My story starts with the flu
The first thing I wish more people knew about mesothelioma is that it is very difficult to diagnose. My story starts with what I thought was the flu. I got sick and had symptoms like a cough, difficulty breathing and chest pains. It felt an awful lot like a bad case of the flu. I didn’t think much of it, until it started to get worse. Instead of recovering, my symptoms only deteriorated and I got so bad I ended up in the emergency room.
I was lucky that I did because that was when I got the real diagnosis. I was shocked to hear that I had mesothelioma. I was lucky because most people with this illness do not get a diagnosis so quickly. My cancer had not yet spread very far and I was diagnosed at stage I, the only way to have a fighting chance of beating this disease. Because mesothelioma is hard to diagnose, most people are staged at III or IV and have little to no hope of survival. I encourage anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to asbestos years ago, which most often happens on the job, to get screened for cancer early and often.