Christopher Givens and Claire Houghton are the winners of the Mesothelioma Cancer Victims Memorial...READ MORE
When a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Helps Your Family: Part 2, Looking Back
We’ve crafted this 3-part blog series, “When a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Helps Your Family” to help families get going after those first three little words. We hope the series serves you in your mesothelioma journey.
Part II: Looking Back
It couldn’t be more normal, looking back after you’ve been diagnosed with something as serious and life-threatening as mesothelioma. You’ll look back to think if you could have done things differently. Look back on the life you’ve lived, wondering if it was enough. Enough time with your family? Enough time with your friends? Enough time with the “only one?” Enough time doing what you truly loved?
You’ll look back alright, and that’s okay — it’s only natural.
But when you start looking back on the life you lived and what you maybe could have done differently and what you wish you could do, were you given that much desired and completely impossible second chance on life, once you start looking, don’t forget who’s at fault – and it absolutely isn’t you.
It’s only natural for us to take responsibility for our failures — that’s the kind of response to life that any good parent tries to teach their children. We try to take responsibility for our actions, to fess up when we’ve done wrong.
But just because you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and just because you spent years working with or around asbestos, that doesn’t mean that the fault lies on you. Because asbestos isn’t something that lies on that first point of contact — it’s such a tricky, dangerous substance and when a person is exposed to the toxin, it’s not just that one person and the substance, and it’s not just that one person and the toxin and a few people, either.
Instead, over 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma a year. It’s a number that is terrifying in when you think of how deadly mesothelioma is, if you think of the fact there is no forever cure. But in truth 3,000 people may just be the beginning. That’s what happens, after all, when there’s no ban on asbestos and when America’s premiere safety measure against dangerous substances, the Toxic Substances Control Act, has been left unrevised for decades.
You have to remember that if you or someone you know was diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s okay to look back. But you have to look even bigger than yourself and even your chosen profession, the work that may have exposed you in the first place. You have to think, too, of the countless measures that could have been taken to protect you from that danger. You have to think of the policies that should have been implemented to protect you so much sooner, the ones that still must be improved today. You have to think of the promotion for asbestos for so many years, too, the fact that it was heralded as this new wonder-product even though key people already had knowledge that the substance was just as dangerous as it was cheap.
You have to look back harder. Because it’s not just about you — with mesothelioma and asbestos, the problem runs so deep it extends to almost every single person in this country, because each one of us may have an unfortunate contact with asbestos. And each one of us deserves better.
If you or someone you know was diagnosed or recently passed away from mesothelioma, you may be in a unique position to really stand up with all the other individuals who were hurt or exposed to asbestos and could not or did not do anything. It’s an opportunity for you to look back and to make something good out of something very, very bad. And it could be a legacy for you and your family to know that you made a difference in those 3,000 people a year and counting who deserve so much better, just as you and your family did.