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Ask Jennifer: “Did Your Father Have Boundaries to His Treatments?”

After Dad had his surgery, a pleurectomy, in New York City, he arrived home and began his chemotherapy treatments. From the beginning, he promised me that he would fight, going as far as saying, “I don’t quit.” As far as I knew, he was open to every treatment possibility from the start. Little did I know that he initially had some doubts.

I was talking with Dad one evening while we were visiting and he told me that originally, he had made up his mind that he wasn’t having surgery. He would have agreed to do chemotherapy or other non-surgical treatments, but he wasn’t going to go the surgical route. This absolutely surprised me! I had no idea that he was thinking along those lines.

When I asked Dad what eventually changed his mind, he told me that when a total stranger found us to tell us about Dr. Pass and the pleurectomy, he knew that God was at work and that this was the path He wanted him to take. Dad was a man of such great faith, and this is a prime example.

Once the surgery and chemotherapy were completed, he was excited to be a part of a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, also in NYC. He said that if there was something more that could be done to help him, he was going to do it.

Having those initial feelings of doubt and dread are only natural. After all, it’s the fear of the unknown and having to deal with a lot of information in a short period of time. The best advice I can give anyone facing mesothelioma treatment decisions is to pray about it. Do your best not to be overwhelmed (easier said than done, I know) and weigh all your options, making the decisions that you feel are best for you or your loved one.

I am so proud of Dad and how his trust in God caused him to know no boundaries in how far he would go to beat mesothelioma. Even though the unknown is scary, God always will get you through. Dad’s example is one that I try to follow in my everyday life. Perhaps his mantra could have been, “There are no boundaries when you know God.”

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