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A very real family members account of dealing with Mesothelioma

23 July 2012

We recieved this email late last week which demonstrates eloquently the worry, pain and helplessness experienced by a family member watching a loved one suffer with asbestos-related Mesothelioma.

Hello Colin,

I received your letter this morning at home dated yesterday, Friday 13! But it was a joy to hear from you.

I do have to say a HUGE thank you for the incredible support you gave me in January. As brief as our contact was, it was the strongest support I received from anyone and enabled me to support my brother, mother, and ultimately my dad, through an unexpected and horrible time in our life as a family.

You may not recall talking with me, I work for the NHS in London, my family live in Ireland. Dad had been diagnosed 3 January and I found out late that night. I emailed the National Asbestos Helpline before going to bed 3 January very shocked, lost and frightened about what lay ahead.

I went to work the following morning and you had emailed a huge amount of information to me and very kindly gave me your phone number to contact you. We spoke and had an extremely frank conversation about my dad’s condition. I knew nothing about mesoltelomia and was suddenly off the deep end of everything. Within less than twelve hours of my mum telling me, you had emailed me and we spoke very open. Your advice was the best advice and support I have ever been given in my life and I truely thank you for that.

All said …. Dad died 24 April.

Things are very raw at present as a family. Mum is still shell-shocked. Sadly she is trying to cope as a widow and facing a difficult week as Tuesday 17 July would have been their 50th and Golden Wedding Anniversary.

I am not sure if I am ready to ask my mum to start the process of understanding why or where Dad came into contact with asbestos but I do already know. As does mum, but things are too raw and sore right now for mum to even think about things. 

Please, please do keep in contact as I need to deal with things but not just yet.


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