Coping with Mesothelioma
Cancer, in all of its forms, is a devastating, contemptible disease. A cancer diagnosis changes the lives of all it touches, from the cancer sufferer to his or her family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. It is particularly difficult to be diagnosed with a form of cancer as rare as mesothelioma. While roughly 100,000 people a year are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States, only around 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are reported annually. If you or someone you love is among this number, chances are that you are feeling confused, scared, and a bit isolated. Contacting an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help to put your mind at ease.
It is important to remember that, while mesothelioma may have changed your life in significant ways, it has not changed who you are. You may find yourself faced with new challenges and routines, but you do not have to forfeit your identity, belief system, or outlook on life. You are fundamentally the same person as you were before the mesothelioma diagnosis.
Does this mean that you should be expected to live your life as though the diagnosis had never occurred? Of course not. Over the course of a lifetime, every human being faces a multitude of challenges, heartbreaks, and life-altering events, both good and bad. Coping with any major change means finding ways to accommodate it in your life, not to ignore it. Mesothelioma is now a part of your life, and there will certainly be occasions when it dominates your thoughts and controls your emotions. However, your life will continue, and how “normal” that life is depends largely on how you cope with the disease.
There are many resources out there for mesothelioma victims and their families; you certainly are not alone. Taking advantage of these resources is an important part of the coping process. Here are a few other things you can do to cope with mesothelioma:
Allow Yourself to Feel
Coping with mesothelioma requires heroic honesty when it comes to acknowledging and dealing with the range of emotions you are surely feeling. There will be times when you become distracted and may even momentarily “forget” that the disease has become such a prominent part of your life. These times are healthy and should be embraced when they occur. However, you will often find yourself feeling afraid, anxious, sad, angry, depressed, or even guilty. Don’t question whether it is “right” to have these feelings; simply allow yourself to feel and express them. Likewise, whether you are the mesothelioma victim or a loved one of the victim, do not force yourself to feel whichever emotion you believe to be most appropriate at a given time. You are allowed to laugh when you feel like laughing; you are allowed to cry when you feel like crying. You are certainly allowed to focus on things other than mesothelioma. Suppressing or denying emotions will not make them go away. Allowing yourself to feel them, however, will permit you to move past them, even if they will surely recur episodically.
Take Control of Your Health Care
Mesothelioma is incurable. This does not mean, however, that if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should simply give up on your health. Cancer treatments are continually evolving, and there are many options available to help you improve your health and overall quality of life. Be proactive in communicating with your doctors about your treatment options and advancements that may be on the horizon. Keep a list of questions that arise so that you can ask them during your medical appointments. Do not be shy about asking as many questions as you can and insisting on clarification if you do not understand the answers. The more control you take over your health care, the more in control you will feel over your entire life.
Seek Financial Help
Medical care is expensive, especially for cancer patients. Even those who are fully insured can find themselves faced with mounting medical expenses, while those who are underinsured or uninsured are often overwhelmed by healthcare bills. Financial concerns are among the largest roadblocks to returning to a normal life after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Most cases of mesothelioma can be traced back to asbestos exposure that occurred while the victim was on the job. In such cases, victims may be entitled to compensation from their past employers for the losses and expenses resulting from their disease. Even if, in your case, you are uncertain as to whether a specific party is to blame for your asbestos-related illness, you would be well advised to contact a qualified mesothelioma attorney for an evaluation of your case. An experienced attorney may be able to identify liable parties that you simply would not have considered. In any event, the sooner that your financial concerns are addressed, the sooner that you and your loved ones will be able to focus on living your lives as normally as possible.
Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related condition, a qualified attorney can help you to cope with at least the financial obstacles created by the disease. Please contact a mesothelioma attorney today to speak with a compassionate, experienced lawyer who can answer your legal questions and direct you to resources that will provide invaluable assistance to you in your time of need.