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Mesothelioma Survivors

There are many more people out there that have used different methods of surviving mesothelioma.  Some have used alternative treatments while others have opted for aggressive medical and surgical therapies.

How to Maximize Your Own Survival Chances

Even though mesothelioma carries a poor prognosis, it is important to remember that everyone’s story is different and that you can survive the diagnosis of mesothelioma with the right combination of treatment and commitment to live.  Learn all you can about the disease and never give up the fight.

Stay as healthy as you can while getting treated for mesothelioma so you can tolerate the treatments better.  Learn about treatments that have helped others.  Stay connected with your family and have a reason to live.  All of these things can contribute to your being a mesothelioma survivor just like the people mentioned above.

Stories of Survival

Marge G.

Marge was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in the late 1990s at the age of 47.  She decided to use only alternative therapies for her condition and used therapies that strengthened her immune system so it was able to fight off the disease. Her treatment involved injections of serum from healthy donors who did not have mesothelioma but had strong immune systems.

The treatment worked, even though she was initially given less than a year to live.  She uses homeopathic remedies and herbal therapies to this day in order to keep her immune system strong so that it can fight any mesothelioma she may have left in her body.  She has survived in excess of ten years so far.  She credits treatments she received in the Bahamas back then as factors contributing to her survival.

Alexandra P.

Alexandra was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in the late 2000s at the age of 42.  Her peritoneal mesothelioma was found accidentally when she underwent treatment for gallbladder disease.

She decided to have aggressive removal of the tumor, including removal of part of her diaphragm.  She is still alive after more than five years.  She was recently married, refusing to let the cancer take away her happiness.  She still lives with the idea that she might have mesothelioma still inside her body but, as she is still alive, her chances for long-term survival are good.

David B.

David was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2010 at the age of 63.  At that time, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 disease and wasn’t given long to live.  Fortunately, he lived near one of the major mesothelioma centers throughout the country and enrolled in a program in which he received chemotherapy along with Amatuximab, which is an antibody that attaches to a protein that surrounds mesothelioma cells.

He has survived much past his projected survival rate and continues to take Amatuximab as a way of keeping his mesothelioma in check.  He credits his survival to joining a clinical trial of a drug that has improved his survival well past the few months most people with his diagnosis live.

 

Sandy M.

Sandy was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2011.  Her tactic to fighting mesothelioma was to learn everything she could about the disease.  She underwent multiple surgeries, ending up with a pneumonectomy in 2012.  She went for aggressive treatment and it has appeared to pay off.

Because of the mesothelioma treatment she received, she has lived long past the original prognosis she was given.  She credits her success to being a fighter and to doing whatever she could to get rid of the disease when it was found to be present.  She is living a successful life, continuing to battle a her cancer.

Tom G.

Tom was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2002 at the age of 42.  When he was initially given less than a year to live, he was ready to give up.  But his family convinced him to have aggressive surgery, including an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP).

He underwent the surgery in Boston and it has given him an extra ten years of life, far beyond his original prognosis.  He still lives with chronic pain, most likely because of his aggressive surgery.  Even so, he feels he has lived a lifetime in just ten additional years.

He won a settlement because of his asbestos exposure on the job and it has helped him pay for the college tuition for two of his three children.  He credits his success to having aggressive surgery and to never giving up.  He feels he is a true mesothelioma survivor.

Tina D.

Tina was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2001 when she was in her 30s. She was exposed to asbestos as a child. She underwent the cytoreduction with HIPEC procedure as well as radiation.  She just never gave up and decided she would live to see her children grown.

Now, more than 11 years later, she still has pain from surgical scar tissue but enjoys seeing the country every day with a longtime friend.  She is grateful to the doctors who recommended the procedure and feels no regrets.  She says she still lives with the thought that mesothelioma may still be in her system but she tries not to worry.  Instead, she is enjoying life as a survivor of mesothelioma, given the fact that she has lived many years longer than her original prognosis.

 

Sources & Author Edited: August 31, 2015

About the Writer

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

LCDR Carl Jewett is a retired Naval Officer, having served just under 24 years in the submarine force. He currently serves as a VA Accredited Claims Agent and as the Executive Director of the Veterans Assistance Network. He specializes in assisting veterans filing VA claims for asbestos-related disabilities such as mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer.

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