Regardless of the prognosis that you receive after being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, it is always a good idea to make sure that your affairs are in order. This includes talking to your life insurance company about the benefits of your policy, as well as going over all the options for palliative care with your doctor. You may also want to consult an attorney about how to best handle your estate.
However, even after all is said and done, you may still wonder about the legacy you’ll be leaving behind for your loved ones. How will people remember you? How much do you want them to know about your brave battle against mesothelioma?
At Mesothelioma Circle, we know that these are not trivial matters. Recently, we read about the publication of a new e-book titled Eighteen Months to Live. The non-fiction compilation includes the diary entries and personal letters written by Midge Rylander, who died from malignant pleural mesothelioma in 1992 at the age of 59, as reported by the Rutland Herald in Vermont.
‘I could not breathe’
The e-book was compiled and published by Rachele Baker, who is the daughter of Rylander. In 2012, Baker was digging through her garage when she discovered a memorial box that contained Rylander’s belongings, which included her mother’s handwritten journal.
Rylander was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1990. Doctors told her she had, at most, eighteen months to live. Soon afterward, she decided to keep a journal, writing a new entry every day. She discussed the feelings she had toward her doctors, her fears and descriptions of what it was like for her to live with mesothelioma.
“I started to read it and I just realized this should not be sitting in a box. I spent months transcribing it,” Baker told the news source. “It made it fresh, new, and raw and painful… There were times I felt I could not breathe. It was a very emotional experience to go through.”
Providing a powerful contrast to Rylander’s candid journal entries were the optimistic letters she wrote to relatives. Baker tracked these down and included them in the e-book, which is available on Amazon.
Baker also told the news source about positive reactions to the e-book, which included a testimonial from a woman whose husband had mesothelioma.
Get creative with the memories you leave behind
Experts from Cancer Research UK note that cancer patients often think about unfinished business that they would like to tend to. This may include visiting certain places and mending relationships that have become strained.
For those who have young children or grandchildren, one way to let them know what kind of person you are is to shoot a video of yourself. You can talk about anything you want and share either words of wisdom about life or your thoughts on your loved ones.
Patients who feel compelled to remedy unresolved conflicts may find it easy to write letters during this time.
Experts from the American Society of Clinical Oncology describe journaling as beneficial because it can help you keep your thoughts organized or work through emotions that are troubling and confusing. However, mesothelioma is a very contentious topic. If you are working with a mesothelioma lawyer, you need to discuss the importance of privacy when it comes to your diary or any medium in which you talk about your condition. These are things you should not share with anyone except for your attorney and your spouse because you may be forced to produce them in court.