Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guest Post by Heather Von St. James : Getting Through the Dark Days for Lily

On August 4th, 2005, my beautiful daughter Lily was born, and things could not have been better. My pregnancy was relatively uneventful besides an emergency C-section for delivery, and then all our friends and family surrounded us. With my husband by my side, I greeted the members of our “village,” and I had no idea what was to come. 

I went back to work soon after Lily was born, but something didn’t feel quite right. I was breathless, and on top of that, I was tired all the time. I am an energetic person, and suddenly, I had no energy. It could have been the stress of having a newborn around, but I knew it was something else. I consulted a doctor, and then we were shocked with the results.

I will always remember November 21, 2005 as the day that I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. This malignant cancer was caused by childhood exposure to asbestos, and all of my symptoms lined up. This cancer attacks the lungs, which accounted for my breathlessness.

When I got the diagnosis, I was shocked, but then when I looked into the faces of my husband and my new daughter, my course was clear. Without mesothelioma treatment, I only had 15 months to live. Because mesothelioma is so aggressive, we opted for the most drastic measures possible. Leaving Lily with my parents, my husband and I flew to Boston. On February 2nd of the following year, I had a procedure known as a extra pleural pneumonectomy. My lung was removed and after 18 days in the hospital and 2 months of recovery, I started chemotherapy and radiation.

This would not have been possible at all if my parents hadn’t stepped in. They were with us in spirit, and they took Lily and began to raise her in our place. Because they worked full time, their church group ended up taking over some of Lily’s care, and even where they weren’t taking of Lily, this vibrant community continued to chip in, helping my parents with chores, food and support. This outpouring of love surprised and humbled me. While some people I thought I could rely on were nowhere to be found, other people I never would have expected to help showed up and asked to be useful!

I won’t say that there were never dark days. I was missing out on a part of my daughter’s life that I would never get back, and though my parents sent emailed pictures and the nurses adored seeing my new baby, some days I just had to hold back torrents of tears. I was fighting for my life and those pictures told me that I was right to do it!

Life isn’t easy, but it is so rich. I have embraced my life, and though my cancer experience was one of the darkest times in my life, I learned so much. I learned about myself and about the community that surrounded me, always willing to come through with love and support. 

Guest post written by Heather Von St. James; Courageous mother, wife and survivor of mesothelioma cancer. Read more about Heather and Mesothelioma here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I'm still here....

sorry, life happens.  hope to blog soon

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We have a Winner!!! Better late than never!

WE have a winner !!!!!! Sorry for the delay

Lisa said...             I posted on facebook .....    that was the post that did it.  She has a wonderful blog about books and reading and I hope to peruse it further....

Thank you everyone for joining the fun :)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Meet me on Monday and Giveaway Reminder

It's time for meet me on monday from Java at Never Growing Old

1. What is your favorite way to eat potatoes? after tonight -  small ones boiled with butter, salted and topped with grated real parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. - yum

2. What was the last package that was delivered to your house?

3. What is your favorite scent that you love to smell? anything clean smelling

4. Do you smoke? NO!

5. Are your parents married or divorced? they were married until they left this world.  they would have been married 50 years this past christmas.

Don't forget - there is a giveaway going on below....  you can take this shortcut to get there

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Giveaway! The Flu has Flown and Spring has Sprung!

So I had these great plans to share a couple of adventures but was swiftly sidelined almost died from the flu. That wasn't official, and I am pretty sure there wasn't an eulogy in the works, just a description of how it felt. Man, it was brutal.  It is making it's way through the family as we speak, or I may just have someone playing hooky claiming a sore throat.   It has just been a rough couple of months, we had harsh weather here, and multiple issues with my youngest, and I just couldn't be happier to see beautiful weather 2-3 days in a row.  Sure enough I looked up this morning and the trees are budding!  

 Today is just optimal weather.  Started off little foggy and 57 this am and is  expected to be around 75 today and mostly sunny.  For those in colder climates never fear, spring *IS* really on the way.   I bring you promises of spring and summer to come.  Of swinging on wood swing sets,  drinking lemonade, games of tag played out on fresh cut grass, and wonderful memories with family and friends.

So, to celebrate the little buds that appeared on my tree this am,  I am hosting a giveaway, compliments of CSN Stores for a gift certificate for 35.00.  ( disclaimer: I was offered a chance to do a review or host a giveaway, and giveaways are just  so much more fun. So at their request, please mosey on over to the link listed above and check out their wonderful selections of swing sets.  Having a newly turned 15 year old who's habit is growing out of clothes before I can finish checking out is prohibitive to my giveaway budget, I hope you understand.)

So, just like before,  or otherwise known as, since i am still under the effects of cold medicine and there is no telling what I would /could come up with,  I reserve the right to copy and paste from my last contest.

If you are not aware of CSN STORES, you are missing out they are a great website with a collection of over 200 stores - from swing sets to .... umm.... umm.... OK people, they seriously have everything! Take a look. Cold medicine + me = thrilling writing?not so much.

So as you peruse CSN Stores you will see there are some wonderful items and one lucky reader will receive a 35.00gift card to spend there.

How to enter: There are five chances to win listed below. For each method you use please include the method in each entry. For example: Bonnie - I tweeted about it - include the link.

Just leave a comment on this blog with the item you would most like by Friday, March 11Th pm at midnight. Don't forget to include your email address. This is good for one entry.

Follow my blog - for one more entry- don't forget to leave a comment if you do. " hey, I followed" is fine.

Post about this giveaway and link back to it- one entry -leave a comment with the link to your blog.

Facebook or Tweet about this contest- worth one entry each - hey if you do both you get 2 additional entries - leave a comment after doing so for the additional entry into the contest.

That is an opportunity to enter up to five times! Don't forget to include your email in your entry- if I can contact you through your blog that is fine. This contest is open until Friday, March 11, 2011 to the residents of the US and Canada.

Note the gray share button below to make it easier for everyone- good luck everyone !

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I  have been meaning to post, I really have.  I have had a sick kiddo since Christmas and  in the month following  we made 4 trips to the er - two from the camp he attended out of town the week between Christmas and New Years and he was hospitalized once.... so  I have been a little busy with doctors appointments and tests and scans and etc. He had a GI scope which was a party mostly due to the anesthesia - let me tell you.  I will post on that later.  I will just say I am so glad I wasn't alone with the boy in recovery.  For all intents and purposes he is 6'5 and wasn't too intent on staying in the bed, but couldn't master sitting up straight or anything else for awhile.

We had the " ice storm " here in the Houston area, which didn't materialize quite the way it was prophesied by the Meteorologist. We had another round of cold weather aka ARTIC BLAST - but picture those words the way they are displayed on TV  in  ALL CAPS complete  ith icicles hanging off of them  - that presents  a much more dramatic effect.  Cause All CAPS ice blue lettering just doent give the full effect of the impending doom that is the ARTIC WINDS set to invade Texas and prettymuch end all life as we know it...   At 2pm yesterday,  it was 24 degrees according to my vehicle, which is pretty smart. We were without power from 3pm until after 8pm? I am not exactly sure when power was restored.  Cold, dark and hungry, I decided to hibernate and I slept thru the return of  glorious electricity.  When I got up this am  it was 24 degrees with windchill feeling like 15 degrees.  I have a friend in the Netherlands and it is warmer there ...  it is suppose to get into the 40's today.  I just checked  at noaa.gov.  The high is suppose to be 42, this afternoon and tonight 21. Humm, means probably no power this evening due to the agency in charge of buying power for Texas.

South East Texas is just not suppose to be that cold y'all...

Maybe if I have power  later I will post about The almost fire at  The Walmarts later.

 it will be worth a return trip, I promise.