Posted in February 2013 

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 Polly, 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.

Polly’s Story

Name: Polly

State: Pennsylvania

Year of Birth: 1961

Date of Diagnosis: 15-AUG-2006

How has asbestos changed your life? (unedited)

I had my gall bladder taken out. My husband and I came back in to get my stitches out, and I was blasted with Mesothelioma.  I didn’t have any idea what it was.  The surgeon said he sent the tumor to the Mayo Clinic.  Wow, it was true!!   I saw the oncologist in my town and was referred to Pittsburgh. I had Chemo prefusen. I was in IUC for 5-7 days..  It was so scary.  I thought I was going to die. When I was released,  He said he would see me in five years.  That wasn’t true.

While seeing my hometown doctor, he said to me, “It’s Back.” Two years later. I told Dr. Lieb, “No Surgery!!!”  He said we can do rounds of chemo.  I ended up with stage 3 kidney failure and neuropathy in my legs and feet.  Oh my, now what. Cancer and kidney Failure!! More doctors – No No!!!

To round this all up,  Mary Hessendorfer found me Dr. Alexander in Baltimore.  What a Blessing.  Nothing like Pittsburgh.  He was in 2-3 times a day. The most I was in was 5-6 days. In March 2010,  I was getting very sick.  I would go to the local ER, but they couldn’t find anything. Finally, after many trips, the ER doctor came in and said, “Polly, I know what is wrong. You have scar tissue around your small intestines.” That night,  I was taken by ambulance to Baltimore.  I had no potassium or magnesium in my body.  At any time, my heart could have stopped. I had to get a tube in and pumped up with fluid and poatssium and magnessium.  A few days later,  I had my surgery to remove the scar tissue. Eight inches of my small intestines were removed. I was left with short gut.

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