Living With Mesothelioma
From the countless doctor visits to the invasive medical procedures, mesothelioma can feel like an assault on your body and spirit. It’s easy to feel as though your life is spinning out of control. Now is the time to take back your control, to surround yourself with encouraging family and helpful friends and to let go of the preconceived notions of how things should have been. Now is the time to finally let others help you.
Every day at the Mesothelioma Support Network, we work with patients just like you – patients who have worked hard all their lives just to be slapped in the face with a mesothelioma diagnosis. While you may feel overwhelmed, stressed, worried and angry, it’s all very normal. At the same time, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. We are here to guide your mesothelioma journey and help you heal your body and mend your soul.
Steps To Take Back Control
One of the first things that many newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients do is turn to the Internet for information. Although getting information about your diagnosis is a good thing, randomly researching your disease on the Internet can be frightening. There are a lot of websites with misleading and false facts, figures and statistics. While the overall outlook for mesothelioma patients is not favorable, it is important to find a reputable source of information. This can include mesothelioma support groups, counselors and the Mesothelioma Support Network.
In addition to doing research about the disease, many patients utilize a variety of different techniques to get back some of the control that they have lost. By doing this, patients are able to gain confidence and optimism:
Manage Your Medical Records
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have the right to have copies of all of your medical information. After learning about your diagnosis, you should create a personal file that includes all of your past medical history, your current diagnostic tests and lab results, medications and notes from doctor’s visits. By having your medical files at your fingertips, you will have greater freedom and flexibility when seeking out professional medical advice.
Be Your Own Advocate
Or ask someone to help you if you can’t do it. It is your right to understand your disease and the treatment options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or bring up any concerns during your doctor visits. You are not questioning your doctor’s authority or trying to undermine anyone’s expertise, but simply taking charge of your healthcare.
Get A Second Opinion
Because mesothelioma is such a rare disease, many doctors have never seen it and don’t know how to treat it. Most doctors encourage patients who have such a rare diagnosis to get a second opinion from medical professionals who understand mesothelioma. Through our exclusive Doctor Match Program, we can connect you to the best mesothelioma specialists in the nation.
Secure Your Family’s Future
Unlike other cancer diagnoses, the blame for mesothelioma can often be squarely placed on a corporation or industry. The dangers of asbestos have been known for decades, yet major industries have chosen to ignore them and put profits ahead of people. Our legal experts can help secure your family’s financial future.
In addition to handing your medical diagnosis, you also have to learn how to manage all of your new emotions. You’re worried, but you don’t want to worry your family. You have questions, but don’t know where to get the answers. You need to talk to someone who understands, but don’t know where to turn. There are many ways to cope with your new life:
- Learn To Relax – While relaxation may have come easy before your mesothelioma diagnosis, it might be more difficult now. That’s because your mind is racing and your body is tense. Now is the time to explore different relaxation techniques, including mediation, positive visualization and yoga. It’s ok to allow yourself this time to unwind and let yourself go.
- Find Your Support – Even if you have a supportive group of friends and family, you may want to seek out others who are undergoing similar treatment. Whether it’s online or in person, a support group or a personal counselor can help you stay focused during this journey.
- Learn About Your Disease – When faced with either learning more about mesothelioma or avoiding the facts, it’s always better to have more information than less. That’s why we offer several must-read books that can help guide you to better nutrition and a more positive outlook. “What to Eat If You Have Cancer” offers detailed information about making the best immune-boosting food choices and “Surviving Mesothelioma: Making Your Own Miracles” chronicles the journey of a mesothelioma survivor. For free copies of these books and other information, contact us today.
You Are Not Alone
Quite possibly, one of the most emotionally taxing parts of any mesothelioma journey is the feeling of loneliness. While you may have family and friends rallying around you, you may feel alone in your fears and emotions. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this battle. Scores of patients have gone through this, many with positive results. Having an optimistic outlook on your prognosis is an important part of living with mesothelioma. There are several other ways to combat the feeling of loneliness:
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask your family, friends, caregivers and medical professionals for help. Most people want to help, but they don’t know how. It’s OK to make a list of ways that they can make your life easier, from going grocery shopping to walking the dog.
Let Us Help You
At the Mesothelioma Support Network, we have a staff of skilled experts including patient advocates, attorneys and financial professionals who can help guide you through your diagnosis and treatment. We will help you recoup the costs of your medical treatments, lost wages and physical and mental distress. All of our assistance comes with no upfront costs or risks.
Lean On Your Caregiver
In most cases, mesothelioma patients have at least one person, if not more, helping them through their daily challenges. Don’t be afraid to ask your caregiver for help. At the same time, caregivers themselves should not be reluctant to take some time for relaxation and personal renewal.
Become a Survivor Story
Despite the frightening statistics about mesothelioma survival rates, you do have an opportunity to make your own positive story. There are many uplifting and encouraging mesothelioma stories and you can be one of them.