Four “Musts” When Living With Mesothelioma: Stay Positive

May 23, 2014 - Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Because the disease has a very long latency period, people can be diagnosed with mesothelioma up to 50 years after being exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma symptoms are debilitating and painful, but a person can take steps to help maximize their quality of life while living with mesothelioma. The first, and possibly most important, “must” for a person living with mesothelioma is to stay positive. When doctors, nurses, and loved ones are constantly presenting you with advice and concern, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and frightened. Sometimes, people living with mesothelioma for months or years will find that their treatments stop working and that their symptoms are unimproved or worsened. Under such circumstances, doctors might suggest clinical trials and experimental treatments as an option. It's important to thoroughly discuss with your doctors and loved ones whether the potential benefits of such treatments are worth the risks. Even if you’re struggling with decisions about treatment options, try to maintain a positive attitude. It's very difficult to do this when feeling sick, so be sure to avail yourself of any palliative treatment options that are available, such as those that will relieve nausea and pain. Any improvement in how you feel daily can help you to enjoy the time you have with your family and friends. Staying positive will help you to focus on doing the things you've always wanted to do but never had the time to do. To help maintain a positive outlook, take some time to think about happy memories as well as to anticipate the good times you can still enjoy. The more you practice intentionally and consciously thinking positively, the easier it will become. In the next part of this four-part blog series, the second “must” for living with mesothelioma will be addressed: practicing proper nutrition. Reference: Previous: Three Key Areas for Mesothelioma Research: Treatment Next: Four “Musts” When Living With Mesothelioma: Practice Proper Nutrition