Rod shares his journey with mesothelioma…
By October 2017, we had made most of our plans and bookings. It was around that time I noticed a small, hard bump on my chest. 2018 promised to be a big year for Paige and me. For the last 4 years we had been planning a 12 month tour around the world. By October 2017, we had made most of our plans and bookings. It was around that time I noticed a small, hard bump on my chest.
Thinking it was a sport injury from playing hockey on the weekend, I went down to my GP to get it checked out. My GP referred me for a ultrasound. The radiologist did the ultrasound, and said “uh oh” and immediately suggested an x-ray. After the x-ray, he said “I think you had better have a biopsy done”. This was done immediately, followed with a PET scan the next day. After a long wait over the weekend, I finally saw my GP to review the results. “Have you been exposed to asbestos?”, he said.
Indeed I had. So had my mother, who died from mesothelioma in 2005. My world came crashing down. Travel plans were shattered to pieces and a 5 month chemotherapy regimen commenced immediately. My GP got me on to a clinical trial as well. It has now been 6 months since I was diagnosed. I was 56 years old. Although my pleural mesothelioma was relatively advanced, I tolerated chemo very well and achieved moderate shrinkage. I continue on the clinical trial and hope that it keeps the meso at bay for a while.
My wife, Paige, has been my rock throughout this ordeal. Sometimes I think of just packing it all in, but Paige has kept me strong, focused and positive. I know being positive is the key to coping with this disease. It is difficult and I struggle at times, but Paige is always there to prod me in the right direction. We have started to pick up the travel pieces we had planned and are looking forward to filling our lives with family, adventure and each other.
You can read more about my meso journey in my blog.