About being Thankful

Today I am not going to write about me. Today I am going to share an inspiring story about hope and the reasons for being thankful during this season.  Thank you Cameron for sharing your story and the story of your wife Heather.

This is their story….

My Reason for Giving Thanks this Holiday Season
By Cameron Von St. James

My favorite time of the year has always been the holiday season. It is a great time to spend with family members and friends, creating memories that will last a lifetime. It was seven years ago, August of 2005, when my wife and I were celebrating the birth of Lily, our first and only daughter. My wife, Heather, and I were so excited to be able to spend the holidays with our new baby girl. We were already discussing different traditions that we would pass on to her, when all of the happiness of the holidays came to an immediate halt. Heather received news from her doctor that she had mesothelioma, a rare and very deadly form of cancer.

We learned of Heather’s diagnosis when our daughter was just 3 months old and just three days before Thanksgiving. During a holiday where people are supposed to give thanks, I could not help but to feel very unthankful and miserable. My emotions were all over the place and I felt angry and afraid most of the time. I understood that a diagnosis of mesothelioma meant a struggle ahead, and that most people did not make it through. I tried to stay hopeful, but I was afraid that I would lose my wife as things were spiraling out of control.

Although I had no celebration in me, we still managed to gather with Heather’s family for Thanksgiving and for Christmas too. We sat together as a family to discuss our finances because shortly after Christmas, Heather was supposed to receive her treatment. The conversation was difficult for me to handle and I felt overwhelmed. I knew that we were struggling financially, and I also knew that the expenses would continue to grow. Our money was decreasing as expenses increased. We talked about what we could liquidate for cash, and which bills my in-laws could afford to pay. I never imagined I would be spending the holidays in this manner, and I was embarrassed and ashamed.

It was not for another few years that I started to realize that even though I did not feel thankful that holiday season, I did have plenty to be thankful for. We had such an amazing support system, and our family was always by our sides throughout the entire ordeal. Our family constantly did what they could to help us through a time where we needed them the most, and they made incredible sacrifices for us without a moment’s hesitation. My pride and my fear blinded me at the time, but I can see clearly now how very lucky and blessed I am to have these wonderful and generous people in my life.

With the holiday season here again, I wanted to sit down and think of all the good things that I have in my life, and all of the reasons I have to give thanks. I am so thankful for the family and friends that Heather and I have. I am even more thankful for our beautiful and healthy little girl. Lastly, I am thankful to have received support and guidance from so many people who wanted to help us. I have a legitimate reason to want to celebrate this year. Thanks to the love and support of our family, my wife was able to make it through her mesothelioma surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments over the following months, and overcome cancer. I am thankful for the many holiday seasons we have been able to spend with one another since her diagnosis, and we look forward to many more. We hope that our story can be a source of hope and inspiration to all those currently battling cancer this holiday season.

🙂 🙂 🙂

To support and learn more about the Von St. James’ family go to:
Cameron’s blog
Heather’s blog

Happy Holidays!!!!

With Love, Bea

9 thoughts on “About being Thankful

  1. Mi pequeña cantante, guardando gratos y dulces recuerdos de ti, desde que eras mi pequeñita de cuarto, con tu voz dulce y tierna hasta los últimos dias en que nos vimos.
    Tu siempre sonriente y enviandonos con tu voz y tu presencia mensajes de esperanza, ahora te toca recibirlos con el mismo cariño que tu nos los regalaste.

    Desde Mexico, recibe todas nuestras mejores vibras y mejores cantos que aliviaran pronto el mal que te aqueja y muchos besos y abrazos; donde juntos venceremos cualquier obstaculo que se ponga enfrente, como siempre lo haz demostrado.

    Siempre te he considerado una persona con muchas agallas y que vece cualquier muro que se te pone frente a ti, éste es un buen reto, pero Dios que siempre te ha tenido en sus manos, te levantará para vencerlo por muy alto que sea.

    Cuenta con nuestras oraciones y todo nuestro cariño para sumarse a todo el que ya te han regalado tus padres, hermanas y amigos.

    Te quiere y esta pendiente de ti

    Miguel Angel Landaverde L
    Tu Profe de música

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  2. Mi querida Betty: en estas fechas tan especiales, le pido a Dios por ti y tu completa curación. Eres un ejemplo de fortaleza para todos. Sigue siéndolo, pues eres una gran mujer, fuerte, positiva y llena de amor por la vida.
    Te mando un gran abrazo y espero pronto saber buenas noticias acerca de tí.
    Mi papá que te quiso tanto, te ve desde el Cielo y le pido que te ayude. Confía.

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  3. You ARE a true inspiration and a blessing to each of us, never ceasing to amaze.
    Please enjoy the reason for the season – we are so very thankful for you! May you have a Merry Christmas …… with Love to all!!!

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  4. Thankful for you and the inspiration that you always manage to give. I’m having a particular hard time now, too. Your posts always give me hope when I am feeling hopeless. I wish much for you and Dave. I wish you merriment and good tidings this holiday season. Much love as well.

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  5. Gracias Betty!!!
    Te mando un beso con cariño y muchas, muchas porras!!!!!!
    Tu tocaya!!!!
    Beatriz

    Enviado desde mi iPhone

    El 21/12/2012, a las 19:42, “Bea Grateful” escribió:

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