Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Asbestos, Mesothelioma and Heather Von St. James (#2406)

This isn't my normal type blog post but it struck me as being important to let you know that there are stories out there that offer hope in individual ways. I normally offer my opinions on a variety of issues, mostly politics these days, but today is an offering of not my opinion but a story of a frightening realization and the fear it envelopes on us, that is overcome by a determined will to fight against anything that would steal what is precious to us. Whether it is just the normal time we expect to live into old age or a relationship we value beyond any sacrifice. This is Heather's story. Heather was diagnosed with malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, a cancer that is contracted through significant exposure to Asbestos. There is presently no cure and life expectancy after diagnosis is within a year. Heather's father worked drywall and brought home the remnants of drywall on his work jacket which Heather often wore as children will do who emulate their fathers. I will not get into Heather's story here, which is an ongoing story of Heather's triumph. I will also post links for information about Mesothelioma. What I want to let you know is that Asbestos is not wholly banned here in the United States. There are some products that are used to contain Asbestos that are banned but there are other products that still carry it in their ingredients, such as roofing paper, vinyl floor tile, millboard etc... Asbestos has a latency period of up to 50 years, so some may not know they had contracted the deadly Asbestos fibers into their system until many decades later. As many as 43,000 die annually around the world from Asbestos exposure and although 60 countries ban Asbestos, the US and Canada have not fully done so. The early symptoms are generally fatigue, cough, muscle weakness, fever and night sweats.  If you recognize that these symptoms are happening then get a checkup and advise your healthcare professional accordingly.

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