When you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma, your world turns upside down. Between the new lingo, doctor’s visits, medical bills and treatment options, you’re probably overwhelmed and feel out-of-control. While you may not be able to control a lot of things regarding your mesothelioma diagnosis, you can control your response and reactions to your treatment plans and overall life planning.
Experts say that when diagnosed most mesothelioma patients go through a myriad of feelings including shock, fear, anger, denial and hopelessness. These are all perfectly normal and natural. At the same time, many of these experts encourage mesothelioma patients to remain positive. Sometimes that notion may seem silly and impossible. However, it is possible to remain positive while still remaining realistic.
Remaining positive doesn’t mean you have to smile all the time, be continually cheerful and optimistic or go on with your life like nothing has happened. You can be frightened and upset and still remain positive. Many patients define being positive as maintaining some normalcy and not letting the cancer have a negative effect on everyday life. One of the best ways to do this is to find ways to participate in your treatment and your future.
Managing Your Care
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma means paperwork. From insurance forms to lab work, a huge diagnosis comes with a mountain of forms, notes, reports, briefs and evaluations. Today, a growing number of cancer patients, including those diagnosed with mesothelioma, are creating personal medical files. These files ensure you always have a handy copy of any necessary diagnosis or treatment information. This way, you can avoid the middleman (your doctor’s office) and distribute it as needed.
The best way to start your personal medical file is to begin the day you are diagnosed. When any member of your medical team shows you a report regarding your diagnosis, your immediate response should be “I would like a copy of that.” Typically, doctors are eager to oblige. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have a right to have copies of your medical files, sometimes at a nominal copying charge. If your doctor asks why, discourages you from keeping a copy or charges an outrageous fee, perhaps it’s time to find another physician.
Your personal medical file can come in very handy when getting a second opinion, managing medical costs and insurance claims and reviewing your treatment with members of your medical team. Some computer savvy patients have also opted to put their personal medical files on Internet-base programs for future use. When doing this, it is always important to have a paper backup in case of an electrical malfunction.
Securing Your Family’s Future
Another great way to stay in control of your mesothelioma diagnosis is by ensuring your family is secure. Mesothelioma is caused by ongoing contact with asbestos, a mineral widely used on worksites, in shipyards and in factories. When asbestos fibers become airborne, unsuspecting workers breathe them in. They become trapped in the airway and remain there for decades. They form irritations and scar tissue that leads to several types of mesothelioma – pleural, peritoneal and pericardial. Unlike other forms of cancer, mesothelioma is directly link to occupation. If you ever worked in a shipyard, mine or construction site, you could have been exposed on a daily basis and had no idea. The worst part about it is that most companies and businesses knew about asbestos dangers but never warned their workers.
Some of the best ways to secure your family’s future is to make sure your caregiver and other family members understand all of your assets, accounts and belongings. Make a quick list of the important things that you do each month so someone else can take over if need be. Another way to secure your family’s future is to ensure they are financially stable.
Seek Legal Assistance
Hiring a mesothelioma attorney does not mean that you are a taker. It doesn’t mean you’re litigious or money hungry. It means you are a victim of corporate greed and care about your family and their future. Because mesothelioma is directly linked to occupational exposure, employers and asbestos manufacturers are to blame for this disease, not you. All you did was work hard to earn money for your family.
In a mesothelioma lawsuit, your attorney will deal with all of the work involved with the suit. In many cases, you may never have to go to trial. Instead, many companies simply settle the cases because they know they were in the wrong. The Mesothelioma Support Network understands that you don’t need anymore stress in your life. That’s why our patient advocates can help you manage many aspects of your mesothelioma diagnosis, including finding a top-notch doctor and an expert attorney. Our legal experts never charge out-of-pocket costs and work hard to ensure the best financial settlement for you and your family.
Many states have a limited time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, called a statute of limitations. Contact us today to learn more about your options.