Generally, when a family member or friend is diagnosed with cancer, knowing what to do and how to be supportive becomes very difficult. A mesothelioma diagnosis, especially, is a very sudden and life changing one.
Mesothelioma diagnoses leave families with great distress. In such a situation, providing special attention and care to the patient becomes inevitable. You not only have to take care of the patient physically, but emotionally as well.
If you are going through a similar experience, the first thing you must do is contact your nearest mesothelioma specialists. He/she can guide you well on how to go ahead with the treatment and care. Next, read some of the tips given below on how to help someone with mesothelioma. After all, the care and affection you provide, boosts the willpower of the patient immensely.
Things you can do to help a mesothelioma patient
Forming a support team: Taking care of someone with cancer, isn’t possible single handedly. It is recommended that you reach out to your extended family, friends, neighbors, community members, etc. Try to form a support team. You can divide your responsibilities amongst each other and make sure that everyone can maintain their individual routine along with taking care of the patient.
Understand what to say and what not: Some comments and questions may seem harmless to you, but they can affect the patient very negatively. Avoid asking questions like –
- How much time do you have?
- What are the chances of recovery?
- Since how long you had the disease?
Such questions don’t really provide any comfort to the patient, instead work as a negative trigger. Instead, just be a good listener. It is after all not necessary to comment on everything every time. You can simply show your support by listening to your loved one.
Take utmost pulmonary care: Lung health is very important for individuals suffering from mesothelioma cancer. With the progression of cancer, patient will experience difficulty in breathing, coughing, pain, etc. These conditions are treatable with medication and pulmonary therapies. Ask your oncologist to recommend a learned and experienced pulmonary therapist. Patient can learn breathing exercises and techniques which will help in improving lung functions. Read more about taking care of mesothelioma patient here.
Go through all the treatment options: No wonder your doctor must have recommended you the best possible treatment. However, it is pretty important that you do a little homework yourself. There are fortunately many treatments available for a mesothelioma patient nowadays. Besides, the condition isn’t like one size fits all. There are chances that a treatment which didn’t work for someone else may work wonders for you. So, consider all the options like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, etc.
Don’t neglect the side effects of any treatment: Controlling the side effects of a treatment is a sure shot way of keeping the patient comfortable. When you start with the treatment, ask your oncologist about its possible side effects. Make sure to be in touch with your oncologist throughout and let them know about any discomforts faced. With the right type of medications and therapies, side effects can be reduced.
When an individual is diagnosed with cancer, it is a great shock to bear. Coping up with such dark and distressing emotions isn’t possible for an individual alone. So, be there for your loved ones suffering from such dark emotions, and be the support they need.