Caregiver Blog: Supporting Your Spouse With Mesothelioma

Cancer & Caregiving

Life can often take an unexpected turn, altering our paths and challenging us beyond imagination. Anthony Fasolo’s journey as a caregiver to his beloved wife Carla is a testament to the power of love, resilience and unwavering support. 

When faced with the daunting reality of her pleural mesothelioma diagnosis, Fasolo’s strength and dedication became the pillars on which their shared journey rested.

“It’s kind of scary because you hear things all over the place, and you don’t really pay much attention until it hits your home,” Fasolo told The Mesothelioma Center at “All of a sudden things are not the same anymore. And you look at your life, how it’s all going to change. And it does.” 

Embracing Change With Courage 

The abruptness of life’s twists can be disorienting, but Fasolo’s unwavering courage in the face of change set the tone for the couple’s path forward. Through the uncertainty and challenges, he found solace in the guidance of health care professionals who understood the journey ahead.

“Between [The Mesothelioma Center] and the doctors that we went to, they were fantastic. So that made a lot of difference,” he said. “Working with good people gives you the hope that things can be better and hopefully extend the time that you may have.” 

Fasolo’s determination to seek out the best care for his wife has infused their journey with a sense of optimism.

Navigating Mesothelioma With Knowledge

While navigating the labyrinth of medical decisions and choices, Fasolo found invaluable assistance from his wife’s background in the medical field and his daughter’s expertise as a doctor. Their collective knowledge and the guidance of Karen Selby, a Patient Advocate from The Mesothelioma Center, gave them the compass they needed. 

“My wife started talking to different people and talking to Karen, who helped direct us in the right direction, which was really, really helpful. You need somebody like that because when you’re involved in this, you really don’t know,” Fasolo said. “Unless you’re involved with somebody who knows this, you’re lost in the woods. Which direction do you go?”

Fasolo’s steadfast support allowed his wife to focus on her mesothelioma treatment and healing. 

“My wife couldn’t function at all. Everything had to be done for her. As things kept going with the chemo, as the tumor shrunk, the pain was subsiding. She was able to function better,” he explained. “Until we started the chemo, she’d be up all night, couldn’t get in bed, couldn’t do anything. In these last few weeks she’s done better, actually doing some things. She’s cooking again, doing laundry, and cleaning the house and stuff. She wasn’t able to do that. When she first got this, with the tumor, she couldn’t even function at all.” 

The transformation he witnessed as his wife’s pain eased and her ability to manage daily tasks returned became an example of their shared vitality. Her pain and discomfort were no match for the strength that emerged through their relationship. The progression from pain to regained functionality exemplified their collaborative spirit.

Empowering Other Caregivers

As the battle against mesothelioma unfolded, Fasolo was driven by the injustices inflicted by asbestos companies. 

“It’s not right that a business can make a billion dollars and not care if they kill people. That’s not right. They don’t care about the everyday person, and they’re still doing it,” he stated.

Fasolo’s journey as a caregiver carries profound insights and lessons for others who find themselves in similar roles. 

“I would suggest to anybody, whatever your partner’s main function is, learn parts of it. Or just get involved with it, so if anything does happen, you can hopefully fill in most of it, not being lost in the woods,” he advised. 

The couple’s shared experience is evidence of the strength that emerges from a loving bond. Fasolo’s devotion to his wife in the face of adversity underscores the importance of advocacy, partnership and a relentless pursuit of a better future for those affected by mesothelioma. In the end, their story is one of hardiness, hope and the enduring power of companionship.

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