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regio 11-15-2005 10:56 PM

intermittent asbestos exposure
I'm not sure why I'm writing this post. I guess its a silly attempt at getting some reassurance. I've already read the facts on asbestos exposure and the bottom line is... there are no guarantees. I'm a 26 year old male. My father was a locker contractor for 30+ years and on some occasions, he worked in buildings during asbestos abatements or had to drill into possible asbestos containing materials. I've worked with him sometimes, but not often because I was in school. When I did go with him, I only remember 3 occasions where there were asbestos removals going on and we were working nowhere near them. My fear is that me and my family may have been exposed to asbestos fibers when he came home. He was never covered in dust, but asbestos dust isn't visible. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I may or may not have been exposed to higher levels of asbestos for the first 20 years of my life. My dad isn't too phased about it. He is a heavy , HEAVY cigar smoker (10+ large cigars a day since he was 13. He's now 55). Amazingly, with the amount of abuse he gives his lungs, his lung capacity/oxygen% scores are comparable to a twentysomething year old. I don't smoke, but I recently had to move back home due to a work injury. I don't know what brought this fear on, but the other day I thought about all the second hand smoke I was exposed to and all of the asbestos I may have been exposed to and I just snapped. Here I am trying to rebuild my life and last week, I slept for four days straight out of sheer terror. It seems like I am already dead. I feel terrible going on like this when there are some of you here actually struggling with mesothelioma. I've read some of your posts and my heart goes out to you and your family members. I'm not a spiritual person, but everyday you are in my thoughts and hopes. Thank you for listening.

antoinettev3 11-17-2005 12:57 PM

Re: intermittent asbestos exposure

as a mesothelioma sufferer all i can do is try to reassure you that the chances of developing mesothelioma or asbestosis from you limited exposure are very remote. for all the millions of people exposed to the fibers over the years there are still only 2000-3000 cases a year of mesothelioma reported.

it amazes me how young, healthy people paralyze themselves with fear over something that is VERY unlikely to occur and even if it does it won't happen for decades. why would you feel as though your life is over now when it may be another 30 years before you develop any problems IF you ever develop them? You could get hit by a car or be killed doing some sort of activity in the next 30 years OR you may lead a happy and healthy life and die of old age.

there are no guarantees in life and none of us knows what's in store for us but to waste time worrying about what MIGHT happen is the unhealthiest thing you can do. even though i have the disease it doesn't stop me from living my life. granted some days are better then others but it's not the end of the world to have mesothelioma.

do you sit and worry about developing any other types of cancers? or heart disease? the general population is much more likely to develop lung cancer or suffer heart attacks and strokes then meso.

you are young and this is the time of your life where you don't need to worry about your health so much. just get regular check-ups, make sure your doctors are aware of your exposure and let them decide if yearly chest films are necessary and if any lung problems develop get them checked out right away. other then that stop torturing yourself. i wish i were 26 again. :)

thank you for keeping those of us who are dealing with meso in your thoughts and hopes. you will be in my thoughts and prayers as well.

take care of yourself. be healthy and happy.


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