When a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma it can be extremely stressful and overwhelming for all involved, but there are things you can do to help provide much needed love and support. A combination of educating yourself so you understand the disease and making it easier for your loved one to manage the disease, both emotionally and physically, can lessen the stress.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that aggressively attacks the tissue that protects vital organs, most commonly the lungs, spreading to all of the vital organs. It’s widely known that exposure to asbestos is the cause and there is currently no cure for the disease. It’s fast-acting, with many diagnoses with the disease passing away within months.
There are surgeries and chemotherapy options available, along with alternative medicine, but there is still no definitive cure in sight. The following are ways to help loved ones cope with the disease, as outlined by mesothelioma attorney firm Belluck & Fox.
Research alternative medical options.
There are many chemotherapy options available, but with no cure in sight and the fact that it’s such a fast-attacking disease, many people are now exploring alternative medicine options in hopes of slowing it or stumbling onto a possible cure.
More so, it can also help improve comfort levels, which can help loved ones deal with the situation much better. Meditation, yoga and even acupuncture can help improve mental clarity and increase the mental state of a loved one. Some are even experimenting with cannabis and CBD for pain and comfort assistance, which is something cancer patients across the board turn to for pain management.
Help make important decisions.
There are a lot of important decisions to make and often times the chemotherapy can be very exhausting, so it’s nice to be able to help with these decisions. From treatment options and directions, to dealing with health insurance companies, it can often be so overwhelming that they cannot handle all of the decision making on their own.
Sadly, there are often many decisions regarding estates, finances, etc. that will have to be dealt with also, and your loved ones will need your support and assistance to make sure it’s all handled properly. Having someone to handle communication between doctors, family, etc. is also very beneficial and removes that stress from the individual.
Be there to give emotional support.
This is the most important point, as your loved one is going to be emotionally devastated and in a very difficult state of mind. The best thing you can do is to be there to provide undivided emotional support, and help them deal with any thoughts or concerns that come up. Knowing they have you there provides a certain level of comfort.
Being understanding and compassionate is something that can help the situation tremendously, along with being consistent. You have to understand that they will have day where their spirits are up and those that they are down, so the more involved you can be, making certain to be there for them, the easier it will be for them to deal with the realities and day-to-day of this condition.
Join support groups and accompany them to meetings.
As mentioned above, emotional support is key, but it’s also a good idea to involve your loved one in a support group with other patients with the disease. You can join a support group for both you and your loved one, which will benefit you both equally.
They get to talk to others in their same position and you can get communicate with others trying to be the best help they can be, while trying to understand the disease and the entire process.
Assist in monitoring their health.
Communication with health professionals is crucial and your loved one is going to need someone to be that main point of contact, as they cannot handle all of the treatment scheduling, updates, and day-to-day details.
Stepping up to the plate to help with the monitoring of their health will take a lot of stress off their shoulders. While there are professional caretaker options available, your loved one will most certainly rather have you there handling this part, which will provide a much higher level of comfort.