Paul has just told me some dreadful news. He's been diagnosed with the engineers' worst nightmare, mesothelioma. Paul writes "I had an ambulance ride to A&E with a collapsed lung and they found it was caused by fluid, x-rays showed the fluid but no shadows so they drained 5 litres of fluid and inserted a camera with a biopsy device attached, they observed lesions on my pleura and took biopsies from 8 lesions, they were confirmed as mesothelioma so I am now considering options to extend my life but I am unable to get any definitive life expectancy. I have a dedicated mesothelioma nurse from a charity organisation for asbestos related illness and I will be talking to her today to see if I can get more information."
The next paragraph is pretty scary for us all "I've had annual x-rays for many years right up to July this year specifically looking for asbestos related problems and even during my recent spell in hospital the x-rays and a CT scan did not pick it up, it was only directly looking with a camera that it was diagnosed."
I'm posting this with Paul's permission as I'm a great believer in the power of positive thought, religious people call it prayer but I just believe it's the power of the mind and the more minds thinking the same thing at the same time expands that power.
We're thinking of you mate!
That's a worry.
I worked in clouds of asbestos powder when fitting out the engine room on HMAS Torrens, a steam turbine destroyer escort at Cockatoo Island in 1968/69. The laggers made a huge mess lagging the turbines, pipes, etc for months.
I've had a specialist look at my lungs some years ago. He said that there were minor scars but possibly no worry. I'll be 70 soon. So far so good.
I think we will all have been breathing in asbestos dust at one time or another . That is worrying that it was only picked up with specialist tests . I also worked in the coal mines apprenticeship etc more worries . I have had various x Ray's nothing showing . . Now it is diagnosed you will get looked after as much as poss . I am 78 yrs old next birthday. Take care hope all goes well for you and your family. Colin
Further to my post above, we were never told that asbestos was dangerous during my apprenticeship from 1965 to 1970.
And we were not made aware of the issues. At the age of 16 to 21 we didn't think of health problems.
My industry shipbuilding is rife with it.
I know people who have been diagnosed for ten years and look better than i do.
Stay positive and just get on with your life.
Well said Don.
Sorry to hear Blee. We have all been in the Asbestos environment at some. The Big"O" had blue asbestos, the Steelworks was rife with it and Brown Asbestos was in the Hospitals, all of which I have been in employment.
Yes life is precious, get on with it - I can see more Cruises being booked.
Keep in touch mate.
I was exposed to asbestos before I went to sea, and more whilst at sea. Some years ago a doctor told me I had calcification of the lungs as a result. He also said that it would most likely turn to cancer at some time in the future. I'm 72 now and still OK. Kweep smiling - it works for me!
I am so sorry to hear this, Paul and wish you all the very best. I hope that your condition responds to treatment and am thinking of you.
Paul, I echo Alans comments and hope you get good news from the nurse. Thinking about you mate.
Thanks guys for your support but unfortunately after a couple of meetings with Nurses and Doctors it appears the only treatment they can offer is chemotherapy which is virtually ineffective, so not much point in going through it.
So Gill and I have made the decision to get over to Australia as soon as possible and try our luck there, if nothing is availability we will at least miss the worst of the UK winter.
All the best Paul (Bleeeee).
All the best Paul, I hope you get the best possible treatment. Stay in touch please.
I wish you all the best, Paul. I agree with your comments about living your life. As I mentioned earlier in this item, I was exposed and I won't start worrying until something happens.
Keep the positive attitude Paul.
Yes Paul, live life to the full (as we did on The Big "O") Let us know in the uk if you're up to a get-together like old times and get all the piss-heads round like what we did in the past years on your visits from Aussie to the UK. Mike E (Slava)
Unfortunately I'm beyond such activities, I can still manage a short walk to the pub for a half pint but a night out is not possible.
I joined the Canberra after the Falklands and during the refit there were a group of us up on top of the boilers repacking steam valves etc, (as you do!) and every now and then someone would have a coughing fit having inhaled a cloud of asbestos-laden dust.
This eventually prompted one of the Vospers fitters to shout out, "For fuck's sake, we're all going to die of asbestybastardfuckingosis up here and no-one gives a shit!"
Sadly I feel he was right in his sentiments, certainly no employers gave a shit at the time anyway, even basic dust masks only being a "thing" many years after I left P&O.
Yes, we all packed many a steam valve, along with scraping off pipe/turbine lagging when dealing with oil spillages, fires and steam leaks and were never offered protection.
When, during a medical exam by my Doctor, he quizzed me if I had ever come into contact with asbestos,(I am asthmatic), I relayed this info. His response was " You did what?!!" and promptly sent me off for a chest X-ray. This turned out to be clear, but I have yearly checks now. Fingers crossed.
Good luck Paul! Thinking of you.
Hi Bunny, good to hear from you, I appreciate your thoughts.
I've said it previously but it needs repeating, I had X-rays right up to and including my spell in Hospital which were all declared clear, I also had a CT scan which did not show the Mesothelioma, it was not until biopsies were taken from my pleura in the chest cavity that the diagnosis was made. My suggestion to anyone who wants to be sure is to have a PET or MRI scan and not listen to doctors who generally don't have sufficient knowledge to be qualified to pass you fit based on X-rays.
Hi Blue, just want to say you were one the nicest guys I ever sailed with, and one of the funniest, a pleasure to have met you, and to have shared beers and laughs. Got some good pics of you somewhere in my blackmail file. Be as well as you can be Blee, all the best mate
Hi Malc, we did have some laughs and I bet your blackmail photos include compromising positions with Plumbob! Thanks for your thoughts, keep smiling.