I was contacted recently by Heather to ask if I would share her video about her battle with Mesothelioma.
I responded with a quick "yes!" I will tell you why:
In the fall 2010 my father, then 78 years old, was feeling "under the weather." He was tired a lot and just not quite right. In December he started getting severe low back pain but he just thought it was his age. January 2011, the pain got so severe that my mom took him to the ER of our local hospital. They were more concerned that he had taken a Lortab for his severe pain and thought he was a drug seeker so they didn't do much. Two days later, he couldn't stand or sit with out severe pain so my mom took him to the same ER. They were still concerned about his Lortab use but did a CT scan anyway. They told him that he had a colon blockage and he just needed to have a bowel movement. Another 2 days go by and the pain is worse (after using the bathroom) so my mom drove him 40 miles to another hospital, they did a scan immediately and found several lesions. Most were in his bones. He did have some in his lungs (he has never smoked, even cigars). They were most concerned with the ones on his spine because they were close to his spinal cord. They did a biopsy and it came back as a rare form of sarcoma usually only found in children.
His surgeries started in mid-January. They did surgery on his spine to try to get the lesion off to at least make him more comfortable. Over the next 2 months he had several surgeries. When March hit so did his first chemotherapy treatment, which threw him for a loop. We are not sure if it was the chemo, his age, his weight (approx 140 pounds), or the combination but he was in the hospital for 1 month after only 1 treatment. He got to go home in April after having treatment #2. Sadly on May 12, 2011 his heart stopped and due to him being so weak, they were unable to revive him.
These last 2 years have seen my mother battle the US Government. My dad served in the US Navy in the 1950's and was on a naval ship. After several physicians (family physicians, oncologists, and pathologists) reviewed his medical records they have determined that his primary cancer site was his lungs and that it was mesothelioma. We have read several medical reports that listed the asbestos and chemicals on his exact ship and it has been determined that that is more than likely where the cancer came from. Hopefully some day this whole situation will all be cleared up.
I told you my families story so you could understand why I think it is important to share Heather's story. She is trying to bring more exposure to this awful cancer and I will gladly help her. Here is Heather's story:
You can check our her website here to see what you can do to help.