When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer of any kind, including mesothelioma, it’s devastating. Family members often want to help — but they have no idea what to do.
More often than not, mesothelioma patients don’t know what to ask their loved ones to do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t step in and find practical ways to show your support. Here are some suggestions:
Educate yourself about their diagnosis
The more you understand about their condition, the available treatment options and the side-effects of any treatments, the better you’ll be able to anticipate their needs or respond to the physical and mental changes they’re experiencing.
Be supportive of their decisions
It’s okay to let your loved one know that you can help with research and are willing to discuss treatment options with them, but don’t offer your advice unless you’re asked. You also need to be respectful of their decisions — because they’re the one who has to make the final call.
Offer to do their shopping or run errands
Mesothelioma, like any other form of cancer, comes with a fair degree of exhaustion. Your loved one may not have the energy to get groceries, run to the drug store or pick up other things they need. Offer to pick up anything they need at the store or run errands for them once a week.
Give them the gift of your company
When someone is struggling with their health, a sense of isolation can creep in. Make it a point to schedule movie night, bring them coffee from their favorite coffee shop or stop by for a short visit. While you don’t want to tire them out, you also don’t want to leave them feeling alone.
Mesothelioma is unique among cancers in that it is primarily related to past asbestos exposure. For that reason, there may be funds available to help your loved one — and your family — during this time. It’s worth your time to learn more.