Is there a bright side of mesothelioma?

28 Apr 2008 by under Events, Organizations

lung plush toy med.thumbnail Is there a bright side of mesothelioma?As part of my work to raise awareness about mesothelioma, other asbestos related diseases and lung cancer, I talk to a lot of people facing these diagnoses. I also read a lot of message boards and forums that deal with these issues and provide a sounding board for patients, families, caregivers and even medical professionals working in this field.

A couple of the best forums, in my opinion, are the Lung Cancer Alliance Survivors Support Community, and the many forums sponsored by the LUNGevity Foundation. Recently, both groups have been tackling a difficult topic – how to find joy in daily living when faced with a diagnosis that is often grim.

They ask, “what is the positive side of lung cancer? IS there a positive side?”

Many people credit the forums themselves as a positive, providing a network of new friends, and helping them to find a place where they can be uplifted by other people’s stories of success. They say forums like these help them find relief by sharing their own fears and finding answers to their questions, and by helping them learn they are not alone.

Many echo each other in their feeling that their experience with cancer has taught them to value each day, and not to wait for tomorrow to accomplish goals. That surely would be a blessing for all of us to learn, wouldn’t it?

Some lung cancer survivors handle their challenges with humor. Yesterday I mentioned Debbie, who lives in the , who started her own web site about her battle with mesothelioma, and who nicknamed her tumor “Theo,” and provides reports on his condition and sometimes addresses him personally in her blog.

A poster on the LUNGevity forum recently found the humor in a YouTube video, in which two teenage girls spoof a Justin Timberlake rap song, “My Love,” with their own version, “My Lung,” in which they express their affection for their lung health. It seems they made the video as part of a high school health project.

On a similar track, a friend who knows I write about lung cancer sent me a link to an odd little web site called “I Heart Guts,” which features, among other things, plush toys and t-shirts depicting happy, smiling internal organs, including a shirt bearing the slogan “I Lung You.”

What about you? If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos disease or lung cancer, or if you are helping a family member or friend, how do you find peace and inspiration? What helps you?

One of the things I’d like for this site to do is to provide a resource for people struggling with meso, and a place to network and share ideas. Post your story to the Meso Map, or leave a comment to let me know what inspires you. Tell me if there’s another forum you like, or a web site with good information that I should add to my page’s blog roll.

This site is here for you.

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