Posted on September 15, 2014

We have been touched by asbestos in individual ways, yet we are joined together by a bond of community. As a testament to the strength of our global family, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is highlighting the courageous stories of our members with the “Share Your Story” feature on our website.

Paul Cowley

This week, we would like to honor the story of Paul, as shared by his wife, Claire, who is a part of our ADAO family.

We encourage you to submit your personal stories by clicking here and following the simple instructions on the page. In sharing, comes healing. Remember, you are not alone.

“Mesothelioma Has Changed Our Lives Forever” – Paul’s Story

Name: Paul

Location: Ely, UK

Date of Birth: 25-APR-1978

Date of Diagnosis: 4-OCT-2012

Diagnosis: Pleural Mesothelioma

Treatment: VATs biopsy with talc procedure, major surgery to debulk the tumors and 6 sessions of chemotherapy (Clisplatin and Pemetrexted)

How has asbestos changed your life?

Paul and I have been married 7 years and have a 3 year old son called Ethan.

Paul’s diagnosis came as a shock to us all, as he had (and still has) no symptoms in that area.  He was being investigated for something completely unrelated and they found the areas on a CT scan.  Since diagnosis Paul has had a VATs biopsy with talc procedure, major surgery to debulk the tumours and 6 sessions of chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy finished in April 2013 and since that time his Mesothelioma has been stable.

Mesothelioma has changed our lives forever.  Our life plan has had to change.  We had hoped to move to a larger house and have at least one more child to complete our family.  When Paul was told he would need to have chemotherapy, and it would start very quickly, we had to make the heartbreaking decision that Ethan would be an only child.  We hope (and pray) that Paul will be around for many years to come but the nature of Mesothelioma means we just do not know.  Whilst we do not know if chemotherapy will have left Paul unable to father another child, neither of us felt comfortable with bringing another child into the world not knowing how long they would have a father for.  Our family here and now is the most important thing.

We plan to live life to the full, lots of holidays and doing what we want to do.  For us and no one else.

We have two choices!  Crumble under the burden of a cancer diagnosis or make the most of what life has thrown at us.  We chose the latter.  We have and will remain strong and positive.  No one can say what the future will bring……

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