Dear 30+ Year Latency Period

July 2, 2014

For the people who are exposed to asbestos and may eventually die from mesothelioma, it takes time for mesothelioma, that lethal cancer, to develop. For some patients, it may even take up to 30+ years from the time of exposure to the development of mesothelioma. It’s called a latency period, and for the people who developed mesothelioma, that latency period is a love/hate relationship in itself. We thought we’d bring that love/hate relationship to light below. If you recognize the sentiment, please comment below or on our Facebook page and share what you’d like to say to the 30+ year latency period.

Dear 30+ Year Latency Period,

We love you because you gave us more time. More time with our family, more time with our friends, more time to live our lives.

We love you because we did not know. For so long, we did not know that mesothelioma was coming. For so long, we were unaware of just what would happen; we did not know the pain was coming.

We love you because we had a life. We had a life, dear 30+ year latency period, until you took it away.

Dear 30+ year latency period, we hate you. For every other reason dear 30+ year latency period, we hate you.

You broke up families. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters — you have taken these away.

30 years, 40 years, 50 years or more.

You took away friends. You killed people, 30+ year latency period, once you finally appeared. And you took our lives away — you ruined what we had.

We cannot sleep soundly because of you dear 30+ year latency period. Because once you finally appeared, the mesothelioma, will not go away. We know the suffering you bring. We know you will not quit.

Even if took away all of the risk of exposure to asbestos today, people would continue to be diagnosed in the future because of you. Ten years, twenty, dear 30+ year latency period, you keep on coming.

And you try to make it easy for the people who exposed us to asbestos in the first place, dear 30+ year latency period. For the manufacturers and big business, for the military industries, for all those people in power who knew of the dangers, dear 30+ year latency period, you gave them time to hide.

That’s why we’d like you to know today:

You can take it all away — you did already.

You can take away all that we had and all that we ever wanted and loved and cherished. You can take it all away. But you can’t do it in secret any more.

Because wherever you are dear 30+ year latency period, wherever you are, once you appear and bring mesothelioma to yet another victim… Once another father, mother, brother, sister or dear friend becomes sick at your hands: we will not stay quiet.

You can take away all that we have — you did already. But, when you do, know that you have to face our voices. Know that we won’t let you get away with it.

Those people in power who neglected to consider our health, the ones who benefited with you dear 30+ year latency period, they’ll have to face what they did with each new person who becomes sick. It’s not just because they should be sorry, it’s because, dear 30+ year latency period, one day, you will hear all of us and you will be no more. One day every last person who was exposed will speak up and you will go away.

We hate you, dear 30+ year latency period, and getting rid of you is a long fight and a hard one. But we promise you we are fighting.

You are one of the worst kinds of cancer and you are ruining everything.

But not forever.

Sincerely,

All of us