Resources: Mesothelioma

I was so excited when I received my first email from a reader.  I felt like I had won the lottery.  We only emailed a handful of times, but I received some beneficial information that led to this post. Initially, I thought it would be an excellent addition for Older American’s month in May.  So, I began to consider (like many of us do), how can I make this interesting?  I sat on it for a while, in typical procrastinator fashion, and when I revisited the idea, I realized there was more to my apprehension. 

So, the topic was closer than I wanted to remember.  My grandfather was a carpenter and an all-around handyman.  If he could visualize it, he could build it.  This meant he was always surrounded by dust, dirt, and fibers.  Add to that, before my birth he was a heavy smoker (found that out later).  When I was growing up, my grandparents had one jar of old-fashioned mixed candy and another dish with Hall’s cough drops.  My grandfather always coughed, but he never really seemed to complain of any other symptoms.  Then again, I was a kid, so there really was no point in telling me. 

My grandfather became ill between my 5th and 7th-grade year in school.  I remember my mother driving back and forth to take care of him.  Back then I figured he had lung cancer.  It was a sad time, but I didn’t learn until much later it was more than that.  He passed during my 7th-grade year.  A few years later, commercials began to air about mesothelioma.  I had a vague understanding of what it was.  Of course, it was described as a cancer of the lung, but that was about as far as ventured, initially. 

When I began working with aging populations, I had the privilege of working with many groups and organizations that advocated for the rights of seniors, provided resources, and enjoyed collaborating and sharing their knowledge.  At Senior Day conference, I spoke with agencies that were supporting seniors and their families facing challenges associated with the disease.  Later when I shared the information with my family, I discovered that was the ailment my grandfather had. 

Now, this post was not intended to be “Debbie Downer: Monday post.  I want to share any information and resources I gather to assist in bridging gaps and turning on light bulbs.  Here is a link to check out if you’re interested in (or someone else) information concerning asbestos-related illnesses or support please check out:

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’


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