If you are like me, mesothelioma is a long word that brings up a very vague memory of a commercial looking for people who have been affected by it. And that is about where my knowledge ends. Well, where it used to end.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. Cancer of the lungs, to be specific. And cancer, one of the scariest words that you can get from a doctor, is ever pervasive in our society. I'm sure you all know someone who has been hurt by, affected by, diagnosed with, or even passed away because of cancer. Many types of cancer form with no specific cause; they are merely discovered. Mesothelioma, on the other hand, has been found in people exposed to asbestos. So if you have ever wondered why asbestos is such a dirty word, that is why. It's a killer. Literally.
Mesothelioma kills around 3,000 per year in the United States alone. Once exposed to asbestos fibers, it could be anywhere from 25 to 40 years. Once the disease is found, it is often already in a late stage, which severely limits the available treatment options. Asbestos is still widely used in the United States, with more than 30 million pounds being used each year.
I wanted to share a story from Heather Von St. James about her story- to bring awareness to and spread information about this awful disease. She was given just 15 months to live when diagnosed- and she chose, not to be broken down, but to live life to the fullest. Check her story out her story here.