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Mama Kucing Blogs

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Guest Post : Coping with Mesothelioma at 36 by Heather Von St. James



When Mamarazzi received a comment in this blog from Heather asking Mamarazzi to contact her, she thought it might be just another hoax or spam. Nevertheless, Mamarazzi did write to Heather. Little did she know that she is writing to a courageous woman who had battle with cancer.

Heather's request is simple. She wonder if Mamarazzi would accept a guest post from her about her journey as a new mother with cancer and the dangers of asbestos.

Mamarazzi was moved by Heather's life story as one of Mamarazzi's childhood friend had passed away when she was in her early 20s from cancer leaving a 2 months old baby and the mother of another childhood friend had passed away from cancer too. 

So here goes the first ever Guest Post in this blog and I hope readers out there will be aware of the dangers of asbestos too. After, reading this post you might want to hop over to http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/ to check out her journey.


Coping with Mesothelioma at 36

 At the age of 36, I was at the top of the world. I was a little tired, but I had just given birth less than four months ago. The doctor’s words stating that I had cancer stopped my life in its tracks. I had mesothelioma (http://www.mesothelioma.com/cancer), something that is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. I was frightened, I was frustrated and I was confused.

When I tell people about my cancer, they usually first ask me if asbestos is banned, and second, they ask how I was exposed. The answer to the first question is that no, it is not, and the answer to the second is through my father. My father worked in construction when I was growing up, and whenever I ran up for a hug as a child, I would get all of that innocent-seeming white dust all over me. He must have brought home millions of microscopic asbestos fibers, and it would make sense that it would be something that I would be exposed to, even if it didn’t really comfort me to know.

When I was diagnosed with mesothelioma (http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/diagnosis/), the doctors were surprised. I was a healthy young woman of 36, and they were far more familiar with older male patients. They were used to seeing mechanics, plumbers, and military men. Unfortunately, I was simply the first of a trend. Soon wives and children were getting the symptoms and notifying their doctors, and all of those clothes, caked with asbestos fibers were to blame.

We’re seeing more and patients like me as time goes on. I was just the beginning. Think of all the children who pounced their daddies the moment they walked in the door, careless of how messy they might be, or the kids who ran out for just a minute, putting on their father’s jackets. It really doesn’t take much; some of them probably just hung out with their dads after they finished work. The more I know about this disease, the younger the people seem to get. I’ve met dozens of people in their twenties and their thirties, and it seems as though their lives are just getting started. Marriages, children and jobs all have to take a back seat to dealing with this problem in their lives, and the truth of the matter is it is better than it has ever been. We’re seeing more survivors as well, and people of all ages are finding hope where before they had none.
 
Hearing that you have cancer is something that is devastating. You may be consumed with fear and anger, but after what I have gone through, I have decided that I want to feel hope instead. A community has sprung up around this terrible disease and we are like a family. We support each other, we cry with one another, and we laugh when things go well.

I want to get my story out there. I want people to understand what they are facing and what they are not facing. Hopefully, I can help people come out from the shadow of fear that this cancer can bring about.



20 comments:

  1. what a moving and inspiring story to be told and share

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  2. cancer sure is a illness that not only destroy one's body but the strength of faith and hope too
    im glad to hear that she was strong enough to hold on it

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  3. im also glad that you two did this post i mean a lot of people needs that
    they need someone to inspire them to go on

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  4. Thks for sharing with us this inspiring story, Heather! It brings awareness to us & it's very encouraging to hear from someone like u. Take care!

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  5. Cancer is happening too commonly now. My sympathies to Heather, cancer is all too familiar in my own family.

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  6. Touching sharing and got me frightened. I should also start taking the necessary precautions. Kudos to her positive thinking and wanting to move forward.

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  7. This is so scary but so hopeful too...inspiring story

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  8. That is an inspiring story... We all need HOPE in our lives, no matter how bad life can seem. Fighting a disease like that lady is takes a good attitude---and she has it. God Bless her in our struggles.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  9. It's so difficult to deal with cancer and other tragic illnesses at such young ages...or any age even. Thank you for sharing her story!

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