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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How I Survived My Wife"s Battle With Cancer


I came across your blog and really identified with some of your writing. My name is Cameron Von St. James and my wife was diagnosed with an extremely rare and deadly cancer called mesothelioma. Normally when diagnosed with mesothelioma, a person has a life expectancy of about 3-12 months, but after intense treatment and recovery she is still here 7 years later.

There are many steps to take as a caregiver when dealing with any type of harmful disease. Would you allow me to write an article for your blog about my personal experience as a caregiver to my wife? We struggled through so many hardships during this tough time, but found a way to make it through.

I'd love to share our story of hope with your readers who might take something away from it. This is an important message to get out there so please let me know if you would be interested in seeing it and sharing it with your readers.

Thank you for all you do in making a difference, Cameron

Dear Cameron,

If you will email me your story I will be glad to post it on my blog to inspire others

Hi A. B.

Thanks so much for this opportunity! I've attached my story to this email, thank you so much for considering it for your blog. Please feel free to take a look and let me know what you think whenever you get a chance. If you do enjoy it, I'd be thrilled if you shared it with your readers.

Thanks again, I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback!


Here is my story:

How I Survived When My Wife Was Fighting Cancer

Loved ones and caregivers struggle greatly when their family members face a battle with cancer. My wife has frequently mentioned that she can’t imagine how I felt during the days after her diagnosis with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The raw emotion and sense of being overwhelmed that I felt in those days is something I find difficult to share, even with her.

Heather’s battle with mesothelioma began a mere three months after the birth of our only child, Lily. I remember hearing the diagnosis for the first time. I gazed into my wife’s watery eyes and thought, “How are we ever going to get through this?”

Initially, I was overcome by fear and rage. For days I struggled to speak without bursting into a string of profanity. Slowly, a sense of responsibility began to overtake my fear and anger. I needed to be strong for my family. My wife and daughter needed to be able to rely on me as their rock, their source of stability.

Immediately after my wife’s diagnosis, my daily to-do list was longer than anything I could handle. At first, I would frequently become overwhelmed. Soon, however, I learned to accept the help offered by friends and family, as well as to prioritize those things I needed to get done. Times were still rough, but with the support of loved ones, we would make it.

Perhaps the most difficult time for me during Heather’s battle with cancer was the two-month period following her surgery in Boston. She flew to South Dakota where our daughter was staying with her parents while I stayed home to work. While she was there preparing to undergo chemotherapy and radiation as her next phase of mesothelioma treatments I only got to see her once.

While the time away from my wife and daughter was extremely difficult, to this day I do not think of that time as a loss. I made the best decisions I could at the time so that my wife could recover and we could be reunited as a family as soon as possible. In fact, the ability to choose and make decisions became a comfort to me, a sort of way to maintain some control during a time when life seemed out of control.

Following my wife’s battle with mesothelioma, I remain thankful for the opportunity to make choices in life. This and learning how to accept help from others are the two main lessons I have taken from this experience. Through all of our struggles, Heather is still here and still healthy over six years later. I hope that our story can be a source of hope and help  to those currently battling cancer.

Dear Cameron

I loved your story. It was simple and eloquent at the same time, as well as helpful. Your pointing out that making decisions helped you to maintain a sense of control when things seemed out of control was extremely insightful, and I think will be helpful to many. A. B. Curtiss

For more information see:

Mesothelioma treatments

Malignant plueural misothelioma

Link to Cameron’s blog    http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/cameron/

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