Mesothelioma Cancer Resources Blog
Faces of Mesothelioma
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have probably already started your quest to learn as much about the disease as you can. The more you know about mesothelioma, the better able you will be to manage the disease and to make important treatment decisions.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the body's organs caused by past asbestos exposure. It is important to begin an aggressive treatment plan to combat the equally aggressive disease. Treatment typically consists of a combination of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, and the nearly 3,000 Americans who are diagnosed with the disease each year put up a brave fight against the disease.
Mesothelioma Patients Are Not Alone
The most important thing to know about mesothelioma is that you are not alone. Patients, family members, caregivers and medical professionals are all anxious to reach out to and support mesothelioma sufferers to ensure they have the information and support they need to manage the debilitating disease.
Jan Egerton, a mesothelioma survivor since 1998 who lives in England, says, "Don't be alone in this battle … we are all here to help each other." She adds that people, such as herself, who have gone through the treatments and lived with the cancer "need to help each other, as we know more about this cancer than anyone else."
Don Smitley, a survivor who was diagnosed in 2012 and reports that his mesothelioma is stable thanks to Dr. Harvey Pass of New York Langone medical center, said that it is too easy to worry about whether the cancer will come back. He encourages patients not to dwell on that, rather to "Keep yourself busy. Get out and talk to people. Walk around the mall, or just do something that keeps your mind from thinking about what could happen."
Meet Our "Faces of Mesothelioma"
Jan, Don and others like them know that living with mesothelioma is not easy; in fact, they know it can be difficult and can disrupt your life. But they are here to share their personal stories and to offer key information about the impact this cancer can have on your life, and your family's lives. They are also here to offer hope to all mesothelioma patients.
Jan Egerton has been chronicling her personal battle with mesothelioma through her own blog, and is more than willing to offer insight to our readers who are also battling the cancer. Jan is a true "mesothelioma warrior" and continues to press on with her life despite the setbacks she faces in her ongoing fight to keep her mesothelioma at bay. Jan continues to work, walks her dogs through the English countryside, and, above all, she supports others with mesothelioma.
Don Smitley loves playing Bluegrass as a member of his band, The Dunbar Boys. Although he had to take a short hiatus while he battled mesothelioma, Smitley is back doing what he loves and entertaining his fans. Smitley was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2012, and after rigorous treatments and participation in a clinical trial, he is adjusting to his life post-mesothelioma.
Jennifer Gelsick has been telling Don Smitley's story as his daughter and part-time caregiver. Jennifer takes the reader from the development of his symptoms, through his treatments and on to his new life as a mesothelioma survivor. Jennifer also offers practical information including how to prepare when traveling out of town for treatment, how to organize a fundraiser and what it means to be a caregiver to a mesothelioma patient.
Louise "Lou" Williams, a survivor of both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, doesn't let cancer slow her down. She spends her spare time traveling and enjoying her time with her extended family including four grandchildren, seven step-grandchildren and two step great-grandchildren. Lou is also one of Australia's most well-known mesothelioma advocates, and perhaps in the world, and she takes time every day to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos.
Thoracic Nurse Provides Support Through "Nurse's Corner"
Thoracic nurse Lisa Hyde-Barrett has been caring for mesothelioma patients for nearly 25 years. Working alongside some of the leading mesothelioma authorities at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Lisa knows the challenges and obstacles patients and their families face; and Lisa knows what it takes to overcome those obstacles. Through our "Nurse's Corner" Lisa will provide articles of crucial mesothelioma medical information as well as addressing patient's questions and concerns.