Caregiving is a role I don’t always identify with, although I should because I have been one many times. From caring for my elderly parents dealing with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, a stroke and more, to my wife’s mesothelioma diagnosis just three months after the birth of our only child, I have been caregiving for the last ten years. While I easily consider myself both a husband and a father, I don’t always think of myself as a caregiver. Caregiving felt natural – I was just caring for family.
June is National Safety Month, and MCA is looking to keep you and your family safe when at home, at work, and taking part in all the warm weather fun. From pool parties and garage sales to at-home DIY projects, there’s something to look forward to for just about everyone.
Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses a patient’s immune system to fight the disease. By manipulating the immune system as a whole or by utilizing components of the immune system, or cell proteins known as antibodies, doctors are able to target additional proteins that help cancer cells grow. The antibodies will bind to the targeted cancer cell proteins and will either stop the cancer cells from growing or will kill them.
It is our honor and privilege to award the Fall 2015 Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship to Nicholas Hibbeler.
Two years ago, Nicholas was diagnosed with testicular cancer. What stood out about his story was not just that he has managed – through painful surgery and complications – to beat back his cancer, but that he has turned his experience into a strong effort for awareness about the disease. By engaging with others to help him advocate for those at risk of developing testicular cancer, he has shown that he is not only a fighter, but a leader as well.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the next step may be to determine whether the cancer has spread to other areas of your body, so you can decide the most comprehensive treatment plan.
A current concern for physicians looking to improve cancer treatment is the need for better methods for monitoring the development of malignant tissues and tumors. This would help physicians be able to personalize treatment for patients on an individual level. As Dr. Heitzer of the Institute of Human Genetics in Graz, Austria states, “methods are needed for a rapid, cost-effective, and noninvasive identification of biomarkers at various time points during the course of [cancer] disease.”1
Today is a day I was never meant to live, this year was one I wasn’t supposed to see, this life is one I wasn’t supposed to have.
No one ever prepares you to fight for your life. When your reality becomes just that, learning that your existence is not guaranteed, your world becomes something you could have never imagined. I always wanted to be a mother, and after marrying the most amazing man, I was ready to be a parent. We would be a new family. I would become a mother, and find a new kind of unconditional love. After giving birth to our daughter, I was overjoyed. That joy suddenly faded after losing weight and strength in my body, feeling that I could not physically breathe. I was concerned, but attributed the weight loss to my recent pregnancy. Finally feeling that something more was actually to blame, I saw a doctor, and was told I had mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. I was given 15 months to live. That was 10 years ago. Throughout the last ten years I have devoted my life to spreading awareness of the dangers of asbestos, sharing hope, and supporting others on their path towards a cancer-free life.
Clinical trials are critical to finding and advancing treatments for mesothelioma patients. Since its inception in 2002, the International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been conducting a series of clinical trials to evaluate various treatment options for patients before, during and after surgery. At any given time, our experts within the IMP are conducting multiple treatment clinical/research trials—with some having lasted over a decade.