Life after a mesothelioma diagnosis can undoubtedly be difficult for patients and their families. There are typically more questions than answers, and knowing what to do next can seem impossible. However, if you are in this position, you can focus on taking a few helpful steps.
1: Build your support system
Mesothelioma and the treatments can take a tremendous physical and emotional toll on people. Having a support system to help you through this time can be vital.
Your support system can include the following:
- Family members
- Coaches, teachers and other care providers for your kids
- Medical teams
- Support groups
Getting help with taking care of yourself, your family and your mental health can help alleviate some stress and make life a little easier.
2: Put together your care and legacy plans
At some point in the future, you may be unable to express yourself and make medical, personal or financial decisions.
You can assign substitute decision-makers to ensure someone you trust will manage these matters. You can also complete advance care directives and an estate plan to ensure you protect your assets and receive the care you want – or do not want.
You can also talk to an attorney about legal claims to secure compensation to cover medical expenses and other damages, which can be crucial for you and your family.
3: Look into options for clinical trials
Participating in clinical trials may be something you are interested in if you are open to experimental treatments and contributing to mesothelioma research. Clinical trials can connect you with cutting-edge therapies and treatments, but they are not available to everyone, and it can be challenging to find one for you.
However, talking to your doctor and checking sites like this one, which is a database of clinical trials supported by the National Cancer Institute, can help you assess the options.
One step at a time
Feeling overwhelmed after a mesothelioma diagnosis is natural, and you may not know what to do or where to turn. However, taking these steps can help you regain some control over your situation and have plans to guide you during the most challenging times.