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Asbestosis Survival Stories That Beat the Odds Living With Mesothelioma and Leaving the Statistics

Asbestosis Survival Stories That Beat the Odds Living With Mesothelioma and Leaving the Statistics

 

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer. Statistics on asbestos diseases show the odds for living more than a few years after diagnosis of the cancer are slim. But some people beat the odds.

 

Mesothelioma patients know death is imminent – with or without cancer. But statistics on the incurable nature of mesothelioma brings the fearful immanency of death too close for comfort. Early cancer diagnosis improves the chances of eradicating asbestos-instigated tumors, but most doctors will still testify that the chances of eradicating the disease after diagnosis at any stage is slim to none. The cancer cells simply grow back.

 

For some asbestos cancer patients, the statistics ring true. For a select few, the statistics on mesothelioma and asbestosis made them fight harder to live – driving an insatiable desire to learn every medical term and every treatment option, along with the details and outcomes of clinical trials and medical experiments that were constantly evolving around the world. Drive and logic mixed with faith and luck – and maybe mixed with a few good genes and excellent medical care – added unprecedented months and years onto the lives of a lucky few.

 

Paul Kraus, a current author on surviving asbestos-related cancer, has thus far lived ten years since recovery – he credits his research, diet and alternative treatment choices. Karen Grant, a current broadcaster on surviving cancer and one of the youngest mesothelioma patients, has had her tumor completely removed and no longer undergoes chemotherapy. Jodi Page, another young woman, has also been free for years after a lung removal. Richard Archer, a former asbestos worker, was originally told he would never see another Christmas. He got the greatest Christmas gift of all – living to see years of more Christmases without chemotherapy.

 

Clinical trials are responsible for many life-saving and life-changing events. Karen Marcum, 65 was saved by a virus therapy, Bunny Morrow, 72, credits gene therapy to saving her from the deadly asbestos disease. Stephen J. Gould, a well-known Popular Science magazine contributor, biologist and historian lived 20 years past his mesothelioma diagnosis. Craig Kozicki, a chemical engineer was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 42. He is alive and well today, almost ten years later, sharing his story to give hope to patients who are shrouded in darkness with the bleak statistics of survival rates. Librarian Bonnie Anderson was diagnosed in 2001 and is alive and active today. Kendra Ferreira, an artist and mother of 3, was diagnosed around the same time. Although tired, she is caring for her family and working today. Everyone does not die from mesothelioma.

 

In all the survival stories, patients did not limit themselves to one prognosis, one treatment method, or one opinion. Heavy research was done, multiple doctors were questioned and multiple treatments were evaluated. The patients faced obstacles with family, health insurance and finances – yet they continued seeking original and alternative ways to finding solutions to their problems. Family support, support from strangers, fundraising and benefits contributed to many success stories. Hope contributed to all – and today these survivors continue to share their stories for the benefit of other cancer patients. What is original about these stories? Not all of these patients were exposed to asbestos. Some success stories are from women substantially younger than classical textbook cases, yet others are a prime example of a classical case of the asbestos cancer.

 

Mesothelioma is not always fatal – years can be added on to the months of the original prognosis. The disease is rare. It is not easily discovered. Most doctors have not experienced first-hand diagnosis or treatment of a mesothelioma patient. The patient must take their life into their own hands and direct their treatment. They must be strong in a time of searing depression and despair. There is hope and there is a chance to shun statistics and live the life that was meant to be. Just stop searching for statistics, and start searching for solutions.

 

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