The first step in making your life “normal” again is to realize that you will most likely cope with your mesothelioma in the same manner you have handled other aspects of your life. The person you have always been, whether laid back or in control, is the person you will continue to be. You will learn to substitute new roles for lost ones, and will continue to adapt to the changes life will bring your way.
In this section, three areas in which you will use your coping skills will be discussed. These include:
- When you are facing a serious illness, your emotions can play an important role in how you feel about life, and these emotions can extend to your family and friends as well. You can minimize the impact by understanding that your feelings are normal, and then by moving ahead and becoming proactive in your treatment and care.
- Many people think of coping as only an emotional process, but dealing with treatment regimens and their potential side effects, as well as quality of life concerns must also be addressed. While you can’t control the fact that you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can learn to minimize its effects on your health and wellness.
- Serious illnesses like mesothelioma can deplete your life savings quickly. Most cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be costly, and because of the rarity of mesothelioma, you may feel you want to travel to a specialist for a second opinion or for treatments not available in your local area. By being aware of the financial resources available, including compensation from the asbestos industry, you can help ease the stress on yourself and your family and, therefore, maintain control over your life.