Whether you are a friend, caregiver or family member, coping with any cancer is difficult at best. Coping with mesothelioma may be a bit harder than many other types because it could have been prevented, and it is almost always deadly. The person with cancer may be angry, depressed, uncomfortable and frightened. Although it is difficult, there are some things that you can do to help a person with mesothelioma.
Contact a Mesothelioma Network
When the government and other agencies realized how bad the issues with asbestos-related cancers were, they banded together to create networks of providers and lawyers like the Mesothelioma Justice Network. These networks provide resources, treatment aid and other services to patients and caregivers alike. Helping the patient join a network can make them feel more in control of what is happening to them.
Be a Record Keeper
Ongoing mesothelioma treatment can be intensive, and the paperwork piles up. Unfortunately, since it is an occupational-related cancer with trust funds, lawsuits and settlements in place, all of the paperwork may be needed to receive help for treatment costs. Someone undergoing cancer treatment may not always be able to organize bills, treatments and appointments. Doing this for them takes a great burden away, and they can focus more on their health.
Help Them Stay Active
Activity and distraction have positive effects on mental state when someone is suffering from a terminal illness. By helping them stay active and engaged, you might be able to stave off depression and anxiety. Staying as physically and mentally active as possible has been linked to longer survival times and better treatment outcomes.
Ask Them How You Can Help
As a caregiver, friend or family member, you might not know what to do. If you don’t, just ask. Asking allows the patient to remain in control and gives you the opportunity to do something meaningful.
Offer to Cook or Clean for Them During Treatment
A simple offer to do some chores around the house or to bring them meals is often one of the most helpful things that you can do for someone undergoing cancer treatment. Mesothelioma treatment is often intensive and physically exhausting. The person with cancer may not be able to cook or take care of their home while undergoing treatment.
Remember, everyone’s needs are different and sometimes, simply being there helps the mesothelioma patient feel more comfortable. You should always take your lead from the person who has cancer. Never assume that you know what is best.