A mesothelioma diagnosis can be devastating for you, whether you are the person being diagnosed or as the person who cares about the person being diagnosed. Coping with the disease involves being able to handle the emotional, physical and financial changes you or your loved one will experience.
Coping with mesothelioma emotionally
When you first find out that you or your loved one has mesothelioma, you’ll probably feel as if a life sentence has been given and react with fear, confusion and sadness. You may also be angry. All of these emotions may come all at once, or at different times. One moment, you may feel helpless and then in the next moment you may feel more positive about your situation. This is all a natural part of the coping process.
Talk to someone: Most people find that talking with someone, like a close friend or therapist, can help make it easier. Writing out your emotions in a journal may also help.
Exercise: When you exercise, your body produces a “feel good” chemical called endorphins, giving you a better mental state. You may feel a little better after you’ve had a good workout, but make sure that what you do does not cause injury or worsen your physical state. It’s best to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
Relaxation techniques: These can help relieve the stress associated with your situation and strengthen your mind against fear and depression. Techniques include massage, meditation and hypnotherapy.
Read up on the disease: Educating yourself on mesothelioma can give you a better understanding of the disease and not make you feel so helpless. You might also find more information about treatments that can help ease symptoms, allowing you to explore more options.
Don’t dwell on the negative: Several studies have proven how powerful positive thinking can be on your physical state. It’s okay to feel sad or angry, but some days will be better than others.
Coping with mesothelioma physically
Lead a healthy lifestyle: Now is the time to improve your lifestyle by avoiding things that can do more harm than good. For example, limit the amount of alcohol you drink and avoid recreational drug abuse so you don’t experience the associated negative side effects or become dependent on them (which would be another problem you don’t need to deal with at this time).
Nourish your body: Eat nutritious, well balanced meals to give your body the nutrients it needs to maintain your health. This can be particularly difficult for patients, since common symptoms are a lack of appetite, weight loss and digestive issues.
Undergo treatments that will help ease symptoms: Talk to your doctor and specialist about the treatment options available to you or your loved one. An effective treatment plan can dramatically decrease and control symptoms to improve comfort, as well as increase life expectancy.
Coping with mesothelioma financially
This can be the most challenging part of your life following a mesothelioma diagnosis. Often times, the person who is diagnosed with mesothelioma is also the primary breadwinner. You and your family, and anyone else who is financially dependent, will be affected because the disease makes working regularly impossible.
You’ll also need to pay for additional things that you never budgeted for prior to diagnosis, such as medical costs that are necessary to help ease symptoms.
You don’t need the stress of dealing with financial issues right now, especially when you should be concentrating on the more important physical and emotional issues at hand.
Coping with mesothelioma financially can be easier if you get financial assistance.
Bankruptcy trust funds: You or your loved one may receive compensation from a bankruptcy trust fund.
Trial verdict: You or your loved one may take a company to court and see if a guilty verdict is reached, in which case you may receive money.
Settlements: A claim can be settled out of court.
VA claims: If you served in the military and were exposed to asbestos, you may be able to receive financial assistance.
However, the process of receiving compensation or financial assistance can be complicated and time consuming. You’ll need all the documents and supporting evidence to ensure a favorable outcome for you. To facilitate and expedite the process, you may want to consider getting an attorney experienced in dealing with the complexity of mesothelioma cases.