Learning that your parent is sick with mesothelioma can derail your life, even as an adult. Your relationship and responsibilities can change dramatically with that diagnosis, and the emotional toll it takes on you can catch you by surprise.
What their diagnosis can mean for you
A mesothelioma diagnosis is undoubtedly devastating. However, seeing your parent get sicker and require increasingly intensive care is painful and stressful for you, as well.
Some of the common ways it can affect you can include:
- Having to take care of your parent
- Making difficult financial or medical decisions for them
- Organizing a parent’s living situation
- Bringing your parent to and from doctor visits
- Being a source of encouragement and support
- Assisting your parent with household duties
- Communicating with their care providers
Even if you perform these and other duties voluntarily and eagerly, they require time, money and energy. This can mean having fewer of these resources for yourself and other members of your family.
Don’t minimize the toll it takes on you
Taking on these duties and supporting someone with mesothelioma is incredibly demanding. It can be common for you to experience depression, anxiety and exhaustion. You can also be under a lot of stress and coping with grief.
You might feel like minimizing these effects, but doing so can drastically affect your mental health and wellbeing. It can also compromise your physical health.
Understanding the many ways and degrees to which a parent’s mesothelioma diagnosis can affect you could make it easier to recognize the value of getting support. Depending on your parent’s needs and your situation, support can take on a variety of forms, including:
- Legal representation for pursuing financial damages
- Counseling services
- Hiring parties to do personal or home care services
- Reaching out to support groups
- Practicing self-care routines
- Planning a free night once a week for you to have time to yourself
Making time for these and other means of support can help improve or protect your mental health so you can continue to be there for your parent.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating for victims and their families, and seeking help navigating this painful time can be crucial.