Diaries Magazine

A Story That Hits Close to Home(Guest Post)

Posted on the 26 April 2013 by Kclark051 @classickc
Hey Everyone
It has been a very long time since I have posted on here, but I promise I will get back to it soon!. I do have a story from an amazing women that I would like to share with you, because this topic I am sure has effected many people. This amazing lady is Heather and she writes over at www.mesothelioma.com about her story of over coming Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that kills 90-95% of those who have it. When I heard about her story I was just so happy to hear that she wasn't part of that 90-95 percentile. Her story and journey she has been through is just amazing to read. I urge you all to jump on over to her site and read her story if you have ever encountered a friend or a family member who has had cancer and know that there is hope out there!
I will let Heather take it from here!
My Daughter, the Lifesaver
When anyone asks my daughter Lily about my struggle with cancer, she always says very matter-of-factly, “I saved my mommy's life.” She understands it as a fact that is as self-evident as her discomfort when she is sick or her hunger when she wants a snack. It is such a basic part of her seven-year-old life that she never questions it, and though people might just think that she's being adorable or that she doesn't understand, I will always be the first to tell them that she is telling absolutely nothing but the truth!A Story That Hits Close to Home(Guest Post)Lily came to my husband Cam and I rather late in life. We married and then waited seven years to decide if we really wanted to have kids. Because I would be giving birth at the age of 35, I was very nervous, but to my pleasant shock, we had only been trying for three months before I got pregnant. I couldn't believe it, and looking back, it's fascinating that I just became a mother. I wasn't sure how it was going to be, but I didn't expect myself to be a woman who was constantly touching my stomach or thinking about who was inside. I knew that I was going to have a child, and that thought consumed me. I wondered all the time what kind of mom I would be and what kind of child I would raise. I resolved that whether I was a fun mom, a strict mom or a cool one, that no matter what, I would be there for my little one. My pregnancy went astonishingly smoothly. I could still do it if I needed to! Everything went exactly as planned until the birth itself, when it turned out that Lily was breech and a C-section was necessary. Even that didn't phase me; I told them that at least Lily would have a nice round head! When they put my precious daughter in my arms for the first time, I could barely speak. I was overwhelmed with all of the potential in her, and all I wanted to do was to love and protect her forever. She was so new to the world, and I was determined to see her through all of the risks and angers. Nothing mattered beyond taking care of her and my life had a new center. I studied her tiny face and inhaled her scent, knowing that she was perfect in every way. I was awash with the feelings of being a new mother, surrounded by love, and I think that this made what came next almost unimaginable.Lily was three and a half month old when I got my diagnosis. According to my doctor, I had malignant pleural mesothelioma. If I didn't start treatment immediately, I had just over a year to live. As I sat in shock and dismay, my husband leaped to my rescue and started making decisions. For my part, all I could focus on was the idea of leaving my husband and my new daughter alone in the world. I couldn't stand the idea of it. While I sat bewildered and in pain, Cam stepped up. He decided that we were going go with the most extreme form of treatment, and that involved going to Boston to meet with a world-renowned specialist. After some consultation, we decided that I would undergo and extrapleural pnemonectomy surgery to remove my left lung and the lining of my heart and my diaphragm. That meant recovering for 18 days after in the hospital, and then another two weeks in Boston. After that, I traveled to South Dakota, where my parents were taking care of Lily, and two months after that, it was home to Minnesota to start my chemotherapy and my radiation treatments.A Story That Hits Close to Home(Guest Post)I'm not saying that any of this was easy or without sacrifice. I ended up missing out on Lily's entire sixth month in this world. It was frighteningly hard to be without her for the entire four weeks, but I knew that it was a sacrifice that I had to make if she was going to get a mother. The idea of her gave me the strength I needed to face the realities of a life-threatening surgery, chemotherapy treatments and radiation! I have never considered that I was a fighter before this, but now I know that that is exactly what I am.I am still surprised by how far I have come sometimes. Mesothelioma ends up killing about 95% of the people diagnosed with it, and somehow, I beat the odds. My baby needed me, and that kept me going every day. When Lily says that she saved my life, she understands it as a rock-solid fact, just the way that I do. Life got very dark there for a while, but my family and I managed to climb out of it in a big way.

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