|Heather with her husband, Cam, and daughter, Lily.|
Heather is a wife and mommy, as well as a cancer survivor! I was able to interview her Q and A style. Here we go!
I found out on November 21st, 2005, just 3 1/2 months after my only baby was born. I was a new mom, dealing with all that brings,and then having this dropped on me.. It was a shock to say the least. I had many symptoms that could have been explained by postpartum symptoms.. tiredness, weight loss, anemia... but it was the breathlessness that troubled me. I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without stopping half way to catch my breath.. I knew that was not normal.
|Heather and Cam|
How did it change my world view? I'm much more relaxed about things.. I live my life, and try not to let fear get the best of me.. I have been given a second chance, and I vowed to make it a good one.. and impact those around me. I try to stay positive, and upbeat.. for my daughter mostly... She is my world.My favorite saying is, "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." I try and live by that.. I try to live with no regrets.. But I'm a normal human, I have my bad days too.. I have fears, I struggle with moments of anxiety, but I always try to put things back into perspective. I'm here. I'm alive, and I'm happy.
I want them to know that a cancer diagnosis does not always mean death sentence. Mesothelioma has a dismal survival rate, but the more research, more education, the odds are getting better. Awareness is the first step. Most people know mesothelioma from a commercial on daytime TV... it is not about that.. It is a real, tragic disease.. 1000's of people are suffering because of lack of knowledge and lack of quality care. So letting people know there is hope.. It may not be easy, and the choices aren't always what we want, but there is hope ...
I spend time with family and friends... I really just enjoy every day. When the weather is nice, I can usually be found outside working in my flower gardens and yard, playing with my daughter.. blowing giant bubbles.. We camp, we boat, and in the winter, my husband and Lily ski, while I stay warm in the chalet. We love to travel and have plans for a few trips this summer.. The only impact my experience has had on my choices is to not put them off.. You seriously never know what tomorrow brings, so live for today.. and enjoy it.
Too many!!! I would say flowers... I love growing flowers, having flowers in the house.. nothing like fresh beautiful flowers.. :) Oh.. and great shoes.
Ireland, Scotland and England... So many amazing things to see, the history is so rich, and I know so many people there because of this disease, would be great to actually meet them. :) I love the internet for that reason.
Hm.. that is a hard one.. I'm a pretty open person so I don't really have an answer to that one. If I had to choose one thing maybe it would be Tattoos? :) My whole left arm is covered..
Doesn't Heather inspire you? I know she does me! When she contacted me I was probably whining about a couch I couldn't afford or that my healthy 4-year-old was so rambunctious. Please! I'm so blessed and Heather's story helps me to be thankful for that.
I'm so glad you shared your story, Heather! I'd love to smash some plates with you some day!
To learn more about Heather's journey, please visit her at The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.