About 14 years ago. A neighbor (that I have known for over 36 years) told me her husband had cancer. Mesothelioma.
I knew he's been sick. He was only 62. He was a retired police officer in our then small community. He was the officer that went around to speak to the schools, the children and other groups. Everyone knew him. He had a gift with people. Everyone loved him. And I felt special because he was my neighbor, right across the street. My children loved him. He called me "lees". My nickname for Elizabeth was lisa, it wasn't short enough for him! LOL! So he made it shorter.
He was a good father. A wonderful husband. And he was a much loved Grandfather. He was the kind of man every man would want to be.
Since he was retired, he had been traveling across the the states, in his RV with his wife. But during their last trip, he had a cough with chest pain. Each Hospital brushed it off as pneumonia. Even when he was home, the Dr treated it again as pneumonia. After it eventually became worse he went to the hospital here. It was finally diagnosed. Mesothelioma and it had spread to his esophagus. There was no cure. There was nothing left to do. Chemo, radiation would not fix the damage or make him well. He died within 3 months.
Jim accepted it. The rest of us did not accept it as well.
Why didn't we see it? Know what it was? And was asbestos really that dangerous?
We bought our house across the street from Jim in 1977. We have asbestos siding. The police station where Jim worked was very old and filled with crumbling asbestos. It was/is everywhere. My parents poo-pooed asbestos warnings. So Tom and I didn't worry about it either. Until Jim died.
And now a precious woman named Heather had contacted me and asked me if I'd get the word out. About Mesothelioma.
When Heather was only 36 she was given 15 months to live. She had Mesothelioma. She didn't know I lost a friend to this horrible disease. And I told her I'd gladly blog about Mesothelioma awareness. In memory of my friend Jim.
We need to get the word out!
Heather has a great blog here~
That tells her story.
It also has a link to the Mesothelioma dot com website with tons of information on everything! I have not read through all of it- there is so much!! But I have learned a lot already. Heather's story and courage inspire me.
I think you too will be touched by Heather's incredibly brave story!
This is her beautiful family now!
I think Mesothelioma is something we tend to think is not that common or worrisome, until you too know someone with it. Asbestos has not gone away. And we never know who might be affected by it next. There are things we can do to protect ourselves and be pro-active against asbestos. There are things we should know. So please get the word out! Please visit Heather's amazing blog as well as the Mesothelioma.com web site to be aware of this horrible preventable disease.
When you visit her blog, let Heather know that she is in your prayers. She is an amazing young woman who wants to help save other lives! I think she's doing an amazing job!