Recently I met a new friend. Her name is Heather Von St. James, and she’s a mesothelioma cancer survivor. At age 36, just 3 ½ months after giving birth to her first and only daughter, she was given 15 months to live.

Heather’s contact surprised me. Pleasantly surprised me. When readers take the time to comment or email, it means my writing has done its job—resonated with readers. I do love hearing from readers about  my books and here on the blog.

But back to Heather’s email. She asked me to share her story. It’s a touching and inspiring story.

If you aren’t familiar with mesothelioma cancer, it’s also known as asbestos cancer.

Asbestos is a mineral with versatile properties that made it useful for everything from fireproof vests to home and commercial construction prior to 1980. Asbestos was even woven into fabric, and mixed with cement. Asbestos was everywhere.

Not anymore. As useful as it was, asbestos proved to be a known cause of lung cancer. Check here to learn more about asbestos and mesothelioma cancer.

Heather stands as testimony that a diagnosis of asbestos cancer does not have to be a death sentence. You can view her incredible story here

When Heather learned of her diagnosis, she made the tough decision to have her lung removed. Now every year she celebrates Lungleavin Day, the day her lung was removed. She writes her fears on a plate and tosses the plate into a bonfire. The action provides a means to conquer the fear her cancer diagnosis brought. LLD1  ST James Blog

She says, There is something about giving voice to your fears, writing them down, then smashing them in a fire, and seeing the shards of that plate, and those shards of fears in the flames that gives you courage to face up to them and not let them rule your life.

Read all about her Lungleavin’ Day  here at The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.

Today marks Heather’s ninth Lungleaving Day. She has invited us to celebrate with her via an interactive Leavin’ Day website.

So whether you have mesothelioma or some other form of cancer, join me at Lungleaving Day 2015

lld-plate-smashWe’ll write our fear on a cyber plate and toss it into the fire. As Heather says, We break plates. And it works.