained hope that I could beat this thing. Upon learning that the surgery to remove the tumor would be on Groundhogs Day in 2006, I nicknamed my tumor 'Punxsutawney Phil'. We renamed Groundhogs Day into 'Lungleavin Day', since it was the day my lung left; every year on the first weekend of February, we have a party on Lungleavin Day. We celebrate life, conquering fear, and seeing the good that comes from an otherwise bad situation. We celebrate hope.

Because of this cancer diagnosis, I have met so many wonderful people. They are amazing people, the strongest and toughest I’ve ever met. The mesothelioma prognosis is grim, and other mesothelioma warriors are strong and passionately committed to bringing more awareness to this disease than just another commercial on daytime TV. Their wives, husbands, sons, and daughters were affected by mesothelioma. Now, I call them all friends, but I would know none of them if not for my own cancer battle. My life has much more purpose, and I want to continue to do what I do to give hope to those who need it."