Monday, April 30, 2012

Your Works Are Wonderful

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" 
Psalm 139:13-14

Today I am doing something different.  I am opening up my blog for a guest post.  After being contacted by Heather and hearing her story I realized we all have something we are passionate about.  Sometimes our passion is born out  of situations we would rather not have experienced however Gods ways are higher than our ways. He truly can take stuff like cancer or infertility and bring goodness out of it to further His kingdom by bringing hope and healing to a broken world.  

Welcome Heather!

Optimism Helped Save My Life

As an optimist I am well aware of the fact that I am always wearing rose-colored glasses. I found my optimism to be more useful than ever when I was 36 and diagnosed with life-threatening cancer. To top it off, I had just given birth 3-1/2 months earlier.

On November 21, 2005, I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I could never have expected this diagnosis, especially when I felt that I was supposed to be having the time of my life with my new addition. I heard those words, “You have cancer.” I knew that I had choices; I could give up or I could face the diagnosis head on. I made my choice there, to put on my rose-colored glasses and fight so that I could raise my little girl.

I was referred to one of the leading mesothelioma doctors who truly gave me the hope that I would beat cancer. I gave the tumor, on my lung, a nickname – Punxsutawney Phil. I chose this name because I had my tumor removed on Groundhog’s Day in 2006. We gave that holiday a nickname too – Lungleavin Day. Every year we celebrate to remember that it is possible to conquer fear and see the good come from bad celebrations if we maintain hope and continue fighting.

If I was never diagnosed with cancer, there are so many amazing, strong and passionate people I would never have met. These people are tough. I call them mesothelioma warriors because they are committed to spawning awareness to this disease that most people know very little about. I am also proud to call them my friends. Anybody can become affected by mesothelioma; wives, husbands, sons, daughters and parents are affected. If not for my battle with cancer I would not know them.

Cancer is a double-edged sword in that it is the worst thing that has happened to me but it has left me changed for the better. I chose to see this dreadful situation as something I could bring light to, a situation that I would approach with no fear. I refused to give up the hope that I would survive. I feel that my life has so much more purpose now. I want to continue doing whatever I can to help others still fighting their battles.