Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mesothelioma Awareness

Heather Von St. James reached out to me this summer to help out with her campaign “to spread awareness about mesothelioma - a cancer caused only by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is an entirely preventable cancer, and hopefully with your help along with other bloggers, we can raise awareness and potentially save lives.”

How could I say no to that?! 100 times yes to help spread the word! Heather has an amazing story as a mesothelioma cancer survivor. She beat the odds 8 years ago when she was given only 15 months to live. She was diagnosed just three months after giving birth to her only daughter, Lily. After a lifesaving surgery that included the removal of my left lung, she is better than ever.

I just cannot even image or begin to even fathom what Heather went through. Her story gives me goose bumps. She is one of the strongest women I have ever encountered. A true warrior. She is a beautiful person inside and out. Please check out her blog and Facebook page.

To help raise awareness, here are a few facts about Mesothelioma:

  1. ·         “It is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium. There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.” (via)

  • ·         You may be at risk if you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace or home and is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos particles.
  • ·         Currently, the treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
  • ·         Asbestos related cancer is common among military veterans because of exposure to naval ships, shipyards, and military bases.
  • ·         It is challenging to diagnose because early symptoms can be subtle. They may be easily dismissed as daily ailments.
  • ·         Symptoms include lower back pain, side chest pain, difficulty swallowing, persistent coughing, fatigue, nausea, anemia, weight loss, or shortness of breath.

·         If you believe you may have Mesothelioma talk to your doctor and get a full medical exam. You may also be required to get further testing, such as a PET Scan, CT Scan, MRI or X-Ray. For more information visit Knowledge is power! Advocate for yourself and spread the word to save lives!

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