Survivor Insight Series | Sean R.


Sean R. came across our blog and was so moved by the pieces he read, he wanted to contribute his as well. We hope the story of his journey with mesothelioma does the same to you, and we can feature your experience soon. We are withholding Sean’s last name over privacy concerns.

What were the events that led up to your diagnosis?

At the end of November 2009, I started to get a pain in my right side and thought it was a kidney problem. When this was disproved and then I started to get out of breath at the least exertion, my GP found there was fluid in my lung. Throughout December 2009, I was in and out of hospital having fluid removed and tests done without anyone putting a name to my ailment.

When were you diagnosed and with what type of mesothelioma?

I was referred to City Hospital, in Belfast on 4th January, 2010 for a biopsy and the thoracic surgeon told me I had pleural mesothelioma.

What were your biggest questions after being diagnosed?

Can something be done to remedy the situation?

What was your reaction to hearing your diagnosis was cancer?

Initially, one of shock, but then I started to find out as much as I could about mesothelioma, determined to do what was needed to combat it.

What has been your family’s reaction? 

They were very concerned and very supportive.Sean & his friend Kieran

Where did you turn to for information?

The medical staff at the City Hospital and also the internet.

What treatment options were you offered and what did you choose to do?

The surgeon, Mr. McManus outlined 3 options: Using talc to dry up the fluid in my lung;  Stripping the lining of my lung to remove the tumour; Removing the whole lung. Because I was fit and healthy he recommended the 2nd option, followed by a course of chemotherapy.

Did you travel to a specialty center?

Yes, but this was only 8 miles away.

What have you found to be most helpful in dealing with your diagnosis?

Having a positive attitude, plus the magnificent support of family and friends.

What message would you like to send to the mesothelioma community? (To the newly diagnosed or battling warriors)

Try to remain positive, think that a cure is just around the corner. Plan a little project each month to give yourself something to look forward to. Be open to alternative remedies such as homeopathy and don’t forget to pray!

We would like to thank Sean for sharing his personal journey with mesothelioma with all of us. As always, we hope his story has brought hope and inspiration to your lives and made your outlook a little brighter. If you would like to share your story with the mesothelioma community, feel free to contact our team at, connect with us on Facebook, or Twitter.