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Inventor Travels To California To Build A Treatment Program


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 th Century.

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 USS Hector 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 ( 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 diagnosis ***