Posts Tagged ‘guest blogger’

Danielle DiPietro, National Awareness Director of the Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com, bumped into my blog and then contacted me to ask if I would post a guest blogger. Oh yeah! The goal of Danielle’s organization is to help spread awareness about the symptoms and treatment of a rare kind of cancer called mesothelioma. In addition to general outreach, the team at Asbestos.com works one-to-one with patients and families to help find local doctors, treatment centers, and support groups.

If I learned anything from my experience with breast cancer and cancer treatments with symptoms that were often times more debilitating (though ultimately not more deadly) than the disease itself, I learned the need for the village. I learned that I needed a village to inform me, I wanted a village of choices, and I leaned on a village of hearts and strengths. Danielle and her crew are of the village of cancer experts and caregivers, and I am honored to post their article here:


Coping with Mesothelioma Cancer                                                               

Nobody ever expects to hear the words “You have terminal cancer.”

Unfortunately, more than 3,000 mesothelioma patients in the United States hear these words each year. Mesothelioma is associated with an average prognosis of one year, and even though survivors continue to beat the odds, patients must still cope with the challenging physical and mental stressors of the disease.

Coping on a Physical Level

Even with the most advanced treatments, mesothelioma patients still experience symptoms with a varying degree of severity. The symptoms typically intensify as the cancer progresses.

Some of the symptoms that mesothelioma patients can expect include:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

When symptoms begin to interfere with daily life, traditional treatments or alternative therapies can help patients cope. Surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy can help relieve most symptoms. However, these standard therapies can cause their own sets of side effects for patients to endure, including nausea, diarrhea, infection or appetite loss.

Although these issues can often be managed with certain pharmaceuticals, some patients elect gentler alternative therapies to avoid the unwanted aftereffects of standard treatments. Yoga, acupuncture and massage are among the most common alternative therapies used by mesothelioma patients.

Coping on an Emotional Level

In addition to physical side effects, emotional side effects can also arise after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Sadness, anger, depression and anxiety commonly affect newly diagnosed patients as they try to figure out what their futures hold. Managing these feelings can be just as important as managing the physical side effects of the disease.

Joining a support group is one of the most common and effective ways that a mesothelioma patient can process the mental aspects of a terminal cancer diagnosis. These groups are specially designed for cancer patients and their families, and they offer a safe forum for open discussion of any topics related to the post-diagnosis journey. These groups offer low-pressure opportunities for patients to process the fear or frustration they are experiencing.

Meditation is another way that mesothelioma patients can release emotional tension. Simply focusing on something other than the body for as little as a few minutes each day can provide a notable reduction in emotional stress.

Author bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care. In Awe and Gratitude for the Village,



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A caring and generous soul bumped into my blog and then took the time to contact me to offer encouragement to folks undergoing cancer treatment. David Haas is an advocate for cancer patients, specifically those with a rare and aggressive form of cancer contracted from asbestos exposure called Mesothelioma. David is also a rock climber, golfer, and judging from his twitter and facebook pages, an extremely fit and brave human being. Though we have only exchanged a couple of email, his goodness is readily apparent and I imagine that David’s large heart is strengthened by his physical fitness. Here is the article that he wrote with a link to a corroborating article to share with my readers and all who are impacted by cancer and cancer treatments:

Why fitness is important for cancer treatment

By: David Haas

Cancer patients must go through various treatments, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and other types of treatments. As a result, cancer patients’ bodies go through a tremendous amount of stress. Though every treatment method is effective for killing the cancer cells, it can leave patients with horrible side effects. Unfortunately, many cancer patients do not know or have not been told that there are ways they can help themselves.


Physical activity is one of the most beneficial things that cancer patients can do for themselves. This applies to patients in any stage of cancer. Of course, physical activity and fitness helps patients with any type of cancer. Whether one is diagnosed with a common cancer like skin cancer or a very rare and aggressive disease like mesothelioma, Fitness during treatments can help.

How fitness helps cancer patients

Physical activity is beneficial for anybody, but it is especially important for cancer patients for a few reasons. First, fitness keeps cancer patients’ body functioning properly. Without fitness, the respiratory system, immune system and circulatory system would not be as effective and efficient. Moreover, treatment can really hurt the body’s healthy organs, though it kills cancer cells. As a result, a cancer patient’s body must work extra hard to recover from extensive treatment and therapy, causing side effects like insomnia, fatigue, pain and dizziness. Fitness can relieve these and other side effects, making a cancer patient’s life a little easier.

Second, cancer can really affect patients’ thought patterns and overall outlook on life, causing them to become very pessimistic, depressed and anxious. Unfortunately, treatment can also further affect patients’ mental health by causing a chemical imbalance. Fortunately, fitness can fix chemical imbalances by producing hormones that act as aphrodisiacs, though not addictive or harmful. Many studies show that optimistic people are generally in better health and can heal faster than negative people. This is especially important for cancer patients.

Third, fitness can help keep the body detoxified. Toxins can severely inhibit the body’s immune system and other functions. By keeping it detoxified, cancer patients will feel healthier and have more energy. The toxins will leave the body via excretion, such as urine, sweat and defecation.

This article also lists why fitness is important for cancer patients. Though fitness is not a cure for cancer, it can greatly improve cancer patients’ quality of life and possibly prevent the cancer from returning.

 Thank you, David. I am inspired

ps. The above is not a picture of me, yet.

In gratitude, L.

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