With October being the month for ‘ Health Literacy,’ I felt it most appropriate to discuss a deadly killer that lives among us. I have been doing some research on Mesothelioma, and have run across the story of a an amazing survivor.
Mrs. Heather Von St. James is a 9 year Mesothelioma survivor who was given just 15 short months to live. She was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma back in 2005, and has been fighting the fight since. Her refusal to accept defeat is nothing short of miraculous, and her passion for life is inspiring to say the least. To learn more about this fantastic woman, and the details of her story, click HERE.
I remember the first time I saw a commercial on television about Mesothelioma. My husband and I looked at one another, and shrugged our shoulders. We didn’t have any idea what “Mesothelioma” was. Since receiving Heather’s email, I have been asking friends, family, and co-workers if they know what it is, and only my mom (who has worked in the medical industry her whole life) could tell me! To look at the statistics and to SEE how many lives have been impacted by this deadly disease makes you wonder why more people aren’t aware of what it is! So, I wanted to take this opportunity to enlighten my readers, to educate, and to raise awareness of this silent killer that is among us.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the membrane lining of the lungs and of the abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause for this disease, and it can lay dormant for up to 60 years before it decides to make its presence known. WOW!!! We could ALL be living with this incurable disease and NOT even know it! That’s scary!
Mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed, as the disease mimics other common ailments, but some symptoms to look for include: chest pain, chronic coughing, effusions of the chest and abdomen, the presence of blood in your lung’s fluid, as well as respiratory conditions. It is most common in men over the age of 60, and while there is no cure, there are different types of treatments available; the most common among these being chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
Approximately 3,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Mesothelioma EACH year, and approximately 80% of those are attributed to asbestos exposure. While asbestos is banned in at least 60 countries around the world, the United States still allows asbestos to be manufactured! I’m absolutely shocked and horrified! We see how deadly asbestos is, yet we still expose ourselves?! Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, how about you?
Heather, thank you so much for approaching me to help raise awareness on Mesothelioma. I have learned SO much during my research, and I am thankful for this new found knowledge. May you continue to conquer this disease, and to educate others on your journey. You are a remarkable woman, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to meet you!
*For more information on Mesothelioma, click HERE and HERE. My research on this subject was obtained from both of these locations on mesothelioma.com. I do not take credit for the information contained in this post, I only share the information to educate others.
Feel free to share this information with others. The more people are talking about Mesothelioma, the more people will become of aware of this disease.