If you or someone you love has recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, it can leave you feeling like the ground just gave out from underneath you. One moment you’re planning weekend trips and vacations with your friends and family, and the next minute you’re facing the most significant battle of your life.
Regardless of how you learn about the condition, some things are certain: Life after learning about mesothelioma will never be the same again. And while the causes of mesothelioma may be unclear to you at first, the irrevocable impact that this condition can have on your life will only become more apparent as time goes on.
While it’s completely natural to be in shock after learning that the condition has affected you or someone you love, understanding how to communicate your fears, hopes and frustrations to others during cancer treatment can be crucial in obtaining mesothelioma support.
By taking care of yourself and learning how to express your innermost needs, you can help the people around you become a better source of mesothelioma support during the trying times ahead. Consider these helpful tips to learn more about communication throughout cancer treatment.
Communication with your healthcare team
Doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and other qualified medical staff can offer insight into mesothelioma, but sometimes, it can also seem pretty scary to open up and talk to them about how you’re really feeling, especially when it comes to a new or experimental course of mesothelioma treatment.
If you’re struggling with mesothelioma and you find yourself stumbling to find the right ways to talk to your healthcare provider about your experiences, explore ways of addressing this before your office visit.
Some people may enjoy meditating or taking deep breaths before an appointment, since these methods can help to clear away the cobwebs and allow a person to become more centered and focused before an appointment. These can also be good ways to reduce anxiety and eliminate some of the nervous tension you may be carrying around your back and shoulders as a result of stress.
Talking with family
While it can seem daunting to open up to a team of oncologists that you don’t know, overcoming this hurdle can help you learn more about different treatment options and give you the opportunity to gain more confidence, both in terms of how to manage your condition and the symptoms of it, but also in how you talk about the impact of mesothelioma with your family.
Reactions to a diagnosis and treatment plan can vary from person to person, with some individuals having harder times getting in touch with their true feelings than others.
In a family setting, this can be especially significant, because people may think that bottling up their thoughts and emotions will make the experience of managing the condition less stressful on loved ones.
However, if you begin to shut out your family and friends for mesothelioma support, you may find that they become more upset and less equipped to handle the stress of the condition in everyday life. Communicating openly about how you’re feeling can give loved ones a chance to prepare mentally and emotionally for the impact of mesothelioma over time and give them a better sense of the challenges that you face.
Searching for support groups
Your sense of self-esteem and self-worth can take a pretty bad hit after learning about mesothelioma, and problems like anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts are not uncommon among people who are facing this and other forms of cancer.
While it’s essential that you understand that you’re not burdening your close friends and family by talking about your fears, it’s understandable if you’re having a difficult time opening up to them completely.
Some people prefer to find solace in mesothelioma support groups, since the individuals who meet in these environments have faced – or have a loved one who has endured – mesothelioma.
The sense of community that you can feel by taking part in groups run by the American Cancer Society, Cancer Survivors Network, National Cancer Institute or other organizations may give you the strength to overcome your fears and prevent mesothelioma from taking over your life. But it’s very important that you research these groups fully before participating, since some lawyers may create false non-profit organizations and use them to lure people into signing contracts.