Did you know today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day? The Public Outreach Department of the Mesothelioma Center had asked me to share with you all about Mesothelioma. Some of you remember the inspiring story of Cameron and Heather Von St. James- Coping with Cancer from a Caregiver’s Perspective . Heather is a survivor of Mesothelioma. Here is some information and more inspiring stories of survivors. There is so much negative information out there on the internet and I like to share the positive stories, connect people, and give people hope!
Mesothelioma and the Power of Hope
Hello, Happy First readers! My name is Faith Franz, and I’m a health and wellness writer for Asbestos.com. As we help mesothelioma patients through their recovery journeys, we get to witness an amazing number of survival stories – and Debbie has graciously opened the floor to us to share a few of them with you.
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer; just 3,000 Americans receive that diagnosis every year. It’s caused by asbestos exposure, and it grows around the lining of the lungs, stomach or heart. Because it’s so rare, patients don’t have expansive networks of people who’ve been through the same thing, like lung cancer or breast cancer patients would have.
But that’s where we hope to change things.
Our Wall of Hope is dedicated to the inspirational warriors who refuse to let their diagnosis get the best of them. We share these stories as often as we can so that newly diagnosed patients know that they’re not alone.
When James Broomer was diagnosed with mesothelioma, his doctor immediately referred him to a hospice organization. Thankfully, he declined that referral, and decided to fight. With his wife’s support, Broomer adopted the Budwig Diet; the nutrition-based regimen has helped him regain 95 percent of his lung function. Although he opted for a chemotherapy regimen immediately after his June 2011 diagnosis, he’s been relying on the Budwig Diet for his success since then – and has no plans to change that.
Wendy Morris was only 28 when she received her diagnosis. (By contrast, most patients are men in their 60s or 70s.) She was originally misdiagnosed because she didn’t fit the typical patient profile, but she didn’t let the setback get in the way of pursuing life-saving treatment. Through chemotherapy, spiritual strength and alternative treatments, she’s now reclaiming her life. As an active member of our social media communities, she selflessly offers her time to support others who are feeling down about their illness – all while turning her own experiences into a book, titled “Mesothelioma and Me.”
After beating bladder cancer, mesothelioma was the last thing on Ward Stanley’s mind. He was a retired professor with an active lifestyle, and the news came as a complete shock. But just a few months after an intensive lung surgery to remove as many cancerous cells as possible, Stanley was back to his favorite activities. After meeting with other mesothelioma patients at a 2012 symposium, Stanley is resuming his schedule of race-walking and lecturing at Bard College.
These are just three stories we’ve received over the last few years. Dozens more decorate our Wall of Hope; if you or a loved one has a story to submit, we’d love to share your experiences.
Faith Franz writes for The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. She encourages patients to consider the benefits of alternative medicine.