This is a guest blog by Heather. Having been through a pleural mesothelioma cancer, she is now a cancer free, happy woman. This is her short account.
When I became pregnant with my daughter, Lily, I made sure I was going to be prepared for motherhood. I was determined to not let my pregnancy be full of surprises. I read every book I could get my hands on, ate the right diet and attended my scheduled examinations. My days were spent thinking about how I would devote my life to my new baby. After nine months of waiting, being a mother turned out to be everything I’d hoped.
Unfortunately, nothing could have prepared me for the news I received just 3 ½ months after giving birth. I got diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a rare and often deadly form of cancer. Without treatment, it was estimated that I would only have 15 months to live. I knew I had to do anything I could to survive and raise Lily. My husband, Cameron, and I decided that I would seek mesothelioma treatment from a specialized facility in Boston. Instead of spending time with my daughter, I was 1200 miles away fighting for my life. During that time, surgeons removed a lung and the lining surrounding my diaphragm and heart. The rest of the process, chemotherapy and radiation, lasted throughout the remainder of her first year.
I was fortunate that my parents took on Lily’s care so her life would be stable unlike mine. After I was able to return home, I played outdoors with Lily, went on family walks, visited the park and even joined play dates if I was feeling well enough. Even though at times I lacked energy, I was still able to treasure every moment. I wanted her to always know how lucky I was to have her and how much I loved her.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much has changed since Lily was born eight years ago. We cherish her more everyday and feel honored that we have such a lovely, positive-minded child. Besides being intelligent and happy, she also understands that life is precious. She knows very well what we went through when she was just a baby. Even if she is unable to recall her first year, it’s something I’ll never forget. We didn’t know what to expect during that difficult time, but we did our best to fight through it together.
My battle with mesothelioma was horrifying, but we managed to find a lot of good in all of the bad things. Since then, our family is closer than ever and we learned not to take anything for granted. In sharing the story of my battle with cancer as a new mother, I hope that I can inspire others in similar situations to not give up and that you are not alone.
Follow her on her own blog at http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/