A mesothelioma diagnosis is very serious and life changing. From the moment you are told you have this terminal condition, your life is likely going to revolve around treatments to try to do away with the cancer and help extend your life expectancy. It is important that you remember to live your best life despite this horrible diagnosis.
One of the most important things to do when you are told you have mesothelioma is to ask questions. Find out what treatments you need and how those might impact you. There are three common options that doctors usually turn to in these cases – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Try to remain positive
A devastating diagnosis can have a negative impact on your ability to remain positive. Even though you know you are in for a long course of treatment, you can still try to remain positive. The issue with thinking negatively about what you are going though is that you can make yourself more miserable than what’s necessary. Positivity doesn’t have to mean that you are happy about your diagnosis. Instead, it means that you have made the decision to live despite the state of your health right now.
Don’t automatically refuse any option
Some patients automatically refuse specific treatment plan components based on a concern that they will be negatively impacted by it. Surgery is often a source of concern. A study done by Loyola University Health System found that people who had a pleurectomy and decortication were much more likely to enjoy a better quality of life following the surgical procedure. Discuss the potential side effects and impacts of any treatment option with your doctor so you know how it might affect you.
Make follow-up care a priority
When you finish your treatment plan, don’t think that you are done with doctors. You need frequent follow-up visits to monitor your health. It is possible that the cancer will return, but there is also a chance that you will have side effects from the treatments that you had for the mesothelioma. You might notice anything amiss for weeks or months, but make sure that you alert your doctor immediately if anything concerns you.
Because mesothelioma is often due to asbestos exposure, sufferers might opt to seek compensation for the damages caused by the condition. While this won’t change the diagnosis, it can help to alleviate some of the financial strain.