Monday, February 2, 2015

Lung Leavin' Day 2015 ~ Throw Your Fears Away!

When I read the following story; I knew I wanted to spread the word on this. I was touched by Heather's story. She was only 36 years old and had just given birth to her daughter Lily when she was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos.  She was very young for getting this diagnosis. When she was just a young girl, she wore her Dad's coat all the time and it was covered in asbestos from his construction job which was the source of this disease. 
At the time of diagnosis Heather was given only 15 months to live. Can you imagine the fears that Heather had at this time. She had fears of the unknown. What would her new little one and husband do without her? What was she facing in treatments and surgeries for this diagnosis. Would these treatments work? What about the recurrence of this after treatment?
Nine years ago, Heather had her lung removed. Just think about the fear of losing one of your lungs. Her fears were overwhelming. Her sweet sister wanted to lighten her thoughts and she named Heather's surgery; "Lung Leavin' Day". So each year on February 2nd and through the week they celebrate "Lung Leavin' Day. This celebration helps to spread the word on this lung disease.
Lung Leavin' Day is about overcoming your fears. They celebrate each year by getting together as a family and friends and then they write their fears on plates and smash them in a fire. 
Mesothelioma is a disease that at this time has no known cure. It is treated with chemotherapy and surgery;  which can prolong life. You can read more about Mesothelioma here. Cameron Von St. James, Heather's husband has a web site with more information on ways of helping fight this dreaded disease.
The reason that I wanted to share this is that I have fears about lung diseases myself. When I was in my early 20's, married and had one little son; I was diagnosed with a rare lung disease called, Sarcoidosis. This disease can be life threatening. I was deeply concerned and fearful about my future. This disease is not as serious as what Heather has; but at that time I had deep fears about it. I was blessed and this disease has been in remission for over 40 years. 
Twenty four years ago my husband had a heart attack at the age of 45. Within two weeks of having the heart attack he had a plural effusion in his right lung. He had chest tubes placed to drain the fluids off his lung. This was a very scary time for us. Within that year he also had heart double by-pass surgery.There are many fears associated with these kinds of diagnosis-es. Through many prayers of faith, priesthood blessings and medical treatments he is alive today.  
 Just two weeks ago my husband was diagnosed with Pulmonary Emboli. He has small blood clots in both lungs and one larger one in his right pulmonary artery. This was life threatening but treatable. He is recovering now and doing well. My husband's story can be found here.
 Heather and her husband Cameron Von St. James invite us all to write our fears on a plate and smash them in the fire on their web site here.

 Have faith and hope in your future and don't let these fears overcome you. I have found great peace in my own faith and religious beliefs. In closing these thoughts I do feel that there is something very therapeutic in throwing your fears away in the fire. 


Marie Rayner said...

Thanks for this LeAnn. Hugs and blessings to you and Roger and for the fine examples you set for all of us. Lungs are a weakness in my family. I have had pneumonia several times which is no fun and can be life threatening. We also have asthma, which is life threatening as well. It's no fun either. Our lungs are so precious. I am glad that your disease is in remission and that Roger is doing so well. I will take a look at your friends page! xxoo

Christy Monson said...

Our prayers will be with this sweet lady. May God bless her. Lots of love to you for sharing this precious story.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Oh my, I didn't know you and your hubby just went through a scare. I'm so happy to hear that he is doing well and I pray that he will continue to do so. I have had a couple of breathing issues that my doctor says is due to acid reflux, so I know how scary it can be. I think writing down fears and throwing them away is an excellent idea! I try to turn mine over to God, but I still tend to be too fearful at times.
Take care!

Debbie said...

this is a GREAT story, one of courage and bravery!!

we are all climbing a mountain, all of us. life is a mountain, so worth climbing!!!!


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