In this age of instant communication, text, email, cell phone, it is nice to be able to talk face-to-face with mesothelioma patients and their families. It is a privilege to be included in a journey that changes their lives forever. For one couple, the sharing of their story and the approach they are taking to deal with mesothelioma is inspirational. Their journey, up to and including the diagnosis of mesothelioma, is one that is not unfamiliar.
Four to five months prior to getting the official diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma, the man was treated for pneumonia and shortness of breath. Once the diagnosis was made, he was told it was inoperable. They were told to return when the symptoms became problematic because there was nothing else to offer him.
Not satisfied with waiting, they turned to the internet for more information. Knowing that there is not a cure for mesothelioma, they searched for and found hope instead. The patient and his wife traveled to a large medical center for mesothelioma that sees more patients and could offer them other options. With many more tests and doctors, surgery was once again reviewed as an option, but once again, he was deemed inoperable.
They continue to hold out hope that someone will find something to offer him. During this time they have not let the weight of the diagnosis or the course of the disease take over their lives. They plan on continuing to search for treatment options that are suitable to his body and disease.
The patient knew where his asbestos exposure happened. As a young man, he worked in a shipyard to help pay his way through college. He has always been honest and hard-working and wanted to be successful. He achieved success, yet now his hard work seems to have come back to harm him. Moving forward, they are exploring chemotherapy, clinical trials, radiation, and are leaving their options open.
The couple’s journey has been a roller coaster. When they recently met a newly diagnosed patient their hearts went out to them, as they realize the roller coaster ride has just begun for them. They also know their are plenty of people out there to support them during their journey.