Cancer & Caregiving

Dealing with a Mesothelioma Prognosis: Advice from a Caregiver

Written By:
Dec 27, 2012
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Written By: Lorraine Kember,
December 27, 2012

Hear first hand advice from mesothelioma caregiver, Lorraine Kember. Lorraine lost her husband Brian to this terrible disease but wanted to turn her experience into something positive by sharing her knowledge with others in her position.

This is the first video from Lorraine on how to deal with the prognosis your doctor has given you. Her main message? Don’t lose hope.


“Hello, I’m Lorraine Kember and I’d like to talk to you about mesothelioma. Sadly I’ve become a bit of an expert on mesothelioma, as this disease took my husband Brian from me.

From the time he was diagnosed, I’ve learned a lot about this type of cancer, what patients want and need, and what we can do to help them. Doctors, nurses, support organizations and caregivers, everyone. Caring for my husband Brian taught me that as a caregiver, we need not feel helpless. There is a lot we can do to improve the quality of their life.

I have written two books about my caring experience to help others. My books, Lean On Me: Cancer Through a Carer’s Eyes, and Looking Forward, Looking Back: The Grieving Journey are true accounts of what Brian and I went through during his illness, how we managed his pain and symptoms, and how I coped with my grief both during Brian’s illness and after he passed away. Both of my books include many excerpts and poems from my personal diary.

I’d like to further share my experience with you through my blog, on, and through videos relating to mesothelioma and how people can cope with this type of disease.

Do you think that the prognosis should be given when someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma?

When people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, they are often given a prognosis. Brian was given a prognosis of three to nine months, yet he survived for two years, and that has made me think that prognosis’s should not be given unless asked for because they are only an estimate of the expected time of survival calculated by other people’s experiences.

What do you wish the doctor had told you when your husband was diagnosed?

When Brian was diagnosed with mesothelioma, I wish that they had told me more about the disease, what symptoms he would experience and how I could help him. I also wish that they had been able to tell me where I could find support for both Brian and myself.

Should people file a lawsuit when they, or their family member, has been diagnosed with mesothelioma?

There is nothing wrong with filing a lawsuit when a loved one or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Despite common knowledge now that asbestos kills, there are still those who put financial gain above the value of human life. These people should be brought to justice and be made accountable for their crime.”

Do you have a question for Lorraine? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

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