Let’s start with what it is:
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos. It most commonly occurs in the linings of the lungs or the abdomen. The average life expectancy is 18 – 31 months after diagnosis, but the prognosis may improve with treatment. Symptoms can include chest pain, shortness of breath, and general fatigue.
How do you get mesothelioma?
The main risk factor for pleural mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. In fact, most cases of pleural mesothelioma have been linked to high levels of asbestos exposure, usually in the workplace. Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of tiny fibers.
How likely are people to get it?
It’s very rare. Fewer than 20,000 US cases per year. Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured.
How did Martin come in contact with it?
In the mid-’80s Martin started working for a company called Piping Engineering. He started at the bottom, you know, the grunt worker. He didn’t mind one bit. He was young, ready for a challenge, and as a bonus, he got to travel a lot. He would crawl into furnaces and strip all the insulation off the sides. Martin’s dad worked for the same company for many years.
Martin traveled all over the United States and other countries doing this work. He loved his job. He could still tell us all about the fish he caught while working in Alaska that was shipped home. The places he worked in were Hawaii, California, Louisiana, and here close to his new home in Baytown, Texas.
While working in Aruba in February 1997, he developed a massive abscess in his gums. It was pretty serious. He saw a doctor over there and when he was able he flew back home to be seen by doctors here. They wanted to admit him immediately, but Martin talked them into putting an IV in his hand and letting him come back every day to get the medicine he needed as an outpatient.
Being sick was not something Martin really ever dealt with. Around the year 2010, Martin had his first surgery, a vasectomy. Then in the next couple of years, he had a meniscus tear in his right knee. Then had a couple of back injections that were done in a doctor’s office. His blood pressure and blood work was always perfect. He was never someone who had illnesses or health problems. That was until 2021.
On Christmas Day 2019 my parents bought us a wonderful gift. An adjustable base bed. Love the thing. The boys and jeff were helping him get it moved into our room. Martin lifted it and immediately fell to his knees. He thought he pulled a muscle in his chest. He dealt with it for a while and got lots of massages. Then, about the time the pain was getting serious is when COVID closed everything up. Then in July he went for an X-ray and was told it was all good. See the previous post about that.
He got one of those percussion massagers. See the picture to the right. I think I will just have to make a whole post on that. Because there is a lot I could say about that.
Then late on December 23rd, we ran up to Patient’s ER to get some medicine to get him through Christmas. They did cat scans and early Christmas Eve morning is when they said to call MD Anderson as soon as possible.
That is what brought us into 2021. I will write more on that later.
Hope everyone is having a great week.