Anyone who has ever been close to someone diagnosed with mesothelioma and other incurable advanced stage cancers knows what impact this has on the life of not only the patient but also loved ones. Primary support people are essential and make all the difference to someone going through diagnosis, doctor and hospital visits, treatments, and facing death.
Mesothelioma is an especially hard diagnosis for everyone because there is not cure. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. This creates a great deal of pain for the patient, especially when their is pleural build up which makes it difficult to breathe, eat and sleep. In addition, patient and caregiver will know that time is limited, as the survival time for most patients is less than a year from time of diagnosis.
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma is quite devastating to all involved. Often support people are making huge adjustments to their lives and devoting their time to caring for their loved ones. This also often means taking on many new responsibilities that are not only time consuming but can be very emotionally challenging. Caregivers are so busy taking care of other that they forget to take care of themselves, and need frequent reminders and permission. Otherwise, the support person’s mental, emotional and physical health may begin to suffer, interfering with their ability to continue their level of care and sustain their own well being.
Most support people have resistance to sharing with people close to them, especially about some of the thoughts and emotions that can arise. Support groups exist for caregivers as well as mesothelioma patients, and we highly recommend participation.
To find a cancer support group in your community, talk to your oncologist, a palliative nurse or to Hospice and ask for a referral. You may not find a group specific to mesothelioma, as it rare, but lung cancer and terminal disease is not. So look for support groups for non small cell lung cancer or terminal illness-t he feelings and experiences will be close enough to provide the support you need.
If you need financial or legal assistance, call our toll free number at 1-888-855-9052 for a free case evaluation. Because we only represent mesothelioma clients, we truly understand what you are going through and will help in any way we can to make the situation easier. For more information, read our latest article: The Support Person for Someone Diagnosed with Mesothelioma.