Someone I Love Has Mesothelioma

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated to write this. I'm writing because it is important to me. 

My husband and I have been married for 4 years, we have been together for 8. When I first met his family, I fell in love with all of them. His parents quickly became two of the best friends I have ever had. His Nanny and Papa are not like anyone I have ever known. Nanny is so nurturing, caring, and you can see that she is a woman of God in just one conversation. Papa, a man of God, is fun, caring, and adventurous. He used to steal the Mr and I away for an evening of fishing, story telling, and snacking on the best junk that was ever put in your mouth. We'd fish for anything, catch crawfish, drive through creeks, and chase turtles. To date, those are some of my favorite memories. I had this vision of my children growing up and doing the same things with him. Well, his health isn't too good these days. You see, many years ago, he was exposed to asbestos while in the Army. It is now taking a noticeable toll on his health. He still rides the property on the 4wheeler, checks the salt like, and feeds the wild turkeys. He rarely goes fishing and doesn't do much that pushes his body. I love Papa like my own grandfather (which is what he has become to me), and it pains me to see him in the state he is in. It angers me that it could have been prevented.

I wanted to write this post to share my story and another.

Cameron Von St. James and his wife Heather are dedicated to sharing their story and helping spread awareness of Mesothelioma. Heather was diagnosed with Mesothelioma eight years ago. Only 3 months after the birth of their daughter, she was given 15 months to live. Heather had a life-saving surgery that involved removing her left lung. She is alive to this day and is thriving. Heather is one of very few survivors. 

The family has made it their mission to spread the word about Mesothelioma. This preventable disease takes entirely too many lives each year. September 26th is the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day. In honor of this day, I want to share some facts with you about this horrible disease. 

Asbestos Facts

  • Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. It is classified as a human carcinogen because of its link to Mesothelioma.  
  • 30 million pounds of Asbestos is still being used in the United States. It can be found in homes, schools, and businesses. 
  • It is now 30 years after its peak, and asbestos is still the number one cause of occupational cancer in the United States.
  • US Navy Veterans that served during WWII and the Korea Conflict are at the highest risk of having asbestos related health problems. 
  • Asbestos is still being used as a building material in some developing nations. 

Mesothelioma Facts

  • Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity called the mesothelium. 
  • Asbestos was first linked to Mesothelioma Cancer in 1964. Worldwide cases are expected to reach their peak around 2020.
  • Commonly, Mesothelioma sits dormant in the body for 20-50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. 
  • Second hand exposure is causing the number of Mesothelioma cases in women to be on the rise. Because of second hand exposure, it is not uncommon for younger people to be diagnosed, although the average age of diagnosis is 50-70 years. 
  • Althought 80% of Mesothelioma cases occur in the lining of the lung, it can also occur in the lining of the heart, and the abdominal lining. 

Please join the St. James' and myself as we spread awareness of this horrible disease on September 26th. It would be great if you would share this post and help spread the word. 

If you are looking to learn more, ask questions, or even talk to someone, be sure to visit their website. They are there for you!

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