There are certain things you know to expect when having your first baby. You read the books to learn about being a mother; you talk to friends about their own experiences, and you prepare yourself as much as possible before the big day arrives.
Like any situation, there are always surprises along the way. For me, going to the hospital earlier in the day only to be sent back home because my contractions had stopped was just one road bump along the way to motherhood.
The doctors had to schedule me a cesarean section upon discovering my baby was frank breech. I said I was glad because that meant our baby would have a nice round head when she came out. This was my way of looking at the positive in bad situations, and it would certainly come in handy later on in life.
Lily Rose and her nice round head came into the world at 5:18 a.m. that day. This was now the biggest thing our lives, nothing was going to bring us down, for now.
The first couple months of being a mother went fast. They were filled with nursing, changing, cooing, and crying.. I had some days where I didn’t feel quite right, but as many would, I chalked it up to the changes of being a new mom.
On November 21st, 2005, three words changed my life forever. It was one of those dreadful moments that forever splits your life into “before” and “after”. “You have cancer.”
It’s called mesothelioma, and it kills 90-95% of people who have it.
The rest of my story details the days between then and now, how I fought to stay alive for my family, the sacrifices we had to make along and way, and how I am now 5 ½ years cancer free. You can read more here.
Heather Von St James is a mother, wife, and mesothelioma cancer survivor. She is a guest blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.