Heather Von St. James Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Survival
Heather Von St. James Mesothelioma Cancer SurvivorNovember 21, 2005 was a day that changed my life, and forced 

me to figure out once and for all if I truly was a “glass half full” person – it was the day that my doctor diagnosed me with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Not only was I only 36 years old, but I’d just given birth to my first and only child. Rather than put my head down, pity myself, and give up, I heard those three words – “You have cancer” – and made the decision to turn a totally unexpected situation around. Raising my daughter and fighting for my life became my goals.
“Growing up, Heather Von St. James considered herself to be a “Daddy’s Girl”. Her father was a construction worker for a large construction and project management firm in South Dakota. He would often come home at the end of a workday with “white dust” on his clothes and boots. No one in the family thought anything of the dust that he brought home every day at the time, but it turned out to be a harmful asbestos dust from many of the products that he worked with on the job.”
Many people would not think of having cancer as a positive experience, but this disease can be a double-edged sword. After looking past all of the negative things, cancer survivors will realize that they have not only beat an extremely debilitating sickness, but that they have learned a great deal about themselves in the process. Not allowing myself to become a victim helped me to get past the fear and uncertainty of the situation, and made me want to help others that were in my shoes. I had hope, and I chose to try and focus on what good could come from the whole experience.
My tumor, nicknamed Punxsutawney Phil, was removed on Groundhog’s Day 2006. Having one of the world’s leading mesotheliomadoctors tell me that there was hope, and that the possibility of beating my cancer was a very real outcome helped my family and me get through this time. As the removal was a success, we celebrate every year – a holiday called “Lungleavin’ Day,” so that we never forget the hope, the fight, the fear, and the fact that sometimes great things come from awful situations.
Heather Von St. James Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor
If not for this diagnosis and mesothelioma treatmentprocess, I would not have met many of the people that are in my life today. The toughest, strongest, and most passionate people are the people that surround us every day. 
They are the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and relatives. They are the advocates who simply want to bring awareness about the situation to light, and provide hope and reassurance to people like me. We are all family now, sharing some of the same stories and experiences, and I would not know any of them if not for my own cancer diagnosis. My story of survival makes me feel as if I have a purpose, and a duty of provide hope and support to anyone in need. I did not give up, and my optimism can serve as a blueprint for those in similar situations: slip on those rose-colored glasses, and get ready for the ride of your lives, because there is always hope.
Heather Von St. James Mesothelioma Cancer Survivor

Heather Von St. James - Mesothelioma Survivor Blog

Here are some amazing links for more information!

Mesothelioma & Asbestos Facts & Statistics

More of Heather Von St. James Story

Mesothelioma Cancer on Facebook

@CancerAlliance on Twitter

This is a guest post by Heather Von St. James sharing her story of surviving Cancer and Mesothelioma. Thank You Heather for all your hard work!

Please share this post and spread the knowledge and encouragement to others!
About Miranda Sherman

Miranda Sherman is a stay at home Mom of four & full time student majoring in Business Management & Marketing from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. She blogs about her crazy family of six & two dogs on her blog Minnesota Miranda, featuring book and product reviews, giveaways, news, parenting tips and advice, shopping, recipes, fashion, travel, deals and so much more.” Find me on Google+


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  3. I’m stopping by from Stumble Tumble Tuesday and just stumbled you – great post! My post is http://www.stilldatingmyspouse.com/2012/02/16/marital-intimacy/ .
    Still Dating My Spouse

  4. I love this post! As a two time cancer survivor I totally get the glass half full ‘girl’ and so much of this post spoke directly to me!!! Enjoy your beautiful life, you deserve it!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story!
    I am visiting from Stumble Tumble Tuesday.

  6. Visiting from stumble Tuesday.

  7. What a truly inspirational post.Am glad to see so much positivity came out of what could have been a very dark and depressing time. Glad to hear that you’ve meet so many people and hope you meet many more on your journey which now helps so many others.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I recently became unemployed for the first time in my life and had been feeling down. Your story has given me the kick that I need to stop sitting around looking sad, but, to get up and get out and fight for something new.
    I found your post via Stumble Tumble Tuesday!
    Our Banana Moments

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