Most of us who are diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening disease develop an instant sort of obsession about the nature of the disease, the cause, the treatment, the prognoses, the research, the psychological ramifications, and so on. It’s only natural. This is our life, now, and we need to learn, in some sense, to live again -- not according to the patterns by which we had been so comfortably guided in the past, but according to the uncertain shape of new realities, new limitations, new necessities, and what soon becomes an altogether new view of the value of life, of health, of meaning and of mortality.
As our appreciation of our own weakness grows (for we were strong beforehand - invincible), we begin to consider, with real knowledge and compassion, the multiplicity of ailments that affect so many people - just like us. They are unearned, unasked for, undeserved scourges that compromise not only the life of he or she who suffers, but the lives around them, of family, friends and loved ones.
For this reason, I am glad to post this reminder about a disease called Mesothelioma - an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It is a rare and fatal disease, and since only 3000 or so Americans are diagnosed with this disease per year, research and funding is less than abundant. Treatment for Mesothelioma can involve chemotherapy, radiation, and even operative procedures - but the treatments themselves are painful and noxious, and effective in no more than a palliative manner. The disease, like MS and so many others, is presently without a cure.
Please commit yourselves to being especially aware of Mesothelioma on September 26th, National Mesothelioma Awareness Day -- for awareness becomes knowledge, knowledge becomes power, and our hope is that, someday soon, a prayerful combination of the knowledge of medical science and wisdom may rid the world of this deadly ailment.
For more information on mesothelioma see www.mesothelioma.com
For Heather’s awareness page: www.mesothelioma.com/Heather/swareness