A Remarkable Post from Heather

“My Story”

On August 4, 2005 my sweet baby girl was born. Lily was the most
beautiful baby I had ever seen. I was sure no one had ever been
as happy as me, and I thought nothing could ever destroy this
newfound happiness.

Having a newborn is joyous, but also exhausting. At first,
I attributed my constant fatigue to the normal new parent
sleeplessness. When I continued to have no energy and difficulty
completing even the simplest of tasks without losing my breath, I
began to wonder if I had postpartum depression.

When my maternity leave ended, I returned to work despite the fact
that my energy levels were still terribly low. I finally decided to visit
a doctor with the hope that my fatigue could be treated and I could
return to my normal life.

After running a gamut of tests, my doctor came to me with the
news I never thought I would hear. “You have cancer.” I could
not have been more shocked. In just three short months I had
experienced the greatest joy and the worst devastation.

November 21, 2005, a day I will never forget. I was told I had
malignant pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer in
the lining of my lung. I felt like my world was ending. The chance to
see my little girl grow up was being ripped away from me because
of some asbestos exposure I had experienced 30 years earlier.

There was a small chance that my condition would respond to
treatment, but it meant going to Boston to be treated by one of
the worlds best mesothelioma doctors. It nearly ripped out my heart to
think of leaving my little girl to undergo treatment. Then I thought
of the alternative. I was determined that my baby would not grow
up without a mother. I knew she would be in the best hands at the
home of my parents, my childhood home.

As hard as this time was, it was made easier through the support
of my friends and family. My husband, in-laws, parents and

wonderful friends rallied around me. They all believed that I could
do anything, giving me strength even in my darkest moments.

My stay in Boston was full of such mixed emotions. I missed my
family and my home. The treatments were painful and exhausting,
but I met so many wonderful, supportive people. Through the
process of removing my lung and the subsequent chemotherapy I
underwent, their belief in me never flagged.

I was so touched to hear from my parents that my old friends were
stepping up to the plate to assist in caring for Lily. Knowing that
they cared so much was a constant source of comfort to me during
this hard time.

Today, I am home enjoying every moment of life with my family. I
never cease to appreciate them. Without them I may not have had
the strength to fight and win my battle with cancer.




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