Mesothelioma Patient Stories:
Mesothelioma Victim Fighting for His Life
Mesothelioma victims are faced with the grim reality that there is no curative treatment through which to attack the deadly asbestos cancer. Mesothelioma support groups are designed to provide sufferers with an outlet through which to cope with the realization of their predicament.
One man was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in April of 2004 at the age of 64. He spent many years of his professional life working in the manufacturing plant of a large automobile company. Asbestos was commonly used at the facility for a variety of industrial purposes. Asbestos friction materials were a component in brake pads, putting automobile manufacturing employees at risk of coming into routine contact with the hazardous carcinogen.
The man's mesothelioma diagnosis resulted, as most do, from the development of a number of chronic mesothelioma symptoms. Ongoing breathing difficulties (dyspnea) and minor chest pain led him to schedule an appointment with his doctor. Aside from their chronic nature, the man's symptoms were not severe or debilitating. He was therefore surprised to learn of the serious nature of his condition. It was determined that his symptoms were caused by the development of mesothelioma tumors in the serous membrane lining the lung cavity (mesothelioma of the pleura).
After learning that the development of the disease was caused as a result of his workplace exposure to asbestos, the man said he felt angered and betrayed by the negligent behavior of his employers. He worked hard spending as many as 10- to 12-hours each day overseeing work on the factory floor. His work ethic was such that he eventually held the position of Automotive Plant Manager, devoting 50 (+) hours each week towards ensuring the quality of his employers' product. Little did he know that he was exposing himself to enough asbestos dust to ensure the eventual development of a serious asbestos disease.
Asbestos use has been strictly regulated because of a great many instances of occupational exposure that have resulted in the development of an asbestos disease. Although asbestos regulation was enacted in the early 1970s, mesothelioma is a latent disease that can take anywhere from 20- to 50-years to fully develop and become symptomatic. Once diagnosed, the disease has typically reached an incurable stage during which treatment can do little save offering a brief extension of life.
With the support of his family, the man of this patient story managed to move beyond his initial feelings of anger, betrayal and eventual depression. He has since turned his energy towards his mesothelioma treatments. Taking an aggressive approach, he underwent a highly invasive surgical procedure called a pneumonectomy, through which the lung most impacted by the mesothelioma cancer is removed. Pneumonectomies have proven capable of significantly increasing mesothelioma patient survival time. Additionally, the man has undergone several radiation / chemotherapy treatments designed to slow the spread of his mesothelioma cancer.
More than two years after having been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the man continues his fight against the deadly asbestos disease. Although he is realistic about the end result of his mesothelioma diagnosis, the man remains optimistic that his mesothelioma treatments can continue to prolong his life and allow him to make the most of each and every one of his remaining days.
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[Page updated September 2006]