How to Comfort Someone with Mesothelioma

Receiving a diagnosis of a terminal disease, such as mesothelioma cancer, is never easy. No one ever wants to hear the dreadful statement: “It’s cancer.” That simple six-letter word can strike fear into anyone. A cancer diagnosis is also often accompanied by anxiety and even depression.
It’s completely normal to experience these changing mental health states, but that does not mean you should go through these changes alone. I know how terrifying it is to combat these overwhelming feelings of confusion and loss. It feels as if your world has been turned upside down. All of the plans you laid out seem tentative now. Everything has changed.

Watching a loved one go through this is difficult. You want to be supportive but often don’t know where to start. What should you say? How can you make a difference? These are all normal thoughts when someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another terminal cancer.It’s okay to be overwhelmed for them and to be scared with them. If you are looking to help, here are a few ways you can.

Three Ways to Comfort Someone with Mesothelioma

Ask them how to help:

Far too often, people are worried to ask how they can help. They don’t want to be intrusive or forceful. Maybe they are worried their loved one needs more than they can offer. Don’t be afraid to ask how you can support them through this difficult time, but remember to be honest with your availability and in what ways you are comfortable helping.
If the diagnosis is recent, a patient may need more time to process what they need. Don’t be surprised or offended if your loved one doesn’t need something early on. This may change in the future. Mesothelioma patients are often baffled by their diagnosis, so it may take time before patients realize what would really be comforting.

Just listen:

Many cancer patients report receiving unsolicited advice after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Most loved ones are only trying to help when they send articles about the latest treatments available or stories about survivors who have beat the odds.
Some patients may love this. Others may not. Be sure to listen to what your friend or family member is asking for, and don’t be offended if they ask you to give them some space. Not all cancer patients are the same,and it is important to remember this time is about supporting them and helping them with what they need.

Learn more about the disease:

Learn more about the disease: Often, it is helpful for people to further educate themselves on their loved one’s diagnosis. The goal of this is not to provide advice, but rather, be ready when your loved one wants to have medical-related conversations with you.

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer many people don’t know about. The aggressive asbestos-related cancer affects an estimated 3,000 Americans every year. By learning more about your loved one’s condition, you can help raise awareness about the disease. In turn, it will lead to new research and funding, which may help support the quest for a cure. Comforting someone with mesothelioma is not always easy.
You may not always know the right things to say. That is okay. Be honest with your loved one. This is new for both of you. If you’ve been affected by mesothelioma don’t be afraid to talk about what you’re going through. The Mesothelioma Center offers an online support group where mesothelioma patients can share their experiences and feelings.


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