Mesothelioma: Information & Resources

Malignant mesothelioma (sometimes referred to as “mesothelioma” or simply “meso”) is an aggressive form of cancer that affects tens of thousands of people worldwide. Generally associated with long-term exposure to materials that contain asbestos, mesothelioma can grow and spread with alarming speed, which is why early diagnosis is so crucial to a good prognosis. However, the time from initial asbestos exposure to the time of becoming symptomatic is often extremely long—sometimes, the latency period lasts for several decades before someone with mesothelioma begins to feel ill. These factors combine to present clinicians and patients alike with a major dilemma.


Malignant mesothelioma (all sites): Number of deaths, crude and age-adjusted death rates, U.S. residents age 15 and over, 1999–2010

Types of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma typically affects the linings of the heart, lungs, abdominal cavity, and in rarer cases, the reproductive organs.

Pericardial mesothelioma

One of the more rare mesothelioma types, pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart. The most popular treatment option for this form of mesothelioma is surgery to remove the cancer and sometimes, the lining of the heart itself.

Peritoneal mesothelioma

One of the more common mesothelioma types, peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdominal cavity. It is thought to be caused by swallowing of asbestos or asbestos-like fibers, and popular treatment options include surgical tumor excision, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Pleural mesothelioma

The most common form of mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs. This form of mesothelioma is typically associated with inhalation of carcinogenic fibers, often on a daily basis over a long period of time (such as while working with asbestos insulation). Treatment options for pleural mesothelioma are varied and depend upon the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Testicular mesothelioma

Testicular mesothelioma is extremely rare, with fewer than 100 people across the globe reported as having the diagnosis. The most common method of treatment for mesothelioma of the lining of the testes is surgical removal of the testis affected by the tumor.

Treatment options

There are a variety of treatment options available for people who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, depending on the location and stage of their cancer. Treatments may be curative—that is, intended to remove the cancer and send the patient into remission—or they may be palliative—that is, intended to ease the pain or discomfort experienced by the patient in order to restore quality of life.

Curative treatments

Radiation therapy, surgical treatment, and chemotherapy are often used as potentially curative treatments, with the hopes of removing most or all of the cancerous tissue from the body, either by physically removing it as in surgery, or by delivering cancer-killing radiation or chemo treatment to the tumor. Curative treatments have the best prognosis when the cancer is still localized and has not spread to distant organs in the body.

Palliative treatments

For individuals whose mesothelioma is at a later stage by the time of diagnosis, curative options may be extremely limited. These people still have options, though, to help them reclaim quality of life while living with mesothelioma. For example, surgery to drain excess fluid in the lungs due to pleural mesothelioma may be conducted to make a patient’s breathing easier, and pain medications may also be prescribed to reduce the pain caused by the growth and spread of the cancer. More information at

Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies

Cancer Video Picture

Movie Premiers on PBS on March 30th, 2015

Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS. The book  is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Spurred by a personal tragedy, America’s foremost documentarian is tackling cancer. According to the Associated Press, Burns collaborated with Dr. Mukherjee to bring the historical work to PBS in spring 2015.
Stand Up to Cancer co-founder and legendary film producer Laura Ziskin envision creating a documentary about cancer for years. In 2010 she came across The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. From the first time she laid eyes on the book, Laura knew it should be the basis of the documentary she still wanted to make. She was the driving force behind the film’s production and her spirit is very much part of the completed product.


Don’t Ask, Do Tell!

Stand Up 2 Cancer Caregiver tip.  

After a cancer diagnosis family and friends frequently feel powerless to help. It is difficult to know how to provide support to your loved one, especially when you may feel like you don’t know what to do or where to start. Stand Up 2 Cancer shares the suggestion that it may be helpful to make a list of things that you think you can do, based on your own availability and skills. Then you can reach out to your loved one with these suggestions. It can include providing rides, running errands, or bringing a book to read or music to listen to.  More suggestions can be found at and the list below:

Don’t Ask, Do Tell | Show That You Care

  • Make appointments
  • Save important doctor and clinic numbers to your loved one’s cellphone / make a notebook with numbers for the patient, caregivers and family members to use.
  • Go to appointments with themDon't Ask, Do Tell
  • Prepare a chemo care kit:
    • Bottled water
    • Sweaters, blankets, socks, layers, things to keep warm
    • A list of current medications
    • A cooler with ice, popsicles—or just bottled water (helps prevent mouth sores)
    • Sugarless candy
    • Chapstick
    • Toothbrush
    • V-neck or button up shirt for access to port (cotton)
    • Mad Libs, crosswords, trivia games, things to pass the time
    • Books, magazines, tablets
    • A selection of items that currently smell good to your loved one such as essential oil
  • Grocery shopping
  • Cook or arrange meal drop offs
    • Set up an online calendar for friends and family to sign up for meal deliveries
    • Adjust meal requests overtime as you better understand when meals are most needed
    • Remember that the sense of taste often changes during treatment. Friends delivering meals are always happy to hear what foods will be most appreciated
    • Request that food is delivered in dishes that do not require washing and returning
  • Write the thank you notes so your loved one does not have to
  • Babysitting
  • Arrange play dates or offer rides for children
  • Pet care (feed, walk, bathe, bring them to the vet)
  • House cleaning and maintenance
    • Consider arranging house cleaning while a loved one is at treatment
    • Create volunteer calendar for household and yard chores, putting out the trash for collection, etc.
    • Gather funds from friends and families to hire a cleaning service
    • Have friends and family wash and return folded laundry
    • Help with seasonal house maintenance like cleaning gutters, raking leaves, cutting grass.
  • Research support groups
  • Attend a support group
  • Pick up prescriptions
  • Take cars to fill up the gas tank or for maintenance


Cauldron of Love has been released!

Front Cover

After two years, thirty contributors, artwork, one trailer, edits, proof reading and more, Writers Unite to Fight Cancer is proud to announce that Cauldron of Love our WUFC Cookbook is available! The full color coil-bound version with 190 recipes $24.95. Break bread with us and celebrate life.

Buy Your Copy Today! 

List of Contributors: Anna Arnett, Anna del C Dye, Brenda Novak, Bridgette Crosby, Caroline Porter, Cheree Alsop, Connie Sokol, David Calvert, David Lee Summers, Donna Dustin, Doreen Bloomer, Emily Larsen, Jadi, Karly Blair, Kebba Button Buckley, Kerry Blair, Lisa Finder, Liz Adair, Louise Laughlin, Margaret Larsen Turley, Marilyn Hartness, Marina Martindale, Morgan Vanessa Harbinger, Ora Smith, Penny Freeman, Sarah M. Eden, Serena Freewomyn, Shari McClaws,Vanessa Joy.

Cauldron of Love features eighteen categories with  international family favorites, remedies, delicious gluten free and dairy free cuisine, comfort food for patients battling cancer and other tantalizing morsels.

100% of the profits from cookbook sales will be donated to Cancer Research.

Email  or call Margaret for other payment options at: / 480-586-7902.

Hysterectomy Procedure May Spread Undetected Cancer!


Women who have hysterectomies for non-cancerous reasons my end up with leiomyosarcoma (LMS) and die within 2 – 3  years after their procedure.  On April 17th, 2014 the FDA issued a warning to health providers stating: “When used for hysterectomy or myomectomy in women with uterine fibroids, laparoscopic power morcellation poses a risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue, notably uterine sarcomas, beyond the uterus.”

Power morcellators are medical devices used during various laparoscopic surgeries, such as hysterectomies and myomectomies, that aggressively cut uterine tissue into small pieces. This permits the tissue to be removed through a small incision site, with proposed benefits that include: shorter recovery periods, and fewer complications. However according to the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) power morcellation or other techniques that cut up the uterus in the abdomen have the potential to disseminate an otherwise contained malignancy throughout the abdominal cavity. For this reason, the SGO asserts that it is generally contraindicated in the presence of documented or highly suspected malignancy, and may be inadvisable in premalignant conditions or risk-reducing surgery.

The American Recall Center gives the following statistics:

  • Hysterectomy is the 2nd most common surgery among women in the United States
  • By age 70, one out of three American women will have had a hysterectomy
  • 90% of these surgeries are done to remove Fibroids (non-cancerous tumors found in the uterus)
  • The average life span following accidental morcellation of sarcoma is only 24-36 months
  • Only 15% of women who have leiomyosarcoma (LMS) that has spread (stage 4) will be alive after 5 years
  • Women with sarcoma who are morcellated are about 4 times more likely to die from sarcoma than if they had not been morcellated.

Some women undergoing Laparoscopic Supracervical Hysterectomy, Robotic Hysterectomy,  or Laparoscopic Myomectomy (Uterine Fibroid Removal) procedures may actually have undiagnosed sarcoma, which doctors are unable to detect prior to the uterine fibroid surgery. A potential side effect of morcellation for these women, which has not been adequately disclosed, is the risk that the morcellator may cause the spread of cancerous tissue throughout the abdomen and pelvis.

Three things women can do to prevent spread of LMS.

  1. Ask your health care provider to discuss all the options available to treat your condition and discuss the risks and benefits of each.
  2. If laparoscopic hysterectomy or myomectomy is recommended, ask your health care provider if power morcellation will be performed during your procedure. Ask if an abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy would be a safer option for you.
  3. If you have already undergone a hysterectomy or myomectomy for fibroids, tissue removed during the procedure is typically sent to pathology to be tested for the presence of cancer. If you were informed these tests were normal and you have no symptoms, routine follow-up with your physician is recommended. Patients with persistent or recurrent symptoms or questions should consult their health care provider.

American Brain Tumor Association – Real Progress, Real Hope

ABTAlogoForty years ago, a national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and improving brain tumor care was a bold notion. Back then, there was little promise or hope for those diagnosed with a brain tumor. Today, thanks to the generosity of a generation of supporters like you, we are seeing real progress and experiencing real hope in our efforts to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors. Your gift today will allow us to continue this momentum. [Read more…]

Martial Artist and Authors join Forces to Assist a Cancer Patient

ProvoKickathonFlyer-967x1024Today I am writing this blog post while waiting in the surgical lobby area as my daughter is being prepped for brain surgery. This is the time in the poem “Footsteps in the Sand” by Mary Stevenson where the Lord is carrying me. Dr. Sanan will remove part of her brain tumor, as much as is safe to do so, and perform the biopsy. This is a necessary step to determine what is the next step in her cancer treatment plan. I have to admit that I wait with fear and trembling in spite of  prayers and good wishes expressed by others and the brave front that my daughter wore going into pre-op. I want to extend my thanks for the support and tireless efforts so many friends, family and perfect strangers have given in behalf of Serena in her Journey to healing. Many yard sales, craft sales, and other kinds of fundraisers as well as cash donations have assisted to pay for her treatments over the past six months. Even today there was a two thousand dollar deductible that was covered by friends – angels on earth. More such angels are gathering this coming Saturday to Kick Out Cancer in Serena’s behalf at Memorial Park on 800 E. Center St. in Provo, Utah. Sensei Nathan Boyd is hosting a Kick-a-thon for Cancer! He invites all interested Ninjas and Ninja want to be’s to come and kick, and those who want to support them to sponsor them. For more details contact him at            801-373-4844 or at Provo USSD. or email Nathan Boyd is offering $50.00 gift certificates to his martial arts studio for lessons to event participants and cancer fund donors. Deirdra Eden has kindly organized the Book Signing that is happening at the same event. Many authors who I’ve not had the privilege to meet yet are coming to support the cause.  There is room for more authors if you want to participate please contact Deirdra at Here are the authors that have signed up so far: Book Cover Poster

Other Items available at this event include a quilt that will be up for raffle, and a bake sale. There will be free drinking water for everyone. Bands will be performing throughout the day. Living Scriptures will give a free DVD to each family that attends the event and donate a portion of their sales to Serena’s cancer fund. Turbo Scan / Heritage Makers will offer discounts on photo scanning and preservation and contribute a percentage of their sales to the cancer treatment fund. If you are in or near the Provo area this Saturday, August 18th, please drop by and enjoy the fun and help contribute. If you are unable to attend but still want to donate you can do so on-line on the Provo USSD Website: . THANK YOU!

Authors Participate in Arizona Centennial Cancer Research Fundraiser on 2/12/2012

2.2Many genres and award winning books will be featured by Arizona authors  in the Writers Unite to Fight Cancer (WUFC)  Arizona Centennial Cancer Research Fundraiser at the Arizona Biltmore. This charity event will be held on February 2nd, 2012 from The authors will contribute a dollar per book sold at this event to the cancer research.

Two books that will be represented at this event have been designated as Arizona Centennial Legacy Projects.

  • a)   Arizona Way out West and Wacky written by multi-award winning authors Conrad Storad and Lynda Exley. The Library version of this Five Star Publications book, Arizona Way Out West And Witty, won the 2012 One Book Arizona Kids.
  • b)  Addie Slaughter – The Girl Who Met Geronimo written by Susan Krueger Ed.D and Reba Wells Grandrud, Ph.D.

Several of the other Arizona authors participating in this event have won state and national literary awards:

  • Cindy R. William’s book Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today received the 2009 Arizona Glyph Award and 2010 Southwest Book Award Finalist. Her other writing awards include: Honorable mention in the 77th &79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and 1st place in 2008 Arizona American Mother’s Association Literary Contest.
  • Conrad Storad’s book Don’t Ever Cross that Road (An Armadillo Story) received “Arizona Young Reader Award” nominee for 2006 and Southwest Books of the Year–”Best Reading for 2003.” Sonoran Desert A to Z – Coloring/ Learning book was designated the 1999 “Best Book by a New Publisher” by the Arizona Book Publishing Association (ABPA). Don’t Call Me Pig (A Javelina Story) was also chosen as Governor Napolitano’s “One Book for Every First Grader” giveaway in 2005, and received the 1999 “Best Children’s Book” ABPA Glyph Award as well as the 1999 “Best Children’s Book Illustration” ABPA Glyph Award and was finalist for the 1999 Benjamin Franklin Award by Publishers Marketing Association. His children’s picture book Meerkats won Arizona’s “Best Book of 2008” Rattlesnake Rules won two ABPA Glyph awards in 2010: Best Children’s Book Cover Design and Honor Book – best Children’s Fiction. Storad is a contributing writer and editor for the nationally award-winning ASU Research Magazine. In 2001, the Arizona Library Association honored Storad with the Judy Goddard Award as “Arizona Children’s Author of the Year.”
  • Donna Hatch of Gilbert Regency Romance: The Guise of a Gentleman, and the Stranger she Married and Fantasy: Queen in Exile, have won or been nominated as a finalist in many writing awards including Golden Quill.
  • Gayle Martin is the author of the Luke and Jenny Series. Billy the Kid was the 2007 Indie Book Awards for Excellence Finalist Billy the Kid; Gunfight at the O.K. Corral received Honorable mention at the 2007 Hollywood Book Festival.
  • Janette Rallison of Chandler is the award winning author of 17 novels and has sold over a million books. In Just One Wish, the protagonist’s little brother has cancer. Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To Do List placed on the IRA Young Adults’ Choices List 2007, It’s a Mall World After All placed on IRA Young Adults’ Choices List 2008, How to Take the Ex out of Ex Boyfriend place IRA Young Adults’ Choices List 2009 and My Fair Godmother was nominated for 2011 Grand Canyon Reader Award.
  • Linda Radke is the author of The Economical Guide to Self-Publishing (a 2010 Paris Book Festival first-place winner in the “How-To” category and a Writer’s Digest Book Club selection, now into its second edition) and Promote Like a Pro: Small Budget, Big Show (a Doubleday Executive Program Book Club selection). Legends in the Kitchen: Celebrity Recipes for a Cause, which she coproduced with Mrs. Howard Keel, earned an honorable mention in the “Cookbook” category at the 2010 Paris Book Festival. She is also a founding member of the Arizona Book Publishing Association, was named “Book Marketer of the Year” by Book Publicists of Southern California and received numerous public relations and marketing awards from Arizona Press Women.
  • Louise Laughlin of Mesa wrote I Must Be Dreaming. Her memoir is about her husband, Larry who is an esophageal cancer survivor, Vietnam vet and played football with the ASU Sundevils under Frank Kush, 1963 – 67. One of her children’s picture books, Libby’s Vacation, won the 2011 ABPA Glyph award for the book cover. Santa Goes Shopping is set in Chandler Arizona.
  • Michael Moorehead is the author of The Student From Zombie Island: Conquering The Rumor Monster – Winner of the
    2008 Reader Views Annual Literary Award for Best Children’s Book for Ages 7 and Older.

Five to Thrive Co-authors Lise Alschuler, ND and Karolyn A. Gazella, medical journalist; are both cancer survivors.  Their sponsor sponsor, Kyowa, has donated 160 books to include in the complimentary gift bags that will be given to each guest who attends the event.  Alschuler and Gazella are also co-authors of The Definitive Guide to Cancer and co-founders of the multimedia educational initiative Cancer Thrivers.

Additional WUFC Arizona authors selling and signing books at this event include: Angela Morrison MFA of Mesa is a young adult author of four published books.  Anna Arnett is a Chandler octogenarian and author of Lolly’s Yarn – a memoir about her romance and life married to WWII prisoner of War, USAF pilot Charles Arnett, an Arizona Native. Betsy Love wrote Identity, a mystery about two women who look very similar but have very different backgrounds who are involved in a plane crash that leaves their identities confused. Betty Webb of Scottsdale Arizona is a journalist and literary critic for more than 25 years. Her Lena Jones detective series is set in Arizona. Beverly Jane Phillips lives in Gilbert and is a retired Presbyterian minister. She is the author of Learning a New Language, Speech About Women and God which addresses the issue of expansive language for God. From Heaven to My Heart, God’s Journey With Me is a compilation of prayers. Reverend Cay Randall-May, PhD is an author and artist from Phoenix who teaches at a Phoenix College. She is a member of the Council for Healing, representing Medical Intuition and Prayer Healing and hosts the Above and Beyond internet radio show. Her book with CD is Healing and the Creative Response.

More participating WUFC authors include: Cynthia Roedig is author of Ginger Boy and the Silver Lariat a full-color, 24-page book features a westernized retelling of the gingerbread man origination story, but with a twist. David Arnett, Chandler resident, is co-author of The Baltimore Principles. David Summers is an astronomer at Kitt Peak National Observatory outside of Tucson. His wife is a breast cancer survivor and he writes steam punk. Dorian Tether of Scottsdale is a children’s book author and illustrator; The Pelican and the Whale and When The Coyote Howls. Gilat Ben-Dor of Phoenix is an author and CEO of Gusto Power. She wrote: The Confetti Path, The Rainbow Blueprint, and The Gusto Power Workbook. Kerry Lynn Blair, currently in Dewey, is an ovarian cancer survivor and author of Counting Blessings as well as several LDS fiction and young adult novels. Her 2011 Christmas story is Angels Bending Near the Earth.

Other WUFC authors at this event will be: Margaret Turley, WUFC administrator is a registered nurse with over 34 years experience and wrote Save the Child. This novel set in Gilbert Arizona and explores the world of pediatric cancer, alternative medicine and parent’s rights to choose the healthcare for their children. Marsheila Rockwell is the author of: The Shard Axe and Legacy of the Wolves, several science fiction and fantasy short stories, poetry and articles. Her two year old son has neuroblastoma. Nancy Lee Burns, resident of Pine is a retired social worker and wrote Retirement: Sacred or Scared. Her book takes you on her journeys of exploration while hiking scenic Arizona trails. Teresa Sneed is the author of No Angel.  Jonathan is not happy with being designated as a guardian angel. His client, Celeste has a mind of her own and leaves him stuck in a place he only wants to forget. Her son is a cancer survivor. Susan L. Krueger’s newest book is Horrifa’s Magic Makeover: “Witch” Way to the Ball?

You Can Help a Cancer Survivor with Hearing Loss d/t Chemotherapy

chemo side effectsI know a boy who happens to be a miracle. His name is Isaac Sneed. About 11 years ago he  started complaining about his “tummy”. You know, the kinds of complaints all kids have. Only his ache never went away. The diagnosis was  neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer. This cancer is almost always fatal, and most children who get this kind of cancer are diagnosed by the age of 2.  By the time it is discovered, the cancer usually spreads to the point of no return. Through a miracle, his tumor was completely intact and the doctors were able to remove it. Isaac was 8.

As a result of his treatment (chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplant), Isaac suffers from significant hearing loss.  Ototoxicity is caused from the platinum in some anti-neoplastic drugs. Hearing loss is common following radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. Stem cell transplant risks include hearing loss.

Late effects of Cancer treatment
Isaac  just got his mission call for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is going to the Romania Bucharest Mission and reports to the Mission Training Center on Dec. 14, 2011. Because Isaac needs hearing aids to be the best missionary he can be. Learning a new language is challenging for a normal missionary with a set of good ears, so you can imagine what Isaac’s challenge will be with significant hearing loss.

The cost of hearing aids is approximately $6500. His parents are currently without health insurance and cannot afford to purchase them. If you have a heart, and I know you do, would you please make a donation to get them for him. Every little bit helps. So far $110 has been collected in his behalf. But that’s a long way from the total we need. Even small amounts add up. You can go to any Chase bank and deposit funds. The account number is: 2996079725. Thank you for your generosity! If you prefer, your donation may remain anonymous.

By Betsy Love