Jan 31, 2015

Lung Leavin' Day

On February 2nd it's Lung Leavin' Day. On this day nine years ago Heather's lung was removed, because she had a life threatening form of cancer, mesothelioma. Asbestos was the cause of Heather's lung cancer. Most people who are getting diagnosed with this form of cancer are getting a grave prognosis. They told Heather she'd have 15 months to live. Heather didn't give up though and this year it will be the 9th time that she's celebrating the removal of her lung. She has a daughter and she wants nothing more than to see her grow up. 
On the night before her surgery Heather, her family and her friends gathered together. They'd written their fears on a plate and threw them into a fire. Heather has turned this into a recurring event and would like people to join her. As I think Heather is a very brave and strong woman with a very special cause, I didn't hesitate to agree to write something about Lung Leavin' Day on my blog. Her strength is amazing and she's definitely someone I admire. 

Lung Leavin' Day is all about writing down your own fears and throwing them in a fire. It's a great way to deal with the things you're most afraid of. As Heather is brave enough to share her fears with the rest of the world I will do the same with mine. I'm not a healthy person and I never have been. I have a genetic connective tissue defect called EDS. It causes a lot of problems with my joints and my organs. The worst thing about it is the pain and I'm taking 14 painkillers per day to keep it from overwhelming me. Sometimes I'm in too much pain to think and that's something I'm trying to avoid. There's always a small fear that I will have another day like that or that my painkillers won't work any longer. Then there's also something wrong with my immune system. I've been given Azitromicine for it and that helps enough to give me back part of my life. I can't eat many things as it's not the medicine that helps me with my stomach issues, but it's keeping chest infections, pneumonia, ear infections and sinus infections from spreading. I'm more vulnerable than most people and there's always the fear of getting sick. 
The past couple of years I've been so ill I couldn't do anything. I spent my days in bed or on the sofa reading and that's all I could do. Since the Azitromicine I can write and even though it hurts my joints and muscles I'm having a much better life which I enjoy every single day. I'm grateful that I've been given this small part and am also afraid that someone will take my precious medication from me. At the same time I'm also afraid that I'll never be able to eat normally again. My stomach is getting upset from most types of food and I keep having to cross things off my list of food I can take. I always have to bring my own food wherever I go and even then there are no guarantees that it won't make me ill. It didn't used to be like that, as food was my biggest passion. I'm afraid I'll never be able to enjoy it again.
On Monday I'm going to write down these fears and throw them in a fire. Having strength is facing your fears and trying to overcome them which is what Heather's doing over and over again, I think that's amazing. Are you ready to face your fears, so they will no longer be able to control you and are you going to join Heather with me?

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