Today I'm excited to introduce you to my new friend, Heather. Heather is a wife, mother to a beautiful 6 year old girl and a 6 year cancer survivor. Heather's remarkable journey and faith serve as a reminder to me that you can never take life for granted, that each day is a gift, and that being a victor means never giving up--even when all the odds are stacked against you. I've asked Heather to share her story here. I am also putting up a link to Heather's blog so that you might continue to be inspired by her testimony.
Blessings and Peace,
My entire life, I’ve been an optimist. In my opinion, as long as you are alive the glass is half full. It is this personality trait that has often inspired others to tell me that I see the world through rose colored glasses. I’ve never disagreed. At the age of 36, I was having the best year of my life. It was 2005 and it was the 21st of November; almost Thanksgiving. That was the year the holiday’s had an even deeper meaning for me than they had in the past; I was a first time mommy to a brand new baby girl who was only three and a half months old.
That day, I received news from my doctor that would change my life forever; seemingly for the worst. My doctor told me I had cancer. Not just any cancer, but a rare and deadly form of malignant pleural mesothelioma. When the words, “You have cancer” came out of my doctor’s mouth I sat, stunned. My first thought was that I had a decision to make; I could go home and yell at God, asking him why he did this to me and blaming him for the worst thing that ever happened in my life or I could fight for my life and my baby girl’s life. I thought about my rose colored glasses and decided that if ever there was a time in my life I needed them, it was now. I put them on and asked the doctor what happened next.
My doctor referred me to a doctor that is the leading mesothelioma doctor and we began my battle; rose colored glasses on the entire time. My cancer was scheduled for removal in 2006 on Groundhog Day.
Upon hearing “You have cancer” you immediately know your life is forever changed and it seems like a no brainer that your life is changed for the worse. However, it was during my fight to overcome my cancer that I realized that this diagnosis did not have to change my life for the worse; it could change it for the better. And that is exactly the advice I heard from my new friends, all of who were cancer survivors like myself. Choosing not to become a victim to my cancer, my life was changed in a positive manner. My cancer was removed and each year on Groundhog Day, my family and I have a celebration of life; for that was the day my battle with cancer won and I was not a victim. I can only hope that my story serves as inspiration to someone going through something as awful as cancer.