Monday, May 13, 2013

How my Child Saved my Life {Guest Blog}

Heather contacted me last week and wanted to share her story with all of you. I am very excited that Heather wanted to share her story and I hope you will read more from Heather HERE.
 
How my Child Saved my Life


Treating and living with cancer is a painful and traumatic experience. More than anything else, it is a time of fear as you wait to see if you will live or die. For me, the one thing I could not imagine was leaving my daughter. Three months before I was diagnosed, my first child was born. At the time, I never imagined I would be lucky enough to see her reach the age of seven.


When Lily was born, I was 35 years old. My husband Cameron and I had chosen to wait seven years after our marriage before having her. I was worried about the risks of having children at an older age and if my daughter would be healthy. While I was pregnant, I rubbed my belly and thought about the child growing within me. Would I be a good mother? What would my daughter be like? Just like most mothers, above everything else I wanted to love her and be the best mother I could be.


After an emergency C-section, my daughter was placed in my arms. She was a healthy, beautiful baby and all I wanted to do was hold her close. I was overwhelmed with the desire to keep her safe and protect her from all harm. At this moment in time, all Cameron and I could think about is the gorgeous bundle of joy that was coming home with us.



Three and a half months later, my new life came crashing down. I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I was told I had 15 months to live if I did not begin immediate treatment. Even with treatment, 95 percent of people who are diagnosed end up succumbing to the disease. As I sat overwhelmed by shock, my husband told the doctor we would do the most drastic form of treatment possible.


Drastic treatment meant an extrapleural pnuemonectomy in Boston. This required the removal of my left lung as well as the lining of my diaphragm and heart. The trauma of the surgery meant that I had to stay at the hospital for 18 days afterwards and then two more weeks at an outpatient facility. Since my daughter was with my parents in South Dakota, I spent the sixth month of her life away from her.


After the first month of recovery was complete, I went to my parents in South Dakota for another two months. The recuperation process ended and I went back home to Minnesota for a barrage of radiation and chemotherapy. For anyone who has never experienced these treatments, they are painful and difficult to undergo. The one thing that kept me strong was the thought of my daughter. It is because of her that I stayed strong through everything and the reason I am alive today.
 
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8 comments:

  1. This is a very touching story.

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  2. Such a great story, hope you are on the way of full recovery. Kids are our best support.

    Fan R @Teddy Out-Ready

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  3. Such an inspirational and touching story. I'm truly blessed and at 32 contemplating having another child is something that worries me. This helps to ease my mind.

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  4. What a great story. I can tell you I also have medical situations and would not have dealt with several of them the same way I had if it weren't for my kids. They have severe special needs. As a mom I could never ever give up no matter what. Their future would be too uncertain.

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  5. Wow! What an amazing and touching story. Our children really do bring us through the rough times, don't they?

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