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You can cope with the holidays after a mesothelioma diagnosis

Hearing you have a life-threatening illness is devastating at any point during the year. However, a cancer diagnosis right before the holidays seems unconscionable.

An oncologist’s utterance of those three words: “You have mesothelioma” can send your existence into a tailspin. These test results force you to consider your immortality just as you enter into the season focused on giving and thankfulness.

Despite your heartbreaking news, you probably have many things to remain appreciative of this season. And in some cases, continuing a practice of gratitude may increase your physical strength and resolve, not only to help you make it through the holidays but also fight against the spread of cancerous cells within your body.

Health benefits of gratitude

Being filled with thankfulness can improve your outlook and relationships with others. Taking time each day to focus on those things for which you remain thankful can:

  • Reduce the amount of your physical pain
  • Improve your sleep quality
  • Minimize toxic emotions

Giving thanks can also help you overcome trauma.

Naturally, you have the right to feel resentment about your asbestos exposure and worry about your future. However, focusing on what you are grateful for can help you remain grounded enough to celebrate another year with those closest to you. And in making some adjustments to your traditions, you may be able to cherish your time together.

Reduce your stress level by modifying your expectations

Depending on your doctor’s orders and how your symptoms present, you might want to continue the traditions that have become so special to you throughout the years. Though, you may need to take some of the stress off yourself. To do this:

  • Allow yourself flexibility in making plans that are right for you
  • Include others in preparing for, and hosting, events
  • Communicate your needs and desires

For as difficult as it may seem, try to stay mindful of each moment. Rather than buying gifts you cannot afford or preparing an extra-special dinner, you might find it more important to let your friends and family members know how important they are in your life by merely being present with them.

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