Mesothelioma is an aggressive, deadly cancer with a devastating prognosis. Patients and their caregivers often struggle emotionally and benefit from help in the form of therapy, counseling, and mesothelioma support groups. Financial support is also available to help cover costly treatments and other expenses. Most cases are incurable because people generally get diagnosed after cancer has reached the later stages, often after it has already spread to other parts of the body.
One of the most significant and common consequences of getting a diagnosis of any type of cancer is depression. It’s normal to feel sad over these things, but many patients develop clinical depression. Know the signs of depression:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness
- Physical symptoms like weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, fatigue, and aches and pains
- Difficulty concentrating and trouble making decisions
- Restlessness and agitation
Depression is treatable. Talk to your medical team if you have these symptoms or struggle to cope emotionally with your diagnosis. Depression is common after a diagnosis, and so is anxiety. Feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress while coping with cancer are normal. Severe anxiety and worry, constantly being on edge, irritable, and angry, and persistent physical symptoms like tense muscles and trembling are not.
You may develop panic attacks. PANIC ATTACKS cause:
- chest pains
- a racing heartbeat
- tingling sensations in the limbs
- shortness of breath
- choking sensation
- a feeling of being overwhelmed or under attack
As with depression, feelings of anxiety, fear, and panic can and should be addressed. Treatments and support can help relieve these uncomfortable feelings and decrease or eliminate panic attacks. If you struggle to keep anxiety under control, see your doctor about therapy or medication.
If you or your loved one with mesothelioma is suffering emotionally, professional support can help. Professional therapist who specialize in treating cancer patients can help you process and manage difficult feelings. In fact, research has shown that therapy for cancer patients improves the quality of life and even boosts the immune system, leading to a better overall outcome.
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation
Cancer Hope Network
American Cancer Society
Cancer Support Community
Cancer Care Lung Cancer Patient Support Group
Caregiver needs often get overlooked when patient needs are so great. Many families provide support for their sick loved ones, either out of a sense of obligation and love or to keep costs down. Family caregivers can get burned out easily. They benefit from support too.
Check your County under our “County Resources” for additional information.