Recently I was contacted by Cameron Von St.James, the husband of Heather- a mesothelioma survivor. Yes, you read that right survivor. Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer that kills most people within two years of diagnosis. Heather was given 15 months to live after just giving birth to her little girl, Lily. She underwent a life saving surgery and removed one of her lungs, and has now been cancer free for eight years. It is nothing short of a medical miracle.
Heather and her family decided to name that day LungLeavin' Day. The purpose of LungLeavin' Day is to encourage others to face their fears. I cannot imagine what Heather had to face given such a grim prognosis, but the fears must have been overwhelming.
I love the power of positive thinking. I am a realist, but also an optimist. It has been documented in medical journals time and time again that the attitude of a patient has a lot to do with the outcome/success of their recovery. Heather proved just that. She embraced each day and lived it, without spending too much time planning or dwelling on what might happen in the future. She threw her fears into the fire- something we all need to do now and then.
Heather and her family celebrate LungLeavin' Day by writing their fears on a plate and then literally smashing it into a fire. Although February 2nd has passed I wanted to share her story here with you because I feel the message is something we need to remember every day of the year.
If you could write one of your greatest fears on a plate what would it be? Does it take up your time living by worrying about it? Sometimes we can become so consumed with a worry to the point of missing the beautiful time we have to really live. Heather and her family have made it a practice to live in the moment and squeeze the most out of their one incredible life. You don't have to have cancer or a life threatening disease to learn from that.
The happiest people are those who live in the moment and really enjoy where they are. Living life thinking that you will just be happy when you get a new job, car, take a trip, or something else happens in the future robs you of your enjoyment of where you are right now. Heather and her family were forced into living in the now, but I can guarantee that they are happier for it. They realize that each day truly is a gift, and we could learn a lot from their example.
To learn more about Cameron and Mesothelioma you can check out his website here. You can read more about Heather and her journey here.