Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is never easy. The news often stirs questions: How can I fight this? What if I can’t afford to be sick? What will happen to my family?
If you’ve taken it upon yourself to be the caregiver of a friend or relative who has mesothelioma, you may find that one of the most valuable things you can do is listen.
This can start after the first medical screen. Test results can take days to come back, and if your loved one is feeling anxious, offering an open ear is very valuable. Of course, the patient may not want to talk about it either. If that’s the case, it’s important to honor that request. Asking him if he wants to talk about what’s on his mind is helpful.
You should also ask him if he wants you there to hear the results. If he does, you need to be sure to listen to the doctor carefully, just in case your loved one gets overwhelmed by the news and cannot listen.
As cancer treatment progresses, you have to be sure to always be ready with an attentive ear. This will come in handy when you need to talk to the patient about treatment options and financial planning. While your loved one is still alert, be sure to discuss what needs to happen in case he becomes incapacitated and cannot make decisions.
If you ever feel confused, it helps to take a step back and look at the facts in order to put things into perspective.