Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Heather Von St. James


I forgot how to blog.

THIS, my friends, is a pathetic moment in my life.  Yes, I actually forgot how to log in to my freaking blog.  I actually had to have an email SENT TO MYSELF, to remind ME how to ACCESS MY OWN DAMN BLOG, because APPARENTLY I HAVEN'T BEEN HERE IN FOREVER, and in the meantime, my brain has fallen out.


Okay, well, fuck that.  I'm here now, and it's nice in here.  There are no socks on the floor, and it has a virtual desk, with a virtual picture of me typing away at my computer on it.  The furniture has flowers on it, and there are nice paintings on the walls, and there's this view of this incredible garden that always gets weeded.

It's pretty dusty in here though, and the window hasn't been open in a really long time.

Well, maybe it's time to fix that.  See, this isn't all just pointless rambling, there's actually a point, and I'm getting to it.  Recently, in the spam folder of my email, I discovered there were two emails from a (spammer, spambot, potential dude from a faraway place trying to sell me Viagra) woman named Heather Von St. James.  I sighed for a second, because damn but I get a lot of spam, and I opened it to check it out.  Inside I found a message from Heather, cheerfully asking if I might be able to help her.  I've never met her, so I did the ultra modern thing first and I googled her.


So my page flooded with all kinds of links to not only a real person, but a lady who had beat the odds and survived a disease most of us have heard is nothing short of a death sentence:


Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops from the cells of the mesothelium, which is the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs.  It is most commonly caused by exposure to ASBESTOS fibres.  In case you were unaware, most old buildings; houses, schools, you name it, were insulated with that stuff.  Typically suffered by miners, or construction workers, for example, exposure could be as simple as washing the clothing of a person infected, or, in Heather's case, wearing her father's jacket, as a child, which had been covered with "dust."

Because you see, that's the sneaky thing about Mesothelioma:  symptoms may not appear for twenty to fifty years after you've been exposed.  Even with treatment, most patients don't survive a year after diagnosis.

Heather found out she had Mesothelioma in 2005, when she was just 36, just three months after giving birth to her daughter.  I can't even begin to imagine what that must have been like. She survived, and 9 years later, she is a tireless advocate for research and funding.

And so, my point, AT LAST, is this; I had become extremely cynical.  My own mother died from lung cancer two weeks after diagnosis.  My father died from motor neuron disease four years later.  I have stopped believing in miracles, and any hope that might exist in modern medicine, and then I received an email from a striking woman who kicked cancer's fucking ass, despite tremendous odds.  A woman who I would have read about, years ago, felt horrified and decided that since she had Mesothelioma:  she would most likely die.

And she didn't.

Take that, cynical, jaded karen.

And that is why I decided to write a little bit for Heather, in hopes that it might help someone, and inspire someone, and lead them to a woman with great drive, passion, and a wealth of information.

On Friday September 25, 2015 there will be a Mesothelioma Awareness Day "Tweet Chat" at 1:00 PM in advance of the day itself, September 26.

If you would like to read more about Heather Von St. James, you can click HERE 

For more information on Mesothelioma, click HERE 

For information on treatment of Mesothelioma, click HERE 

If you are in Canada:  Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation

Hope and best wishes to all who struggle with this.


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