Tim Elliot is a dedicated supporter of our troops and advocate of veterans' benefits. He's just starting blogging but look for more of his writings to come.
Have you ever heard of asbestos? It’s deadly. It causes the cancer mesothelioma, and thousands of veterans have it due to exposure while serving. Before it was known that asbestos was dangerous the military built everything from roof shingles to cloth with it, and millions of soldiers have been exposed to it. Mesothelioma takes a long time (twenty to fifty years) before it starts to really negatively affect the body, and it is just now that many veterans are beginning to find out that they have it.
Can you imagine the hopelessness, the bitterness, and the biting cruelty that would have to accompany such a diagnosis? To learn that the mesothelioma life expectancy is only a year or two, that you’re not expected to live longer than a year or two? It would be devastating in any circumstance. To hear that, and then to hear that it’s likely because of the time you spent in the military. The fact that you made it through all the trials and tribulations, and survived only to find out years later that cancer from then is going to take your life anyway is just unbelievable. Or the helplessness, because the whole time you thought that trouble breathing was nothing serious only to find out it is a mesothelioma symptom ? It’s absolutely unbelievable that some people have to go through this, after they’ve already been through so much.
If you find out early enough that you have mesothelioma there are options for surgeries that will treat the cancer, but the prognosis is poor. So the best thing to do if you think you’ve been exposed to asbestos is to talk to your doctor and get screened regularly for it.