Getting a mesothelioma diagnosis, whether yours or a loved one’s, can be overwhelming, frightening, and stressful. You might be wondering what you should do first, what types of treatments are available, or what the financial impact of the disease will be.
These, and many other questions, may be running through your head in the aftermath, making it hard to cope positively with your diagnosis. Focusing on the five concrete steps below can help you organize and forge your path forward, equipped to handle your new normal.
#1 Learn More About the Disease
Understanding mesothelioma and how it will affect you or your loved one is the first important step following your diagnosis. There are several types of mesothelioma, and the two most common, which account for nearly all mesothelioma diagnoses in the United States, are pleural and peritoneal.
Additionally, now is a good time to lean on your doctor’s support. Ask them about the type and location of your mesothelioma. Understand which parts of your body will be affected and how this disease will affect your day-to-day life. You should leave their office knowing what symptoms to expect and what treatment options are available to you.
#2 Get a Second Opinion from a Specialist
Because of its rarity, most cancer centers do not have a mesothelioma specialist on staff. If your doctor does not have experience diagnosing or treating mesothelioma, it may be vital to get a second opinion from a specialist who knows the ins and outs of the disease. You won’t offend your original doctor by seeking a second opinion.
Your current doctor’s office can help you gather the information needed for a second opinion, such as scans, bloodwork, and test results, and send those to your consulting physician. A mesothelioma specialist can also assist you with clinical trials – finding ones you may be eligible for or ones that can help you with your specific case.
#3 Seek Emotional and Social Support
After being diagnosed with mesothelioma, finding the right emotional support should be at the top of your priority list. While you can rely on friends and family to help you, having a rare disease can increase feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. Sometimes, talking to an oncology therapist or social worker can provide you a space to openly share your feelings without worrying about how your family or friends will react.
If speaking directly to a social worker isn’t for you, they can also help refer you to a variety of national, regional, and local resources to help you cope with your disease.
#4 Prepare Your Body for Treatment
According to a study published in 2018 by The American Journal of Industrial Medicine, supportive therapies significantly reduced distress in mesothelioma patients. Both physical therapy and a healthy diet were called out as wholly positive for patients.
Respiratory therapy, keeping your body strong and healthy with proper nutrition, and completing physical therapy can do wonders for you in the face of mesothelioma treatment.
Lastly, before you begin treatment, you should keep in mind that fighting mesothelioma is a marathon, not a sprint. Your doctor may recommend surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Sometimes they may recommend all three treatments simultaneously, or one followed directly by another.
#5 Learn More About Your Financial and Legal Options
According to the study from the American Journal of Industrial Medicine referenced above, mesothelioma patients with access to clear and accurate legal information about their possibility of compensation had less distress.
If you were exposed to asbestos and, as a result, developed mesothelioma, you may be owed compensation. Our experienced team of asbestos lawyers can help you learn more about your options and get you the compensation you deserve. This will help ensure your family isn’t left with a financial burden.
Shrader Law: Getting You the Mesothelioma Help You Deserve
If you’ve developed mesothelioma as a result of working with asbestos, you may be owed compensation for the expenses related to your illness as well as the pain and suffering you’ve endured. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your questions immediately.
Contact our experienced team here at Shrader & Associates L.L.P. to learn more about how we can help with your case. Call us at (877) 958-7920 or fill out the online contact form to get in touch with a skilled attorney today. https://shraderlaw.com/mesothelioma/