Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lung Cancer Awareness

My Grandpa Howard was an amazing man.  He had a small farm near the town of St. Elizabeth.  He also did construction work on the side trying to provide for my Grandma Flo and their eight kids.  He sold a few hogs every year, and had a few acres of crop ground.  My Grandpa loved to laugh and joke.  He loved to bowl, and I think could have bowled professionally.  He also loved to play pinochle.  Back in World War II he worked in a bomb factory in 
St. Louis.

I have the most wonderful memories of my Grandpa Howard.  Even though I was one of 17 grandchildren, he always took time for me.  When I was a kid we would spend the night with him and my Grandma and he would take us up to the chicken house in the mornings and let us gather the eggs.  And then my Grandma would fix the eggs we gathered for us for breakfast. Every year my Grandpa would cut a huge (at least it seemed huge to me) cedar tree to decorate for Christmas.  And even though my Grandpa and Grandpa had limited means, there was always a gift for everyone of us under that tree.

My Grandpa Howard smoked Camel non-filtered cigarettes from the time he was just a boy.  My Grandpa died in 1991 at the age of 77 after a year long battle with lung cancer.

Mesothelioma is a specific type of lung cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos.  Sadly, I know two people who have recently passed away from Mesothelioma.  The first was the father of a young lady our son graduated from high school with.  He developed a cough that just wouldn't go away.  He went to the doctor and they treated him for bronchitis.  The cough didn't get any better, and he began to feel worse.  They sent him for further testing and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  He had surgery to remove one lung and the surrounding tissue.  He never truly recovered, and passed away about a year and a half after he was diagnosed.  He was 60 years old.  He never got to see either of his daughters graduate from college.  His eldest daughter got married this summer and her dad's friends walked her down the aisles.

The mother of a co-worked was also diagnosed with mesothelioma about a year and a half ago.  She only lived two months after she was diagnosed.  She had worked in a factory all of her life. She was 62 years old.

Treatment for mesothelioma is different from the treatment of other types of lung cancer. Please click HERE for more information on the treatment for mesothelioma!

Smoking is the leading cause of cancer among both men and women in the United States.  Men who smoke are TWENTY-THREE TIMES more likely to develop lung cancer than men who don't smoke.  Women and THIRTEEN TIMES more likely to develop lung cancer than women who don't smoke.   And people who smoke are MUCH more susceptible to developing mesothelioma.  You can click HERE to find out more about the effects of smoking on your lungs, lung cancer and specifically mesothelioma.

Please, DO NOT SMOKE.  I wonder how many more years I would have had with my Grandpa Howard if he hadn't smoked??  How many wonderful memories we could have made??  Sadly, my Grandpa smoked up until the day he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I wish he had never smoked the first cigarette.  

If you smoke, quit.  And don't say "I can't."  Yes, you can.  You can do anything you put your mind to.  If you can't quit on your own, get help.  There are support groups, medication, lots of options.  My dad smoked for over 30 years.  He quit the day they buried his uncle who died of lung cancer.  Don't make an excuse.  Don't smoke even one more cigarette.  You're worth it.  Your family and friends and the memories you make are worth it. And if you don't smoke, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE DON'T START.  It is a nasty habit.  If you smoke, YOU STINK.  Your clothes stink.  I've been around lots of smokers in my lifetime and they all stink.  Cigarettes kill.  It is amazing to me that in 2014 it is even LEGAL for stores to sell cigarettes.



  1. Excellent post, and one close to my heart! My father-in-law (age 93.. a WWII veteran) has suffered w/ Mesothelioma for years. His was most likely caused by exposure to asbestos during his Navy years, and also from working in various foundries after the war. Two other dear family members are smokers, and I am concerned for them daily. Best advice ever - don't start!! -Tammy

  2. EXCELLENT post this hits close to home for me. My Dad died of lung cancer. Working in a plant all his life and smoking had him leave us at 73. Mesothelioma is not something people should die of from because they were working to feed their families. Take care Hug B

  3. Such a poignant post with a story that truly everyone should read. I've never smoked a day in my life-- but I've watched both my parents die from lung cancer-- so tragic and sad.

    Bless you for sharing this with us all--