A diagnosis of mesothelioma will affect all aspects of your life, with medical appointments and treatment, your life may be turned upside down. Unfortunately, your relationships may also be affected.
Who you are hasn’t changed
Although being diagnosed with mesothelioma will completely change your life, it won’t change who you are. Unfortunately, it may change how other people see you. Your friends and family may not know how to cope with your diagnosis and this may cause them to treat you differently.
Whilst who you are hasn’t changed, your appearance may have. You may have lost weight and this can be difficult for people to deal with. Reassure them that you are the same person and you want to be treated the same as before your diagnosis.
Sadly, there may be some friendships that won’t survive a cancer diagnosis. This will of course be extremely upsetting but you should try to focus your energy on the relationships that are good and that will help you get through your diagnosis.
Your partner becomes your carer
The biggest relationship change is likely to be that with your partner. Not only will they be going through the heartache that comes from a mesothelioma diagnosis and trying to process your prognosis, they will also be dealing with a possible transition to become your carer.
Initially, you may not need any assistance with your day to day life and your partner may feel helpless, unable to do anything about your diagnosis. However, they can accompany you to medical appointments, it always helps to have two pairs of ears when speaking to specialists as it can be overwhelming, particularly if there is bad news to hear.
As your condition progresses, your relationship with your partner will also progress. You may require help with washing and dressing and your partner will likely want to be the person to do this for you.
Your partner knows you better than anyone and it may be that they work with your doctors to help create your treatment plan and ensure your pain is well managed.
You can’t pour from an empty cup
Your partner will want to do everything they can for you but it is important for you to ensure they continue looking after themselves. Make sure they are taking time for themselves, to meet up with friends and have the chance to take themselves away from your diagnosis and recharge themselves.
Join a support group
There are support groups for mesothelioma patients all over the country and they also provide support for loved ones. It often helps to talk to people who have been through the same thing and you may be able to get some much needed advice and assistance from these invaluable resources.
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