Sunday, January 22, 2012

{Monday} Moments: You Just Never Know



You just never know
what moments
will make up the fabric
of an ordinary day.  

On Friday, as the
snow drifted down
steadily outside our
windows, I opened
an e-mail from a
complete stranger.

She had written to
ask me a favor.



Why?  In her own
words, Heather wrote:

Your visitors are the
exact type of people
I am trying to reach
out to; the kind of
people who could 
gain something from
my story.

And what a story.



Heather and her husband
were blessed with their
only child, Lily, in 2005.

When Lily was just
three and a half months old,
Heather was diagnosed
with a type of cancer called
malignant pleural 
mesothelioma.



I'm sure you've seen 
the ads on TV for people
suffering with this cancer. 
They show retired miners,
construction workers or
factory laborers, because
there is a link between a 
substance called asbestos, 
which many products used
to be made from, and 
mesothelioma.

In those ads, I've never
seen a 36 year old mom 
with a newborn.


Heather and Lily, 2005
Turns out this self-
proclaimed daddy's girl
 had a father who worked
 in construction and brought
dust home on his clothes.


Dust mixed with asbestos.

Nobody knew then that
something as innocent as
a young girl throwing on
her dad's coat and boots to
run outside and feed her
rabbits would lead to the
word cancer being written
in her life story, later on.



And what a cancer.

Malignant pleural 
mesothelioma is 90-95% 
fatal. Heather's thoughts
immediately went to her
baby.  I won't see
her grow up.  

But her story had
a different ending.

She is one of
the 5-10%.



Her diagnosing doctor 
suggested the new mom
consider consulting with a
specialist in Boston, who had
pioneered a surgery for
pleural Mesothelioma.  Since
the cancer had not spread
to her lymph nodes, Heather
was a candidate for this
major surgery and chemo.

She credits that surgery,
along with faith, gratitude
and a strong will to live,
for being cancer-free, 
six years later.



Would you consider placing
a link to my blog on your site
as a resource for your readers?

She had me at hello.

Read more about Heather's
journey and her campaign 
to spread hope for
Mesothelioma survival,
 here.


Heather and Family, today.
You just never know
what moments will
make up the fabric
of an ordinary day.

xx
Suzanne

Share your own recent
moments, here at our
virtual water cooler, by
leaving a comment or
linking a post.
Don't be shy.....we'll make
room : )


42 comments:

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful and uplifting story of hope! I would love to link this story to my blog if you do not mind, so that more people can hear this incredible story!

Susan I love visiting here, you are in inspiration to me!

Happy Monday!

Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

This brought tears to my eyes when I read it!

Beth said...

The hairs on my arms are standing on end! What a story filled with sadness and then such hope.
I pray that this family continue to receive good news.
Have a good week.
x

Leanne said...

I lost my 58 year old mother to this cancer in 2002. The oncologist didn't diagnose her with it, but after researching her symptoms I knew this wasn't any "normal" lung cancer. We did not get the formal diagnosis until she had passed. During my research I had learned of Dr Sugarbaker in Boston and had even gone as far as to speak to his wife on the phone...We never did get my mom to him, haunts me to this day. I wish I'd put her in my car and just driven to Boston.
It's uncanny that this has just come up on your blog, because just this weekend I was talking to my husband about this doctor. His name hadn't been mentioned for many years.
I am so happy for this woman and her daughter...

michele said...

her story. this kind of hope. it will never ever get old.

thank you, suzanne.

love to you both.

michele

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Oh Suzanne

what a heartfelt story.
They are an amazing family and deserve to have all their dreams fulfilled in 2012.

I feel how lucky I am to have a healthy family - what more could one wish for.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Shane
xox

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

This is one of those moments that one MUST capture and freeze into a story. I am on the run now dearest to get ready for a crazy day at school. I will link my readers on my sidebar tonight. I must also contact Heather. Anita

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

The best part of your post was that wonderful family shot. Thanks for sharing it. I'm off to check out the link.
Best,
Susan

Farmgirl Paints said...

That is incredible. What an uplifting positive story to read on this gloomy Monday morning. You wrote her story perfectly...she knew who would get it right:)

Decor To Adore said...

I can only think of one thing to say: Praise Jesus.

As a little girl who lost her mom to cancer at age 5 I am ever so thankful that Lily will not know that lifelong pain.

I will continue to pray for this brave and wonderful family.

Mary Timmers said...

What a wonderful story! Praise God! Thanks for sharing and I will keep them in my prayers.

traci said...

thanks for sharing this story suzanne. this family is in my prayers. i wish them nothing but the best.

Stitchfork said...

Great to meet you Heather and see your beautiful family with smiles and hopes for a bright future. Off to read more. Thanks for sharing Suzanne!
xo Cathy

SuzyMcQ said...

Suzanne,
As always, thank you for your gentle and eloquent reminders of the preciousness of life. Heather, you are an incredible inspiration and a bright light.

Jemsmom said...

Amazing story... I had read this story through Anita's blog, Far Above Rubies. It struck a chord with me as Jemma was born in 2005 and I just couldn't imagine how I would have gotten through something like that. Her story is wonderful and I am so glad you shared.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

What a wonderful outcome. It feels like a big virtual hug :)

Heather said...

Hi Everyone- Thank you all SO much for your kind words. I am lucky that I get to share my story everyday and here all the caring things people have to say. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I am SO glad Heather has done so well...what an incredible story! I lost an uncle to this cancer. Thanks for sharing her story with us, Suzanne!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Hi Suzanne- I linked to your post today and shared the button, too...beautiful post!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Suzanne,

You have such an open and warm heart. It shouts from every post.

Thank you for sharing this with us...what an amazing woman.

Sarahx

NanaDiana said...

OMGosh- I am new to your blog...over from Itsy Bits & Pieces. Give me a day or two and I will do a feature on my post, too, if that is okay? I am your newest follower. xo Diana

The Boston Lady said...

Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. So glad Heather won the fight. Ann

Alicia said...

wow. that's incredible. you're the perfect person to spread the word.

Kim Stevens said...

This is an incredible story, thank you for sharing it!

I went to church last night to a concert by Josh Wilson and he told the story about a song he wrote for some friends who were told that their in utero son had such a serious heart defect that he would probably only live for days even after surgery and that the surgeon told them that it might be best both emotionally and financially if they terminated the pregnancy. They said that they decided to let God be in control of the outcome and continue with the pregnancy. After many surgeries their son is now 11 years old!! He named the song "Believe".

Leanne said...

Thanks for the 2nd note :) ...I'll have to add my e-mail to the my blog xo

Felicity said...

I just let out a long, heartfelt exhalation Suzanne.

This is the third cancer post I've read in the last ten minutes and it was such a joy to read the inspiring and uplifting ending.

My own SIL had surgery this time last week to remove half of her lung. She's not a smoker, no-one in her family smokes but just like Heather there must be a root cause that at first doesn't seem obvious....that's yet to be determined.

I'm earnestly hoping and praying that my darling SIL has a strong & healthy future before her and that with time less and less we will have to read such heartwrenching tales.

xx's

Ivy Clad said...

What a wonderful way to close out my Monday, with this story of hopes realized!

I'm off to Heather's blog. Thanks for posting this Suzanne!

Keri

A Cottage Muse said...

Now that's a great story to start my day...thanks Heather and Suzanne for sharing!

Tricia said...

Wow, what an amazing story of survival. Thank you for sharing this with us ♥

Lisa Scibilia said...

Oh God is so good; what a great story of hope. Thank you for sharing it, Suzanne.

Butterbean Row said...

thanks for sharing a wonderful story of hope. I am going to try to link up on my blog, if I can figure out how. LOL

♥charlotte

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Heather's story touched my heart, but it also angered me for all the innocents who have suffered for this.

Sending love and prayers for a long and happy life to Heather and her family,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

thistlewoodfarm said...

What a beautiful story of hope and survival! Thanks for sharing.
blessings,
karianne

LuLu said...

When i read this it made me say a prayer for strength to all who fight cancer daily, for all the survivors whose lives are forever changed by their fight with it and for all who work in the field/research of cancer who continue to fight, search for cures for cancer. it takes a village to rid us of cancer and we are all so important in fighting it!
beautiful story and thank you for sharing it,
xo,
Lulu

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Suzanne,

Thank you for coming to visit today! AND I SAW this dear woman's story on another blog this morning. I wrote to her and left a comment on her site. She is truly an inspiration for us to remember the CORE of our "happiness" and that I believe and OFTEN FORGET, is to just LIVE for the simplicity and gift of LIVING. I often dream TOO FAR OFF and forget that what I have now is more than enough. Yes, you read well between the lines. After having spent 17 years in school to do what I do now, going on NINE years, I am only fatigued by the ever-changing system that demands MORE from less people. But I do know that creativity is possible in HOW I teach and that is satisfying. I need to just plug away towards my artistic endeavors (writing, mainly) and enjoy it for what it is: blogging and creating small writing pieces that in themselves are an exercise in my love for language. My hopes and dreams are too big to fit into my life, but my life is worth something as is. And when you compare it to what this woman is courageous enough to face, I can easily march into my classroom tomorrow with a smile.

Anita

artteachergirl said...

Thank you for posting about Heather...such a sweet and beautiful story. I linked her blog and yours on my blog today...always good to pass on the positive!

Sylvia said...

Such an incredible story and such a courageous woman.She definitely found the right person to tell her journey... And you never know what life will bring your way, so be open and listen. I just finished a memoir of a man, a doctor, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and he discovered that facing death made him more alive than ever before;unfortunately Dr..Lee Lipsenthal died in September 2011. " Enjoy Every Sandwich" is the title of the book(speaks for itself).Thank you for posting about Heather and bringing awareness to mesothelioma cancer.
Sending love to you and her

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

What a beautiful story of a lovely family. So grateful to meet them.

Fondly,
Glenda

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hi again sweetie,

I just noticed your link party...I don't think my post match your for their lovely depth - in fact, I feel rather frivolous by contrast! - so I didn't link up...but just wanted you to know that I noticed!

Sarahx

Frizzy said...

I'm crying right now. What an amazing story. Amazing and terrifying and filled with hope and praise.


I just love you and your readers!

Jane said...

Oh Suzanne! Goosebumps in Hobart, Australia. What a remarkable outcome. In Australia we are only too familiar with that cursed condition. As a lawyer, I saw all those poor claimants suing the mining companies. I am so moved by this story - thankyou. J x

Lili said...

Thank you so much for posting this story Suzanne. I was bracing myself just reading the first part, but seeing the miracle unfold in this case was so uplifting. I just keep thinking about the innocence of Heather as a child and the sadness her father would feel as well. The picture of their sweet family with Lily growing up says it all. God bless this precious family. xoxo ~Lili