Even if you had suspicions that you might have mesothelioma, getting an official diagnosis can be frightening. Not only are you sick, the disease has no known cure.
Of course, your doctor will have recommendations for treatments, but in the coming weeks and months you will need a support system to help you or your loved one with all of the details of such a difficult diagnosis.
In order to meet your growing and changing needs, you will need a diverse support system that can cover all of the areas of your life. Your life is about to change drastically. You will need both counsel and comfort.
A support system for counsel
Once the people around you know about your diagnosis, the amount of information you receive may seem overwhelming. Start by surrounding yourself with people who you trust to give you sound advice when you need it. While someone may be able to be a wonderful emotional support, that person may not have the best advice when it comes to giving counsel on what you are dealing with. People you may want to add to your support system include:
- Medical Professionals. Your team of medical professionals will be able to help you determine what treatment options are most appropriate for your case. These need to be people you trust with your care. While there is a pattern to the progression of mesothelioma, there can still be some unpredictability. The medical professionals on your team need to be people who know when to advise and when to listen.
- A mesothelioma support group. Having a group of people who understand what you are going through firsthand. Members of a support group can be a great resource for everything from coping with your diagnosis to what has helped make treatment side effects easier to deal with.
- A knowledgeable attorney. If you decide to make a claim against the company that was responsible for your exposure to asbestos, and attorney can help you understand the process and your options.
A support system for comfort
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient. Having a group of people around you who are willing to provide emotional support can make a big difference as you deal with your illness. Some of the people who can provide emotional support include:
- Family. Your family is probably the first group you opened up to about your diagnosis. These are the people who have already provided emotional support for you before your diagnosis, so they are a logical resource after your diagnosis as well.
- Friends. You may be surprised at how willing your friends are to pitch in when they can. Whether it is a listening ear or helping you coordinate appointments, friends can be a great support through a difficult time.
- Spiritual leaders. When it is time to get perspective on the bigger picture, a spiritual leader can be a valuable resource. Even if you have never had an affiliation with a religious organization, there are many congregations that are willing to support you through such a trying time.
There is no need to suffer alone
There are all kinds of people who are willing to support you as you go through the process of dealing with such a grim diagnosis. These people can help you cope and handle what may seem like an impossible situation.