The Story of a Mum Surviving Asbestos Cancer
I’ve recently been in contact with Heather Von St. James, a mum to Lily Rose and survivor of mesothelioma cancer or “asbestos cancer” and below I’ll be sharing her courageous story. Heather has found great comfort in being part of a support group throughout her treatment and path towards getting the better of the cancer and My Baby Spain are proud to help share her story with the hope that maybe it will be of comfort to others in a similar position and to highlight the importance of having sympathetic people around you when times get tough! You can read Heather’s full story here.
They say you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. Well, that’s true. As I’ve stumbled through life, I’ve had probably what would amount to hundreds of friends – maybe only a few really close ones – but dozens of others who’ve come and gone through the years. Some of them, even though I don’t see them anymore, will be forever a part of my memory. Others…well, I can’t even remember their names.
But with family, you get one and – if you’re lucky – they’re with you until they (or you) die. Sure, families expand. Brothers and sisters marry and give you sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. Kids and grandkids are born. But the core of your family remains the same.
I know some people who don’t get along with their parents or dislike their brothers or sisters. To me, that’s sad. I can tell you that if it wasn’t for the support and love of my family, I would have never made it through this battle with mesothelioma. Sometimes I wonder how people who don’t have a supportive family make their way through the tough times in life.
My parents arrived almost immediately upon learning of my cancer diagnosis. They brought with them not only their physical bodies, but also their spiritual support. I had been raised in a God-loving environment so it was natural that they would come to me and let me know that not only were they there to watch Lily, cook meals, mop floors, and do the laundry, but also to lift me up emotionally and spiritually when I was at my lowest of lows. What would I have done without them!
After my surgery, I endured a slow but steady recovery. You know, when you’re a grown-up, sometimes it’s hard to let others take care of you, especially your parents. You spend your whole adolescence trying to prove to them that you’re a strong, independent individual. And then something like this happens and, here you are, back at Mom and Dad’s house, letting them take care of you like they did for the first 18 years of your life.
At first, it just didn’t seem right. But, after some thought and some heart-to-heart conversations with my parents, I realized it was perfect. These were the two people that gave me life, nurtured me – even when I messed up. And, even as I approached 40 years old, these were the people that still wanted the best for me, whether it was a good job and a happy home or a life without cancer. Family rocks!
I hope that my story can be an inspiration to mesothelioma victims, survivors, and their families, who I’m hoping are just as wonderful as mine. Read my blog to learn more about my fight against asbestos cancer.