Don’t fear, just live right. ~ Neal A. Maxwell
I have so many things I enjoy doing but blogging has to be one of the few things I can’t seem to get enough of. I know my friends from Twitter have just about had it with links to my blog so that to get read the days post. The thing I enjoy the most about blogging however, is that I get to connect with people from all parts of the world. It’s heartwarming to know that there is actually something positive that can come from blogging. Each post you make means someone in some part of the world gets to read it, share it, enjoy it, relate to it… Just last week I decided to add a contact page on my blog in case anyone wanted to get in touch with me and just a few hours later I got an email from Heather.
Heather Von St. James got in touch with me and asked me to share her story on my blog and help to build hope and awareness. I am a mother myself and after reading through the link I was both gutted and awed. Imagine waking up one morning with positive thoughts, full of life and eager for that next chapter in your life and you’re told you have got only 15 months to live! Imagine having to undergo a life changing procedure in a short space of time; losing a lung, dealing with being new mother and trying to grasp the idea of a condition, you have never heard of before. Imagine the emotions and fear that run through you when you catch your bundle of joy, staring at you with those big eyes. She stares at you with hope that you will guide her and protect her as she grows. You endure so many sleepless nights, you try to be positive but all you can think of is the worst and try to prepare for a future for your child with or without you. Through the pain and fear you need to be strong for her.
This is the story of Heather Von St James. 2015 marks the 9th year for Heather as a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Mesothelioma a type of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Most of you are probably are wondering what, how, who? Now try and imagine how Heather felt. Like most chronic conditions the disease has regular symptoms that some will tend to ignore or attribute to something else.
For Heather this could have been the end of the road and the results could have been drastic had she given up after her lung removal. Heather conquered her fears and decided to make something positive out of the whole experience. From that day forward, every year Heather and her sister have commemorated what they dubbed the “Lung Leaving Day“. On this day every year individuals are encouraged to write their biggest fears on a plate and smash the plate into a fire. This is a symbolism of taking control and overcoming your fears.
This story has inspired me and on the 2nd of February. I will be joining Heather with this campaign and encourage you to do the same and spread the word and build hope and awareness. I am motivated by this as I have experience some sense of fear and loss many a time. One of the worst experiences one can endure is watching someone who is full of life and vibrant, the glue that holds families together and who always has things under control fall sick. To us these individuals are untouchable and when we see them in a position of weakness fear takes over. My mother was diagnosed with a condition called Dermatomyositis in November 2011. It was difficult to watch her lose all her strength, failing to move her body and experiencing bouts of parasethia. The condition was considered rare at that time and the Doctor attending to her had never encountered a patient with such a condition and was basing his work on textbook experience. The last thing you want is a Doctorr who doesn’t know what they are doing. It was a tough time for us, we were lucky she managed to pull through and we managed to get her referred to a well-known specialist. When such things happen you are left with doubts in your belief system, fear cripples you so much that you can’t reason.
My mum coped because she had a strong support system, a loving husband; children; relatives; she was persistent in turning up for appointments and taking her medication, and mostly prayer and a caring community. In knowing that she could manage my fear was conquered. Heather and my mum are proof that a positive mind-set leads to positive outcomes. In times of pain and hardship they pulled through and faced whatever came their way and conquered their fears. Although my focus turned to health (topic for another day), the message remains the same and applies to any situation in life. At times we limit ourselves because we are not ready to face the unknown. Sometimes you have to try something fail, get yourself up and try again.
For further information regarding “Lung Leaving Day” please go to Heather’s Page and take part in smashing your fears away.
What have been your encounters with fear been? Have you experienced fear of not being good enough, fear to pursue your dreams because society deems it unrealistic, fear to love again because you have been hurt so much. Fear of the unknown…Feel free to share your fears and how you overcame them, it might just help someone realise that you can turn lemons into lemonade after all!
A big THANK YOU and warm hugs go to my closest friend Tillo for helping me blend this article, with friends like these who needs enemies?