One of the challenges with mesothelioma is that it is difficult to diagnose early. Often, the symptoms are easy to dismiss and are often overlooked on routine exams.
When you discover that your loved one has mesothelioma, it can be hard to know what to say or how to support them. In some cases, they may not feel comfortable asking or would not know what support to ask from you.
Here are a few tips for supporting your friend or family member with mesothelioma.
Have ordinary conversations
Cancer patients sometimes hesitate to tell loved ones about their diagnosis because every conversation becomes about cancer. This can also be the case with mesothelioma since the prognosis tends to be bleaker than other forms of cancer.
When visiting your loved one, take time to talk about the same things you discussed before their diagnosis. By having ordinary conversations, you give your friend or family member the chance to talk about their cancer on their terms.
Advocate for self-care for them
Dealing with mesothelioma can be a difficult cycle between treatment and waiting for what will happen next. For many, it can start to seem like their entire life now revolves around having mesothelioma, with no hope for change in sight.
As much as they are able, try to find opportunities to help them enjoy some of the things they loved before their diagnosis. If they are starting to develop some physical limitations, it may be time to be creative about helping them get time for the activities that they love.
Don’t forget about self-care for you
Caregivers need support, too. Even if you are not providing regular care, supporting a loved one with mesothelioma can get overwhelming. It is important to advocate for time to care for yourself and seek opportunities to do what you love.
Supporting a loved one with mesothelioma can be an exhausting challenge. When you take time to care for yourself while providing the support they need, you can find a balance that supports you and your loved one.