Chemotherapy day 14 - probably the worst day of it today! I woke up this morning feeling very weak, exhausted and in a bit of pain. Mid morning saw me struggling to walk far without feeling out of breath and fluid building up in peritoneal and pleural areas. Very scary and yet strangely I was at peace in my own little world when this happened. We had to go out and pick up our mail up at the Trading Post, Mt Macedon where after sitting down in the cafe for a little while and having a glass of apple juice and half a savoury muffin, I came good so next a visit to Gisborne for petrol and the shops. I had to go and lie down on a park bench for a while to get my shallow breathing back in order. Sitting in the park with Keith, I found myself looking up at the beautiful blue sky with a few clouds in it and thinking this is my little world and I am cocooned here on this park bench, I could just close my eyes and not wake up as I was at peace with myself and the world. HOWEVER I am not one to give up and tonight I am feeling much better and even on the computer writing this blog with Charlie (my siamese cat) on my lap and the heater on as it is freezing cold here tonight. With mesothelioma we are up and down with symptoms and when my breathing was so shallow and painful I wanted to shout to the world that mesothelioma cancer I would not wish on my worst enemy (not that I have one lol)!
On a more exciting note - the 1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness & Management in Australia is just a few days away. ASEA (Asbestos Safety Eradication and Awareness) are hosting this wonderful conference and I am delighted to be part of it! By the start of the conference I will be fighting fit!
Linda Reinstein, CEO, ADAO wrote below about the Conference.
ADAO Presenting at the 1st International ASEA Asbestos Safety and Management Conference in Australia
Posted on November 10, 2014
The Australian Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) will host its 1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management on November 16-18, 2014 in Melbourne. The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is honored to have been formally invited, alongside many of the world’s top ban asbestos leaders, to participate and present in this world class event.
Dr. Richard Lemen, Co-Chair of the ADAO Science Advisory Board, and Assistant US Surgeon General (retired), will give the international keynote on “Asbestos and Public Health: A US Perspective.” I am pleased to be presenting within the “Creating an Environment for Change” panel which also includes Peter Tighe, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Ken Takahashi, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Director of WHO Collaborating Centre, Japan, and Laurie Kazan-Allen, Coordinator, International Ban Asbestos Secretariat.” Click here for information about the program and presenters.
My international keynote presentation, “The Importance of Building and Sustaining Strategic Global and Domestic Partnerships,” will focus on how ADAO has harnessed the digital revolution and social media to spark and sustain international collaboration and prevention efforts. After the presentation will be a panel discussion including Paul Bastian, National Secretary at Australian Manufacturing worker’s Union, and Kate Lee, from Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA). In this unique event we will showcase this international collaboration combining the efforts and knowledge of nonprofits and unions alike.
In 2002, when Australia was blacklisted as a country with “one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world,” the government took action (Leigh & Driscoll 2002). Since then, the Australian government has taken a proactive stance in combating this deadly problem and in doing so has set the bar for other developed nations to strive for in asbestos prevention. Following their 2003 ban of asbestos, Australia has built an extensive system to protect its citizens from this carcinogen as seen in their National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Awareness and Management. This forward thinking plan serves as a model many of us would like to emulate in our countries.
The 1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management is landmark conference fully organized and funded by the ASEA – a integral part of the Australian Government. Mr. Peter Tighe, ASEA Chief Executive Officer, remarked:
“November is (Australia’s) National Asbestos Awareness Month and the [ASEA] agency has organized a conference featuring well renowned international experts in asbestos management, health, advocacy and governance to challenge delegates into thinking how Australia can drive change in our region and globally when it comes to the continued manufacturing and distribution of asbestos containing materials. This event will provide a stimulating and entertaining environment for delegates and stakeholders to discuss the big issues facing them in raising awareness about the dangers of asbestos in our work and domestic environment and how it can be managed into the future.”ADAO sends our gratitude and support to the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency as they continue to raise awareness and action to protect public health and raise international standards in regards to asbestos prevention.