Clyde Robison, February 2008
Clyde Robison, Sr. is a 70 year-old inventor living in East Peoria, Illinois.
He was diagnosed with pleural Mesothelioma in February, 2007. A veteran,
loving father, inventor, and hard-working American, Clyde belongs to the
generation of Americans on whose shoulders this country was built in the 20
Clyde is the quintessential hard working American. He has worked up to
three jobs simultaneously in order to care for his family and pay the
bills. According to Clyde "I've always just liked to work."
Clyde is also an inventor. He holds several U.S. patents that are currently
used in the construction industry in the Midwest. He remains dedicated
to finding new and better ways to assist in commercial construction.
In the fall of 2006 Clyde noticed a pain in his ribs when he coughed or
sneezed. Initially, he paid little attention to the discomfort, but the
pain became progressively worse. Finally, Clyde made an appointment with
his local physician, in Peoria.
This doctor ordered x-rays which revealed a build-up of fluid in and around
Clyde's right lung. He referred Clyde to the St. Frances Medical Center
in Peoria where they arranged to have the fluid drained from Clyde's
chest in September of 2006.
After the procedure which is called a thoracentesis, Clyde felt immediate
relief. The doctors found nothing in the fluid to indicate a malignancy,
and he felt fine until early 2007.
Clyde Robison aboard the
Sasebo, Japan 1959
Late one evening in January 2007, Clyde awoke with a sharp pain in his
ribs and was unable to breathe without difficulty. His brother took him
to the St. Frances emergency room. Several tests were performed, but the
doctors were unable to determine the cause of the pain. He was discharged,
but as he was returning to his car he was overcome by pain and extreme
respiratory distress. He returned to the emergency room where he was immediately
admitted. Clyde remained in the hospital for 16 days.
During his stay at St. Frances he underwent a second thoracentesis. At
the hospital, Clyde underwent various tests, including undergoing a tissue
biopsy. The specimens were sent to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona,
where patholgists confirmed the diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma,
with an epithelial cell-type.
Three days later, his doctor asked Clyde to come in for an office visit.
During this office visit he informed Clyde that he had cancer. Dissatisfied
with this diagnosis, Clyde returned to his first doctor, who arranged
for a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Clyde traveled
to Rochester and consulted with physicians at the Mayo Clinic. The pathologists
in Rochester confirmed the diagnosis.
After his diagnosis Clyde explored many different treatment options. He
wanted to make sure he made the right choice for him and his favorite
neighbor, his son. Clyde, Jr.
On April 23, 2007, Clyde and his son flew to Los Angeles, California and
consulted with Dr. Robert Cameron at the UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Cameron
is a surgical oncologist who specializes in the surgical procedure known
as the pleurectomy with decortication (P/D). In addition, Dr. Cameron
is a director of the Pacific, Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (www.phlbi.org).
After meeting with Clyde and reviewing his medical records Dr. Cameron
felt Clyde was an excellent candidate for the P/D. On May 24, Dr. Cameron
operated on Clyde. On June 8, Clyde was discharged from the hospital and
ready to begin his full recovery.
Clyde post surgery
Clyde started radiation therapy three months after his operation and believes
for him that was, "the best way to go". He has since been back
to for check-ups with Dr. Cameron twice since his operation. He is scheduled
to start his interferon shots in the spring of 2008. On his last visit
to California, Clyde was taking walks and getting around, as he put it,
"Pretty darn well - considering".
Clyde's energy and positive attitude toward life has greatly enhanced
his lifestyle after surgery and throughout the last year of recovery and
subsequent doctor visits. He is always willing to talk to other mesothelioma
patients and give them his blow by blow account of the past year. He should
serve as a glimmer of hope to all the other people suffering from mesothelioma
for his determination and fight.
It has been almost one year since Clyde's surgery and what a year it
has been. Clyde is back to what he likes doing best of all; work!
*** POSTED APRIL 22, 2008 ***
An Update -- 4/30/2009
Since Clyde's surgery in May of 2007 he has fought the battle of feeling
like himself again. Two years later and Clyde is ready to get out on the
dance floor. He is feeling good and breathing good.
Clyde recently moved closer to his son Clyde Jr. and has been redoing his
back yard to protect it against possble flooding. He has decided not to
do any chemotherapy treatments at this time because he feels it may take
away from the good health he is experiencing now. Clyde is happy that
he had his surgery when he did and is thankful that he was a candidate.
Clyde is always willing to speak to other Mesothelioma patients about his
medical adventures and how he got through the tough parts.
An Update -- 9/1/2009
Living in the Midwest, Clyde has been "fighting with the weather"
all summer long. "It's been a crazy year weather wise, but health
wise, I am feeling fine".
Earlier this year Clyde visited Cape Canaveral with one of his grand children
and got to see a "lift-off" while they were there. He was glad
to be in good health and having minimal breathing issues while he was there.
Clyde has no doctor visits in his immediate future and is happy about that.
He does hope to visit California again this winter for a month, but he
could also decide to "go to Florida instead". Feeling good,
spending time with the kids and grandkids and "waiting for winter",
are all on Clyde's agenda.
An Update -- 5/4/2010
Clyde says he is, "doing great". He is feeling fit and his only
complaint is that he still has a little trouble breathing sometimes.
His surgery with Dr. Robert Cameron was three years ago this month!. He
and his children are so thankful to have this time they may not have if
it were not for the surgery.
Clyde has no big plans for the summer, but hopes to take his daughter to
San Diego sometime before the end of the year. He does anticipate lots
of hot and humid weather in the Midwest and thinks that may be the time
to escape to cool and comfortable California. Clyde has regular visits
with his doctor in Peoria and does all that he can to stay fit and mobile.
"So far so good!" He is the perfect example of a good patient!
*** Clyde Robison passed away on November 7, 2012 four years after his