That Hippy Bag

breast cancerI hadn’t planned on spending Day 1 of Life after Breast Cancer Diagnosis in a mall, but my friend Karen insisted. “Once those chemo appointments start, you’ll have no time to shop. Get everything now, and you won’t be scrambling later.”

As we walked through the mall, I mentally planned my shopping list: nightgowns, pajamas, a new robe, comfy day clothes. I was surprised when Karen pointed to my black, leather purse. “You’ll need a larger bag for when you start your treatments. Something more durable that’ll hold its shape.”

I started to argue and then stopped. After all, she was the seasoned warrior who had already traveled this path.

Continue reading on Vicki Batman’s blog.


With Hope, the Odds Don’t Matter

Last week, Heather Von St. James asked me to share her story on my blog and help build hope and awareness for her campaign.

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Heather’s story…

At the age of thirty-six, Heather’s life was an idyllic one. Three months earlier, she had given birth to a beautiful daughter, Lily Rose. Heather did not expect to receive a life-altering diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma at a routine checkup.

What is pleural mesothelioma?

It is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelioma, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. Find out more information here.

Heather’s doctor informed her she had only fifteen months to live.

After the initial shock subsided, Heather and her husband Cameron embarked upon a search to find the best mesothelioma treatment care available. Their search led them to the Dr. David Sugarbaker, a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston based Brigham and Women’s hospital. Dr. Sugarbaker recommended a new surgical procedure that had several risks but also carried the promise for the best outcome. With the support of her husband and family, Heather agreed to have the surgery.

Today, Heather is a ten-year mesothelioma cancer survivor with a mission. Determined to provided hope and inspiration to mesothelioma patients, Heather shares her story as keynote speaker at conferences and through social media forums. And she celebrates Lung Leaving Day.

What is Lung Leaving Day?

Heather and her sister decided to commemorate her journey with a special ceremony. Each year, on February 2nd, the two sisters encourage people around the world to write their biggest fears on a plate and smash the plate into a fire. A beautiful and powerful symbol of taking control and overcoming your fears.

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Heather’s trailer


Heather’s journey reminded me of the following poem by Sri Chinmoy…

Hope
Knows no fear.

Hope dares to blossom
Even inside the abysmal abyss.

Hope secretly feeds
And strengthens
Promise.

Where to find Heather…

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Stop Overthinking Everything!

breast cancerI’ll organize my cancer.

That’s the first thought that came to mind when Dr. McGillivray started talking about my treatments. As she spoke, my well-developed left brain itemized all the tasks that had to be completed over the next ten months. And of course, everything had to be done perfectly and by me. That’s how I had survived during the first fifty years of my life. Or more precisely, the first forty-nine years, seven months and seven days.

Continue reading on Sandra Dawes’ blog.

A Theme Song for Cancer

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Searching for a bible reading was the farthest thing from my mind during that first month after receiving the diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer. Between appointments and all sorts of tests—biopsy, bone density, ultrasounds—I had very little time to do much else. Once the chemo treatments started, I was barely able to focus on my dwindling list of daily tasks.

Continue reading at Jessica Jefferson’s blog.