My father in law, Steve, passed away from lung cancer (and complications from lung cancer) which I am not sure was ever diagnosed as Mesothelioma. He most likely got his exposure while building a ship for the Navy so the VA doctors weren't really jumping to diagnosis something that would make it "their fault." Luckily, he was able to meet his grandchild before he past.
Here is a picture of Heather and her daughter, Lily. Read below for her whole story (and don't forget to check out all of her posts for more heartwarming stories).
My Struggle with Mesothelioma Changed My Outlook on LifeShortly after my daughter, Lily, was born in August of 2005, I returned to work. My family was in the midst of one of the happiest times of our lives. My parents, extended family and numerous neighbors and friends stopped by to see our beautiful new baby and to welcome her to the world. Little did I know that our lives
would take an enormous turn in the very near future.
Soon after I returned to work, I started feeling consistently ill. I was losing around five pounds a week and I constantly felt fatigued and lethargic – much more so than is normal for even a new mom. I also felt breathless for no apparent reason. When these strange and alarming symptoms persisted and showed no signs of letting up, I went to see my doctor. After a series of tests were ran, it was eventually discovered that I had mesothelioma.
It was only three months after our Lily was born when my doctor told me that my diagnosis was malignant pleural mesothelioma. This is a type of cancer in the lining of the lungs that is the result of exposure to asbestos. When I was a kid, I had been exposed to asbestos without anyone knowing about it. Many years later,the symptoms that I thought were typical to post-labor conditions actually turned out to
be symptoms of mesothelioma.
The doctor told me that if the cancer was not treated, I would only have around 15 months to live. While the prospect of going through endless rounds of chemo, radiation and surgeries was certainly not appealing, I knew I had to think of Lily and my husband. I could not just give up hope and not make an effort to get better.
My husband and I flew to Boston where I started extensive treatments for mesothelioma. During this time, my parents took care of Lily and I just cannot imagine how we would have made it through the entire ordeal without their help. In addition to my parents going above and beyond to be supportive, we also received help in numerous forms from family members, friends and co-workers.
With mesothelioma behind me, I definitely have a new outlook on life. I am so grateful for everyone who provided us with invaluable support, as well as my husband who acted as a wonderful caregiver to me.