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5 Things Every Advocate Should Remember

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 7/6/2016

Heather and friend Bruce

A strange thing happened to me during my cancer treatment: I had the strong desire to help people, to give back, to inspire. I wanted to be an advocate.

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The Real Costs of Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 5/24/2016

Real Cost of Cancer

When one hears the word “mesothelioma,” everyone immediately thinks of the commercials on TV: “If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure… “ and then they think everyone who gets this cancer is automatically wealthy because of a lawsuit. Well, I’m here to set that record straight.

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The Importance of Support for Cancer Patients

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 8/7/2014

When I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, I felt more isolated than I ever had in my life.. I was a mere 36 years young and told I had an incredibly rare cancer that, in most cases, was diagnosed in much older men. I felt utterly alone and defeated.

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Lily's View

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 8/12/2013

Heather & Lily

My daughter Lily just celebrated her 8th birthday this month. Eight years old! At times I find it hard to believe she is already 8. Other times it seems like she should be older because she is so wise for her age. Of course we had a HUGE birthday party to celebrate, because I like to make a big deal about birthdays. I have since her first birthday, quite simply because I didn’t know if would be around to see her turn 1, let alone 8!

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Faith Through Cancer - I am a Lighthouse

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 3/7/2013

I am a lighthouse “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."Jeremiah 29:11

This scripture was on a card sent to me by a friend shortly after he found out I had cancer. When I opened the card, and read those words, I sobbed. I sobbed because it was EXACTLY what I needed to read and needed to know, that I would be ok. It was those words that got me through some very scary times in these last 7 years. Those words were, and still are, my lifeline.

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Fear of a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 1/17/2013

Heather & Cam on Lungleavin Day

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”-Mark Twain

I hear it often from people, how brave I am and how much courage I have. Sometimes I just have to laugh, because, going through what I’ve been through with my mesothelioma battle, I don’t feel very brave. At times, the fear was so overwhelming, all I could do was cry out to God to help me. I would love to say that through the last 7 years, I’ve learned to conquer my fears. After all, Lungleavin Day, our celebration of the anniversary of my extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery, is all about overcoming fears. But I still have my moments, more often than I would like to admit. I have the usual fears creep in, my “scanxiety” I’ve blogged about before, little pangs of fear before I fly, but the biggest fear I struggle with is the fear of something happening to my daughter. This is something that has plagued me since she was born.

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Treatments, Thanks & Traditions

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 12/28/2012

Lily as an elf

I love social media! Through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I've been able to communicate with literally hundreds of people throughout the world. I especially love it during the holidays, because it gives me a glimpse into the traditions and lives of my new friends. Traditions are the rituals we all do year after year and carry on generation after generation without question. We just do them "because it's always been this way".

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Scans + Anxiety = Scanxiety: My Biannual Checkup in Boston

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 10/22/2012

Scanxiety Definition

Scanxiety: Noun [skan-zi-etee]: Uneasiness waiting for ones scans after cancer treatment. ie: I get Scanxiety the week or so before I go to Boston for my check ups.

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Awareness Is Key

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 9/25/2012

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

I've said it before, my mesothelioma cancer was all at once the worst thing and best thing that has ever happened to me. Getting the diagnoses when my baby was only 3 1/2 months old was certainly not in our plans. I planned on being a working mom, but this cancer changed all that. I get to be a stay at home mom, I get volunteer with my daughter’s school and help out when I can. I actually enjoy it far more than I thought I would. When I worked in the salon, I used to joke that they would have to pry the shears out of my cold, dead hand before I ever quit, but I guess someone had other plans for me. Some days I do miss going to work, but all I have to do is sit and read some of the comments on my blog or Facebook page to know that I am doing the right thing-- I'm making a real difference in people's lives.

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Of Memories and Milestones

  • Author: Heather Von St. James
  • Date: 9/13/2012

First day of 2nd grade First day of 2nd grade!

Lily started 2nd grade this year-- 2nd grade! She’s a bright and vibrant 7 year old with a stubborn streak a mile long, and sweetness that will melt even the most bitter of hearts. I love going to ‘meet the teacher’ night and seeing how excited she gets when she walks through those doors at school. So confident and filled with hope and wonder-- she loves her school.

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About Heather

  • Wife of Cameron Von St. James and mother to Lily Rose
  • Pleural mesothelioma survivor
  • Treated by Dr. David Sugarbaker, world renowned mesothelioma expert and thoracic surgeon
  • Self proclaimed “Poster child for hope after mesothelioma” for those suffering from asbestos disease
  • Continues to live with strong faith, abundant gratitude and an unbeatable will to live each day

Read more about Heather »

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Upcoming Events

September 2018

ADAO Mesothelioma Awareness Month

“The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization's (ADAO) mission is to educate the public and medical community about asbestos-related diseases and preventing asbestos exposure, while supporting research that leads to early detection, prevention, and a cure. For more information, please visit the organization's website via the link below. ”


9/8/2018
Starting point: Admiral’s Marina, Stillwater, NY

Kayaking for Meso

“Kayaking for Meso’s mission is to raise awareness about asbestos-caused mesothelioma and to raise money for research to fight this rare cancer. Monies raised will be donated to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF). For more information, please visit Kayaking for Meso's website via the link below. ”

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