Lying flat on my back, arms stretched high above my head, the paper covered table beneath me hums as it begins it’s steady movement into the heart of the giant hollow tube. Once inside a mechanical voice speaks in my ear, “Take a deep breath and hold it”. I breathe in, hold, and only release when the voice instructs me to do so. Breathing as normally as possible I wait as strange clicking noises sound all around me. The voice comes again, “Take a deep breath and hold it.”
When the CT scan is finished the table exits the machine where a technician waits to help me back on my feet. I go into the dressing room, remove the hospital gown, dump it in the laundry bin, and put my street clothes back on so I can go about my day. A normal day filled with greetings, and smiles, and thankfulness for all of the beautiful people in my life.
This is the second time this year I’ve been inside this machine and it won’t be the last. You see last Spring, when I was having medical tests for other concerns, evidence of asbestos exposure was “accidentally” found in my lungs. This was actually no great surprise to me. In fact, I had mentioned my asbestos exposure and family history to past doctors, but none ever seemed concerned enough to order x-rays.
My dad worked with asbestos his entire life. Asbestos materials were thrown into the back of our family station wagon to haul from job to job, asbestos fibers covered his work clothes and clung for dear life when my mom would shake out his clothes before placing them in the washer, asbestos dust flew through the air as my dad used his saw to cut the edges of the asbestos squares which he installed on the ceiling of our lake cabin. As a young child I was my dad’s little helper so asbestos also made it’s way into my lungs.
In 1975 my dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which at that time was pretty much considered a death sentence. Survival wasn’t anticipated. My dad had portions of his lungs removed, suffered sickness from the chemotherapy, became weak from too much weight loss, and one-by-one his best friends, those he had worked side-by-side with throughout his career, also succumbed to lung cancer and eventually death.
But MY dad survived and it was nothing short of a miracle! If you’d like to read about his miracle you can do so HERE!
If you’d like to read more about mesothelioma THIS is an excellent source.
I’m writing this post today because September 26th is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Click To TweetAwareness has been raised for a lot of other diseases but most people still don’t understand what exactly mesothelioma is. They don’t realize that There is no known cure for mesothelioma and the prognosis for a person diagnosed with the disease is very poor Click To Tweet They don’t realize that Once people are diagnosed with mesothelioma most don't survive beyond 15 months Click To Tweet. They don’t realize that Early diagnosis of mesothelioma is key to a better chance of survival Click To Tweet
Heather Von St. James is another survivor of mesothelioma. She has turned her pain into her purpose by making it her mission to raise awareness of this deadly disease and I’m coming alongside her today to help spread the word. So instead of talking any more, I’m going to share Heather’s story with you. I’m asking you to please take the time to listen to her short video by clicking on her picture and then come back so I can wrap this post up 🙂
Thankfully, the evidence of asbestos in my lungs was found and I will now be monitored on a regular basis to make sure things don’t change or progress. I know that x-rays are expensive but since early diagnosis of this disease is critical I wonder why my reports of asbestos exposure weren’t taken more seriously. Perhaps even our doctors will benefit from raised awareness. By the way, I’m not getting down on doctors as my hubby is one.
So what about me? I could spend a lot of time worrying about where this might go but honestly, I have no fear.
If you feel so inclined I’d love for you to share this post on social media. Who knows, there may be someone out there who, like me, knows they’ve had asbestos exposure but has never pushed for an x-ray to see where they stand. This is important stuff. Your sharing could save a life!
Thank you friends and blessings to you,
For more information about Mesothelioma THIS is an excellent source.
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