Posted on February 12, 2016 

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.

This week, we would like to honor the story of Hermann, as told by his widow Irene 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.

“I Lost My Best Friend and the Love of My Life” – Hermann’s Story

Name: Hermann

Location: Wisconsin

Date of Birth: SEPT-1939

Date of Diagnosis: JUL-2007

Diagnosis: Mesothelioma

Treatment: chemo treatments with Alimta and Carboplatin

Date of Death: MAR-2008

How has asbestos changed your life? Shared by his widow, Irene (unedited)

Hermann, my husband of 47 years started complaining of a severe back ache late in February 2007. At the beginning of July 2007 (four months after our first ER visit and after numerous and various x-rays and testing), the 4th biopsy confirmed that the pain was caused by sarcomatoid pleural mesothelioma, stage 4. He started chemo treatments with Alimta and Carboplatin. This chemo combo regime seems to help for a while, but pain management was always the big issue. He had fluid buildup, but was drained only once. Nor did he have any breathing problems until the very end. He did have a problem with excessive eye tearing and very low blood counts and still the relentless intense pain. In January 2008, chemo continued and radiation treatments began. And for pain control, he had a pump implanted (actual term is “Intrathecal Drug Delivery”) inserted that would deliver paid meds directly to the tumor site. However by mid-February 2008, Hermann was getting very weak, unsteady on his feet, and sleeping a lot – mostly in a recliner (the only place that he was comfortable enough do to so). His decline from there was rapid. He then developed pneumonia and by this time anyone could see that he was just worn out and giving up. In a way I couldn’t blame him. He fought as hard as he could, endured the endless rounds of testing and treatments and just wasn’t getting anywhere. Hospice was brought in; they were a blessing and a great help and support. Hermann died on March 5, 2008 – one year to the date from when this began with the first visit to an ER. He was 68 years old and had been very healthy before. I lost my best friend and the love of my life.

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