Posted in July 22, 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 Ellen, who is a part of our ADAO family. We’d also like to thank Ellen for delivering her powerful testimony, A Patient’s Mesothelioma Journey, at our Senate staff briefing in Washington, D.C. in June of 2013.

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 Stole My Second Chance” – Ellen’s Story

Name: Ellen

Location: Maryland

Year of Birth: 1960

Date of Diagnosis: June-01-2001

Diagnosis: Bilateral malignant pleural mesothelioma

Treatment: Very small amount of Chemotherapy (doctor discontinued because of extreme side effects), Alternative – Immune Therapy at IAT in Freeport, Grand Bahamas.

How has asbestos changed your life?

I continued to experience situations where I had difficulties catching my breath.  I chalked it up to stress and the fact that I turned 40 in May of that year.  I kept putting off going to the doctors.  However, in November I woke up one morning with swollen eyes.  After talking to my doctor and telling her of the different symptoms I had been experiencing, she decided to do a complete physical.  This series of exams included a CT of my abdomen.  The CT captured the base of my lung.  The tech performing the CT noticed numerous nodules on the base of one of my lungs.  She contacted my doctor and they made the decision to do a chest CT as well.  That was the beginning of the end of my life.

At the age of 40 and after many years of a bad marriage, I made some major changes in my life. I was so looking forward to a second chance for a happy life!  The next year I was blind sided with the diagnosis of bilateral Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma and told to prepare to die.  Meso stole my second chance!

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