Mesothelioma is the second most painful cancer after bone cancer. It is an aggressive form of cancer that usually grows in the lining of the abdomen, the heart, the testicles and, most commonly, the lungs. Symptoms vary from patient to patient and sadly, there is no cure for this cancer.
This terrible disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, which means your loved one will most likely be entitled to compensation from the company or companies that have been responsible for his or her exposure to the deadly mineral.
Fighting for compensation is only one part of the whole process of dealing with mesothelioma. This painful form of colon cancer affects everyone differently. Symptoms will vary depending on where the cancer is.
At this point, it is natural for you to want to give some support to your loved one. Maybe there isn’t much you can do medically. But there are other ways in which you can let them know you are there for them.
Run Errands for Them
When a person has mesothelioma, they experience breathlessness, extreme fatigue and life cannot be led normally. You can help out by taking care of daily chores – doing the laundry, getting groceries, taking out the trash, cleaning the house, and so on. Let the person know that this is not a duty, but a form of support that you can give them to let them know they are loved.
Be a Point of Contact for Them
It is not easy dealing with this disease and trying to keep all the well-wishers updated. People will constantly want to know what is happening, and when your loved one is dealing with the treatment and the progression of this cancer, they really don’t have the energy or the inclination to deal with such intrusive questions.
This is where you can help out. You can offer to be their point of contact to let people know what is happening, and also act as a buffer between the patient and the rest of the world.
Be the Designated Driver
If you have a car, or know how to drive, you can offer to drive your loved one around. They may still want to stay mobile and have some form of independence, but are not strong enough to drive themselves around. Be there for them by helping them with maintaining their independence.
Be Their Companion
This disease debilitates. And as it progresses, it becomes more and more difficult for the patient to go out and meet others. Maintaining social contact is very important for their mental and emotional strength. They need to know they are not alone.
Off to be their companion. Arrange movie or dinner dates at home. Pick out their favorite movies, play some board games, or just talk.
Give Presents and Fun Surprises
Books about coping with mesothelioma, or how the disease progresses and so on are a bad idea. The person would have done that research all on their own, and their doctors too would have given them the literature they need to understand their disease.
What you need to do is get them something lighthearted – magazines, puzzle books, a Netflix account, or something that will keep them occupied. Give them surprises (if they like them) or just little gifts to let them know that they are valued.
Before you do any of these things, please talk to your loved one first and take permission. The idea is to make them feel loved and wanted, and to make them feel good, not indebted or imposed upon.