Thursday, June 6, 2013

POV Post:Using Motherhood to Battle Cancer

Most new mothers experience the same things their children's first months of life: no sleep, breastfeeding issues, figuring out diaper brands... Could you imagine being a new mom, finding out one day that you may not live to see your daughter's first steps?

Meet Heather. She is a cancer survivor and a mother. Both of these life-changing events happened to her at the same time. This woman is seriously one of the strongest people I have met, to overcome cancer all while learning the new ropes of parenting a child? Wow, she really is a phenomenal woman! Check out her POV Post today and be sure to stop by her blog here. She truly is a wonderful woman and an amazing mom!

Check out her story!

"When I married Cameron, the love of my life, I wasn't quite ready to step into the role of mother yet, but after seven happy years together, we both decided that it was time to take that next step. We knew our lives were about to undergo a major change as we prepared to welcome a wonderful new little life into our home. I became pregnant just three months after making the choice to expand our family, and I underwent a very easy pregnancy culminating in a C-section. Everything seemed to be going so well, and the first time I looked at my precious daughter Lily, I absolutely fell in love with her and could scarcely imagine my life without her. It was a dream come true.

Then, just three and a half months after Lily was born, my world was shattered when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer with a survival rate of only about five percent. Those were not hopeful odds, and I was told that if I didn't act immediately, I could not expect to live another 15 months. I was so numb that I could scarcely think, but luckily Cameron was able to put his fears aside long enough to discuss my options with the doctor.

Ultimately, we decided that I would go to Boston for an extrapleural pneumonectomy to remove most of one of my lungs. This required a lengthy recovery period, both in the hospital and a second facility, then finally in my parents' home in South Dakota. It meant a lot of travel and a lot of time away from the quickly growing Lily, but I realized that if I was going to be there for her in the future, I needed to sacrifice the time in these early months. I could not afford to waste any time in getting started.

It was a terrifying experience hearing those statistics and going through the surgery, not to mention the chemotherapy and radiation treatments that followed, and knowing that there was a good chance that I would not survive. However, my newfound strength as a mother sustained me throughout it all. When I felt too weak to fight for myself or even Cameron, I pushed on for my daughter, who needed me. These days, as a spunky seven-year-old, she tells everyone that she saved my life, and I would never deny it. She provided the motivation that gave me the will to live when I just wanted to give up.

Of course, I didn't have to go through this on my own. Cameron was with me every step of the way, and I parents were a huge support to me during this time. What's more, friends, neighbors and relatives from all around came out to show their support in a variety of ways. One of the most helpful was babysitting. It was so hard for me to be away from Lily so much during her first year, but I knew it couldn't be helped. I also knew that she was in the good hands of people who loved her.

Getting cancer was an absolute shock that I never expected to have to go through at such a young age, but I'm so glad that I fought it with everything I had. When I look back on it now, I see how much it strengthened me, showing me what I could accomplish when I had no other choice. It caused me to truly appreciate every moment, a lesson that I carry with me as my daughter begins to develop her own personality and interests. We treasure the time that we spend as a family, knowing that while I am cancer-free right now, that could change. Still, I am so grateful to be alive and well, and I encourage everyone in a situation like mine to keep on holding on to love and to the hope that things will get better."

Isn't she awesome? :)

Here's her blog again, check it out and leave her some love! This woman is a SUPER MOM! Thanks Heather for letting me share your story with my readers!

Pssssssssssst.... Btw, Top Baby Blogs has reset their blog list, so if you could take a few moments to click on this link and vote for my blog. I don't think I have even made it onto the list yet lol, oops! Thanks great readers! You're the best!

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