Coping with Mesothelioma Treatment

Coping with Mesothelioma Treatment
Coping with Mesothelioma Treatment
September 30, 2016

The patients who are newly diagnosed with mesothelioma are often overwhelmed by myriads of thoughts and feelings. They feel their days are running short; they lose the purpose of living and this creates a huge problem for them in coping with the often rigorous treatment process. Research has shown that mesothelioma diagnosis makes people feel vulnerable and threatened.

Mesothelioma sufferers need counseling

To help the victims of mesothelioma have a positive mind frame for their ailment, they need to be counseled. A counselor who has worked for over twenty years with the victims of cancer recounts what it felt like helping them cope with the turbulent emotions from diagnosis right to the end of the treatment.

Read also: Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Terminal illnesses elicit the same negative emotions

All sorts of illness that do not have a definite cure make the sufferers feel vulnerable and threatened too, just like the same feeling that those newly diagnosed of mesothelioma feel. A few of such illnesses include stroke, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and so on.

Counselors help the patients rediscover their strength

To make the patient rediscover his/her strength, the first step that counselors will take is to ask the patient to recall a difficult (seemingly impossible) moment in their past which may be related to job stress, loss of loved one, a divorce or surgeries. The counselor will then make a list of all the challenges the patient has gone through and then discuss the strategies with the patient they used to pull through.

The counselor will share important tips on coping with cancer

Over the years, many people have devised techniques of coping with cancer. Most of the techniques do not have therapeutic effect on their own but can help the patient achieve mental stability. Some of the helpful strategies a counselor will suggest include connecting with the patient’s faith, joining a support group, discussing the pain with a loved one and practicing patience and hopefulness.

Read also: The Need for Mesothelioma Patients to Plan Realistic New Year Resolution

Victims of mesothelioma will often find the treatment option challenging

Like mentioned earlier, the treatment option for mesothelioma is complex and may involve one or a combination of the following: chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. The choice of treatment is usually stipulated by the stage of the cancer and the overall health status of the patient.

Surgeries aim to remove the tumor

Cancers usually lead to the formation of a lump mass of continuously dividing cells which could cause further complications such as blocking of blood vessels if left unchecked. Invasive surgeries like extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy or decortication are used to get rid of as much of the cancer as possible.

Chemotherapy may lead to side effects

Most often, surgery is followed up with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is usually not as invasive as surgery but can lead to a lot of side effects such as nausea, fatigue, tingling sensation and pain. When radiation is employed, it may cause burning of the skin in the area the radiation was given.

Read also: Different Questions You are Expected to Ask Your Mesothelioma Oncologist

The treatment options do not make patients feel better

Normally, one would expect that having knowledge of the treatment options will make the patient feel better but that is not so. Counselors who have been working with mesothelioma patients undergoing treatment have shown that the treatment options do not make them feel better and this must be related to the knowledge of the side effects.

The American Cancer Society has a guide to help patients cope with the situation

The guide makes it clear to patient that it takes time to adjust which is crucial in erasing the pressure on them to do so. The guide also provides more insights into the treatment options and encourages patients to find time to exercise.

Read also: How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

Article highlights

  • Mesothelioma is an asbestos linked cancer.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of a mesothelioma patient are a crucial stage to pass.
  • Diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer brings along negative emotions in the patient.
  • Counselors help the patient to find their inner strength.
  • Research has shown that the treatment options do not make the victim feel better.
  • Surgery is used to remove tumor that may cure mesothelioma.
  • Most of the treatment options come with side effects.
  • Connecting with faith will help the patient cope with the treatment.
  • American Cancer Society has produced a guide for cancer victims.
  • All illnesses with no definitive cure generate dejection and helplessness.

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