Friday, March 16, 2012

Timing is Everything

This last week I was contacted by an amazing woman, Heather, who has an incredible story to tell with a beautiful outlook on life.  She was so kind as to write a guest post for me, while it doesn't directly correlate to Celiac/Gluten Intolerance it does relate to handling what life gives you.  It also relates to being a mother, which is certainly a part of this blog, and always welcome here.  Please read, and please encourage your friends and family to read more of Heather's story and philosophy on her blog at  A huge Thank You again to Heather for sharing her journey.

Heather and Family

Timing is Everything
By:  Heather Von St. James

Ineffable, funny sounding word, it’s an adjective with the definition of unable to be expressed in words. Most people can conjure up an adjective to describe any situation life puts in front of you. But alas, there is still one situation that can never be put into words to describe the feeling of it. Cancer, yes cancer, the real “C” word, which was introduced to me first hand on November 21, 2005, roughly four months after the birth of my one and only child. How’s that for timing? You’ll see that timing is a theme of this life episode.

Why would life do this anyone, to me!? Blessed with a new child to care for and now I’m to conquer the big C, malignant pleural mesothelioma to be exact. Why now? Why ever? But I wasn’t going to beat down by any disease. I’m strong, I’m now a Mother and I’ve got a life to live beyond my own. I turned cancer on its head and decided to not be the victim but to accept this challenge with my head held high. Being referred to one of world’s leading mesothelioma doctors, who was able to give me continued hope that I could beat this thing; kept the fire burning in me to beat it.

So did having a sense of humor about it, very important to this ordeal, I could only laugh when realizing that the date of my surgery to remove the tumor was on Groundhogs Day, 2006. We renamed Groundhogs Day, Lungleavin Day, since it was the day my lung left, and every year on the first weekend of February, we have a party to celebrate Lungleavin Day. No seeing any shadows this day. We celebrate the bright light of hope and life.

The big “C” is not so scary, in many ways I’ll be eternally grateful for this challenge that I overcame and lived though. My life has a bigger purpose now, more direction. I didn’t take the birth of my child for granted but there is a pureness to my love of motherhood now, because it could have easily been taken away from me. Proudly I’m now in a special club of beautiful and strong warriors, current battlers and survivors of cancer, their supporters and nurses and doctors who dedicate their lives to beating cancer and bringing more awareness to this disease.

In life, timing is everything. And now I simply approach each day with the joy of being alive and enjoying it, because any day could be your last. Cancer, you’re strong but I’m stronger and wish great strength to any other warriors battling cancer, call me, I’ve been there.