Thursday, August 30, 2012

why the asbestos questions

Filling out paperwork then answering questions dominated the earliest stages of my lung cancer diagnosis and pre-treatment. I had never had a reason to sit down with a pulmonologist or oncologist or thoracic surgeon before in my life.

Frankly much blurred together, forms were basically the same; offices decorated innocuously, questions asked in that medically neutral professional voice … with one curious exception the word, asbestos. I kept being asked about any history with asbestos. (If it wasn't all so cancer-somber it actually reminded me of the ultimate seemingly incongruous line, "One Word: Plastics" from the movie The Graduate.)

Between surgery, recovery, and learning to live with survivorship I had not given that word much thought until I got an email from Kelsey Rathbun with Public Outreach at The Mesothelioma Center asking if … 
“Maybe you can help us spread mesothelioma cancer awareness …”
Her email also jogged my memory about my thoracic surgeon mentioning Pinnacle Hospital launching a program earlier in the year offering free lung cancer screening for 100 area Firefighters. Exposure to asbestos I was told is an occupational hazard for many professions including 'first responders' and increases the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma (a word that at the time went in one ear and out the other because it did not apply to me personally).

What’s the difference and why does it matter? Click and read, personally I find starting with first person stories from those surviving or caregiving – a better place to start.
Mesothelioma Center Wall of Hope - Mesothelioma Survivors
Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @


  1. I got much information on your blog, I will surely share it to others. The treatment of mesothelioma varies with types of its kind. Like other cancerous diseases, there are specialists in mesothelioma in various developed states of the world. Thanks.

  2. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
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    Keep Posting:)