Monday, January 23, 2017

Finding Help with Mesothelioma

Virgil Anderson
While we primary discuss books or book-related themes here at Thoughts in Progress, helping one another and others is also a high priority. We can sometimes help others by gaining knowledge.

I’d like to introduce you to Virgil Anderson who I ‘met’ recently through an email. Virgil has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and today I want to share his story with you so that others may be helped.

Virgil was born and raised in Williamson, WV.  His father, a coal miner, passed when Virgil was 8 years old. Virgil worked in demolition work and excavating since high school. This required the physical tear out, and hands-on removal of asbestos containing insulation in walls, ceiling, attics and heating and cooling systems.

To remove the asbestos required saws and sledge hammers all of which sent the asbestos fibers flying into the air. Unfortunately for Virgil, the material had to not only be freed from its location but also picked up and carried to the disposal area.

Once asbestos is disturbed it can stay in the air for 5 days. On some occasions, there was a haze of dust and debris that you could actually taste in your mouth. He also came in contact with asbestos while working on his family’s farm.

Virgil was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. When he was diagnosed with mesothelioma he needed immediate medical attention. He found a few websites on the internet that are supposed to help people with mesothelioma cancer but nobody got back to him.
Then he found Even though he contacted them on a Sunday one of their patient advocates gave him a call back within minutes. They gave him a great deal of helpful information on doctors and resources available to him.

As a result of their website, he is now being treated at the national cancer institute and the patient advocates have even provided him with financial assistance so he could afford a place to live during his chemotherapy.

Virgil feels that if he had not reached out to this website, he would likely be homeless and more importantly in Hospice waiting to die. Virgil noted that these people gave him his only chance at survival.

You can learn more about mesothelioma, treatments, and resources at

Here is an explanation of mesothelioma taken from the website, 
          “Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that’s most often caused by asbestos exposure. It usually forms in the lungs of those who have been exposed to this deadly toxin, but sometimes occurs in the abdominal area or the area around the heart. There are a number of therapies available that can help prolong survival and minimize symptoms and discomfort, but in most cases the cancer is too aggressive and too advanced at the time of diagnosis to be cured.
          This disease specifically impacts a thin membrane that protects the lungs, heart and organs within the abdominal cavity and enables them to function properly. This is called the mesothelium and the majority of cases of this type of cancer affect the pleura, the mesothelium that lines the lungs.
          Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma of all types in the United States every year. In most cases, these victims’ exposure took place on the job and the cause of the illness can be traced to an unsafe workplace.”

I’m not familiar with this website and its activities, but from Virgil story, I believe it would be a great help to those facing this terrible disease. If you know someone facing this, please pass along this information to them.

Thanks for stopping by today. Are you familiar with mesothelioma? Do you think enough is being done to information people about treatment and resources?


  1. It is a truly cruel disease. Sadly after many houses in my city were insulated with material containing friable asbestos it is a very real risk for many. My brother and his wife were forced out of their home and worry about the years that they and his wife's children spent in it. I wish Virgil and anyone else with this illness nothing but good.

  2. Hi Mason and Virgil - I've come across Mesothelioma and wrote a relatively detailed and informative post about it in September 2015 .. and noting it was the disease that killed Steve McQueen ...

    We do get notifications about it here ... and there are various regulations etc - but it's a silent killer and years later can affect people.

    Good luck - Hilary

  3. I've read about Virgil's story. That site was a blessing.

  4. Such an awful disease. Thanks for sharing the site and being such a good resource for others, Mason!

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Mason. As you say, we do best when we help one another. And I'm sure this will be extremely helpful. The more we understand, the better treatments, etc., we can create.

  6. Such a scary disease. Considering how long we've known about the dangers of asbestos, it's frightening how often mesothelioma still appears.

  7. I was aware that asbestos caused cancer, but not the details. It's a great thing there is help available through the internet.

  8. I hear about the disease a lot, but I don't know much about it. Terrible that people were exposed to such a danger.

  9. Thank you for sharing Virgil's story. It's terrible they are still tearing asbestos out of buildings. Well wishes to Virgil.

  10. Wishing you well, Virgil. So good of you to share his story with us, Mason. Thank you.

  11. That is helpful. Thanks for sharing! I really hope Virgil makes a full recovery.

  12. I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.