Monday, July 29, 2013

Guest Post - Battling Cancer

We have something different for you today. A guest post! One of our readers wanted to share this inspirational and completely amazing story with you. I can't imagine going through what she did! 

Battling Cancer

I couldn't wait to start being a mother. By the time I was pregnant, I was ready for anything that could happen. I had read books about being a mother, eaten healthy foods throughout pregnancy and gone to the best doctors I could find. Each day, I devoted time to planning my life as a new mother. Once I gave birth to my child, motherhood was amazing. As soon as I looked at Lily, my newborn daughter, I just knew that I was the most fortunate mother on earth. 

Eventually, I found out that I hadn't been prepared for everything after all. 3 ½ months after giving birth, my doctor diagnosed me with a form of cancer known as pleural mesothelioma. Unfortunately, the prognosis for mesothelioma is bleak. According to my doctor, I would have had 15 months to live without treatment. Right away, my focus was on being able to see my daughter grow up. 

My husband and I eventually settled on me traveling 1200 miles away to Boston for mesothelioma treatment. I wasn't able to be there for a month of my daughter's life while I was getting surgery to take out my left lung, heart lining and diaphragm. Afterwards, I received radiation and chemotherapy for what remained of the first year of Lily's life. I had been planning on spending this time with my daughter, but instead I was fighting to stay alive. Luckily, my parents took care of Lily during that time in order to avoid the stress of my cancer and treatment. I also have a wonderful husband and many others who gave me their support.

After we returned home from Boston, I played with Lily outside, went for walks with her, took her to the park and brought her to play with friends when I had enough energy. Those days where I was too tired, I was able to relax with Lily next to me, giving her my love and thinking about how fortunate I was to have her in my life. 

Although my life has undergone some changes since I gave birth to Lily eight years ago, it is still the same in many ways. We have been incredibly lucky to be raising a daughter who is so beautiful and positive. In addition to being optimistic and good-natured, Lily also understands how valuable life really is.  She knows what our family experienced, and she realizes how precious she is to us. Although she might not remember too many things from that first year of her life, the experience will never fade from my memory. 

Mesothelioma was a horrible experience. During that time, we didn't know what might happen in the future but we were able to stay hopeful and are now able to see the positive aspects we have gained from winning this fight; our family values each other more than ever before, and we never take our lives for granted. I want to share this story with others so that people in similar situations can relate and ultimately feel a sense of hope.
What an amazing story, right?! Thanks for sharing with us!
Happy Monday everyone!

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