Jul 26, 2015

Happy All or Nothing Day | Mesothelioma Awareness

Not only is today my dear husband's birthday, it is also All or Nothing Day!  I was introduced to this special holiday by Heather Von St. James, an incredible woman who has survived mesothelioma.  If you haven't heard her story, you must read about it here.  All or Nothing Day celebrates living with passion and drive despite the cards you may have been dealt in life.  This day is special to Heather and if you read her story you'll see why.

Did you know mesothelioma is a preventable cancer?  Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos.    Yet, even though we know this to be true, asbestos is still used today.  It's use is not banned.  On the average, those diagnosed with mesothelioma survive 10 months, and most perish within 15 months.  Heather is a nine-year survivor.  How did Heather contract mesothelioma at age 36?  Her dad was a construction worker and as a young child she would wear his dust-covered jacket outside.  In this simple way, she became exposed.  It is Heather's mission to bring asbestos and mesothelioma awareness to the world.  She is determined to put an end to this preventable disease and to help those who have been diagnosed.

As a multiple sclerosis patient, All or Nothing Day has special meaning to me.  The diagnosis of a chronic and potentially disabling disease can be devastating.  When I was diagnosed in 2009 I saw my life and the person that I was come crashing down.  "How will I take care of my children?  Will I be able to help my family as I've always wanted?  Will I still be able to work?  Take care of the house?  Will I be able to be helpful to my friends? Garden? Enjoy life?  Scrapbook?"

Getting help for my emotional state was KEY to helping me live my life productively despite my MS.  I found an excellent psychiatrist through a recommendation from another doctor.  Every day, I thank this psychiatrist, as living my life as I do now would not have been possible without her.  There are many components to living life well, but my psychiatrist was a major force in being able to do so.  

If you are reading this and struggling to live life well, I urge you to see a good doctor as I did.  Get a good recommendation and if the first MD doesn't work well for you, try another.  

Emotional care is just as important as physical care.  If you are suffering, make this day, All or Nothing Day, the day you start getting better by getting help.

Happy All or Nothing Day!

1 comment:

  1. What an inpsiration you and your friend are! How heartbreaking that she got cancer in such a seemingly harmless way.

    So happy to hear your psychiatrist is such a big help. Emotional health is definitely important, very good advice to seek support. Even in dealing with my son's illness, I find myself needing extra emotional support too. You are awesome, Betsy!


I love sharing creative stuff and would love to visit your blog! Thanks for stopping by!