Coping with Mesothelioma
Guest Blogger: Faith Franz
It’s never easy to receive a terminal cancer diagnosis. It’s even tougher to process the news when you realize that your cancer was caused by a substance that was known to be toxic, yet was still used in thousands of products without any regulations or warnings.
Developing healthy coping mechanisms for the mental and physical challenges that arise after a mesothelioma diagnosis can be a challenge, but there are several tips a patient can remember during this difficult time.
Talk with others in the same situation. Support networks for cancer patients – as well as specific groups for those with mesothelioma – are invaluable resources at this time in your life. Covering topics from anxiety, fear about treatment, depression over the diagnosis and concern about the future, these groups allow patients to discuss and work through their worries with others who are in the same situation.
Ask for help. Mesothelioma is a physically taxing disease. This cancer inhibits a patient’s ability to move about quickly, complete household chores, or even run simple errands, such as grocery shopping. Instead of feeling bad about what you can’t do, simply handle what you can when you feel up to it and ask family members or friends to help you when needed so you can get the rest you need.
Learn relaxation and meditation techniques. Develop a regimen of easy relaxation techniques that you can turn to when you begin to feel scared or overwhelmed. Simple breathing techniques and visualizations that promote inner peace can work wonders at easing tension and relieving stress. Breathing in slowly for three or five counts, then exhaling slowly for three or five counts can help your mind focus on smooth and regimented breathing. Practicing any observational breathing will calm the body, heart, and mind. Visualization meditations such as imaging yourself infused and surrounded by healing white or golden light can bring peace of mind as well. You can even envision yourself in one of your favorite memories of your life to connect with feelings of joy and ease.
There are numerous more sources of support and techniques to relax, such as speaking with a mental health counselor or taking yoga or Tai Chi classes that cater to cancer patients. Take the time to discover what works for you, and remember that your family and friends are there to help you when you need it most.
About the Author
Faith Franz is an assistant writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.