Care for The Mesothelioma Caregiver -A Contribution to the Site

By Robert Elmer III on January 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

Caring for the Mesothelioma Caregiver
Any terminal condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease or cancer, can be difficult to manage. Difficult diseases require a great amount of attention and care.
Mesothelioma, for example, is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Throughout the United States, an estimated 3,000 people will be diagnosed with mesothelioma this year.
Unfortunately, a majority of those patients will be seniors. This is because mesothelioma has an excruciatingly long latency period. The typical patient was exposed to asbestos 20-50 years before developing any mesothelioma symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and pleural effusions. In fact, people over 60 years of age are 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer than people under 40.
When someone of any age is diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s not uncommon for a loved one to step up and become a caregiver. Given the less-than-optimal prognosis, which is typically one year, and the challenging treatment options available, patients need some assistance. This is where caregivers come in.
As a caregiver, you are dedicating a portion of your life to someone else. In addition to balancing your already busy life and tasks, you are also taking on the needs of someone else.
For a mesothelioma caregiver, this could mean driving to and from doctor appointments and chemotherapy treatments, maintaining your loved one’s home and offering emotional support.
Being a caregiver is no easy task. While selfless and honorable, caregiving can test your faith and make you question your ability to cope with everything in your life.
When you begin feeling overwhelmed, remember to take a step back and regroup. Find time to focus on yourself. Maybe this means you need to ask another family member or friend to stay with your loved one; that’s okay. It is impossible to take good care of someone else if you are not caring for yourself.
By prioritizing your needs and scheduling time for yourself, you make it possible to give your undivided attention to your loved one when you are with them. This will ultimately improve their quality of life and yours.
Many caregivers must combat feelings of anxiety, depression and fear. That’s completely normal. In these times, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Help is available.
There are a variety of resources for caregivers of a variety of diseases. Support groups can be a great outlet to share your thoughts while also connecting with other caregivers. Many support groups are open to survivors and caregivers together. The benefits of joining a support group, as a caregiver or patient, are vast.
If you’d prefer a more intimate setting to discuss your mental state, a mental health counselor can be a great ally. As a sounding board and medical professional, you know you are getting professional advice from someone who speaks with other caregivers on a routine basis.
No patient or caregiver should manage a difficult diagnosis alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. If you are a mesothelioma caregiver, consider speaking with a Patient Advocate at the Pleural Mesothelioma Center.
As an advocacy center, caregivers can rest assured that they are receiving the best resources available at no cost.

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Robert Elmer IIIView all posts by Robert Elmer III