Far too often, we read about the devastating reality of mesothelioma cancer. While it is rare, there is no cure, and the majority of patients will not survive longer than two years post-diagnosis. Debbie Brewer, however, is an exception. The MAA Center is honored to share Debbie's story of mesothelioma survival with you, in her own words. My name is Debbie Brewer and in 2006 I had a future. That was until I found in November 2006 that I had Mesothelioma. I have 3 children and was terrified to think I wouldn't see them get their first homes, have their children and do all the things a Grandma should be there to do. I had lost my dear father 3 months before to cancer; he had pleural plaques as well as he worked for the MoD in Plymouth between 1963 and 1966. His job was to remove asbestos from the pipes on board ship.
Getting this diagnosis was a complete shock. I was given 6-9 months to live and in April 2007 appeared on the UK this morning show. This prompted a lady to contact me after she had seen the program in hospital; she was waiting to hear what illness her husband had and after listening to me, she knew it was mesothelioma. She found my website and said that her husband and herself were looking at alternatives I followed what they did... went to Harlet Street to see a doctor who said there was a Professor in Frankfurt, Germany having great success with chemoembolisation with mesothelioma. Unfortunately, the gentleman died. I felt that I should pursue this in his memory as I needed to see if this treatment would work.
I met Professor Thomas Vogl in May 2008 after he had told me he could help me. He was wonderful, just listening to him lifted me. He said this wasn't a cure but he may be able to help me. Chemoembolisation is targeted at the lung and not the immune system. I can remember lying on the operating table, looking up at the theatre light and feeling so angry that I even had to be here. A month later i returned for my second treatment, and I was amazed: My Mesothelioma had shrunk by 10%!
I have had 6 treatments, the last being in December 2008; all together it [my mesothelioma] has diminished by 83% and is stable at present.
This is my miracle and I want to share it, I would also like to see the Professor's treatment used in every country that has a mesothelioma problem. Mesothelioma sufferers deserve to have hope and their future returned to them.
For further information about chemoembolisation and other cancer treatments, visit our Mesothelioma Treatment section. Debbie Brewer maintains a blog, Mesothelioma and Me, where she chronicles her journey and provides information to other mesothelioma victims.
Last modified: December 28, 2010.