Lung Leavin’ Day


Today I was asked to write about real fear.  Not the kind that sits in your head, sucking the life out of your day.  But the kind based on a very real event – something that you have, well, none of us have, any control over.

Cameron von St James has asked me to spread the word about his wife’s blog.  You see, his wife, Heather, was diagnosed with a life threatening illness.  An illness that should not happen to someone so young.

In 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to my beautiful daughter Lily Rose, I was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.  Upon learning of this life-altering diagnosis, my husband Cameron and I embarked upon a search to find the best mesothelioma treatment care available.  Our search eventually led us to Dr. David Sugarbaker, a renowned mesothelioma surgeon at the Boston-based Brigham and Women’s hospital.  Reference here.

I can only imagine the fear that must have gone through this family – never knowing what the future may hold.  And then I started to feel really guilty for the anxiety that I live with – that I allow myself to live.

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  Reference here.

But, then I realised, that fear is fear.  And we need to learn to be content and have faith no matter what our circumstances are.  Our walks are all different and only God alone is the author and finisher of our faith.

And so, I’ve had this never-ending battle with hoping my circumstances would change so I could become content.  But God’s taught me a lot about being a content wife over these last 15 years and the key issue is this…it’s not about your circumstances.  It’s not about your man, your home, your finances, or yourself.  It’s about how you’re living for Jesus Christ.  Reference here.

But, we do need people to help us on this walk – be they our spouses, families or friends.  And we need people to be made aware of the walk that we are on.

When I was 36, just after Lily was born, I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos.  People that young aren’t supposed to get mesothelioma, but I did.  When I was a girl, I wore my dad’s work coat all the time.  It was covered in asbestos from his construction job.  Reference here.

And this is what I was asked to do – is to bring awareness to Heather’s story and to her blog.  And I quite like what Heather and her family have done – it’s all about breaking plates.

And from Cameron von St James:

Eight years ago, my wife Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer that kills most people within two years of diagnosis.  She had just given birth to our daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live.  After a life-saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, LungLeavin’ Day was born.  On February 2nd, we celebrated eight years of Heather being cancer free.  The purpose of LungLeavin’ Day is to encourage others to face their fears!  Each year, we gather around a fire in our backyard with our friends and family, write our biggest fears on a plate and smash them into the fire.  We celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, we celebrate life!  This year, we asked bloggers to take part and spread the word about LungLeavin’ Day.

What an awesome event.  We all have fears that we need to face – so take a plate, and smash those fears.  For more information, log onto page mesothelioma.com/heather/lungleavinday that tells the full story.

And I like the analogy of breaking plates – once your fear is broken, like the plates, don’t pick up the pieces, as I so often do, and hold onto them.  Your fear is broken, move forward and move on.  Leave those pieces behind.

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