On the 1st June,1997 my husband, Thom died of Pleural Mesothelioma.
This is a lesser known cancer effecting the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos.
At present Mesothelioma is different from most other cancers in the length of time it develops from the actual exposure to asbestos, and in the speed it manifests itself. By the time it is diagnosed it is mostly too late, and any attempt at treatment is usually palliative in nature in most countries.
Though other countries do treat it differently and have quite a lot of success in the length of time people do survive.
Because of my husband's experience and with hind-sight, I now believe there were earlier warning signs. If I had known what I now know, I'm sure Thom could have been diagnosed earlier. It is too late to help him now, but from what I've read since his death; there will be many people as yet undiagnosed who may be able to be helped.
The incidence of asbestos-related diseases will peak eventually, then you have the years after that, as the number slowly decreases.
Some countries, where asbestos is still being used, will take longer for the deadly effects of the use of asbestos to disappear.
What I have learnt since Thom's death has prompted me to set up this web site so we can tell our stories in our words, about the effects that their exposure to asbestos has had on them and their families.
Doing this may make some sense as to what happened to us ,and may also make the general public aware that this could happen to them.
Perhaps then, changes will be made in the treatment of those people inadvertently exposed to asbestos through no fault of their own.
Hi, my name is Deidre vanGerven.
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