The holiday season is upon us, and many families will be planning gatherings and buying gifts. For mesothelioma patients who were recently diagnosed, this season’s celebrations may look a bit different. Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that infects the lining of the lungs and chest cavity. Once diagnosed, most patients have a short life expectancy. The holidays can be particularly difficult for families that are affected by cancer. Mesothelioma and its treatments often have debilitating symptoms, including fatigue, nausea, pain, loss of appetite, and more; these symptoms can make it difficult for patients to participate fully in their favorite traditions.
Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose, as symptoms do not appear until long after initial asbestos exposure. Symptoms experienced in earlier stages of the disease can mimic other respiratory conditions and may be mistaken for something as benign as the common cold. A doctor may not suspect mesothelioma until the disease progresses and symptoms worsen. At the point that a person receives their diagnosis, they may not feel much like celebrating.
How Can Families Adapt?
There are some ways that mesothelioma patients can make the holidays work. It is important for them to be realistic about their limitations and not try to push themselves too far, which can mean making some changes to their typical holiday plans. Families may not be able to enjoy all of the same traditions, but they have the opportunity to create new traditions; letting go of the idea that everyone is obligated to fulfill their usual responsibilities, such as hosting events, can give patients and their families space to come up with something new that benefits everyone. Managing unrealistic expectations can help mitigate disappointment later on.
A person diagnosed with mesothelioma may be worn out by the disease and their treatment, and may not be able to take on the responsibilities they normally do during the holidays. Patients should ask for help when they need it and let their loved ones know if they need to hand off tasks to someone else. For example, if they do not feel up to cooking a big family meal while undergoing treatment, they might suggest a potluck-style meal instead. A friend or relative could come over to help with decorating. In some cases, choosing a different way to celebrate a holiday can help, as well as relieve some of the pressure.
Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Mesothelioma patients may feel pressured to proceed as if everything is normal during the holidays, but this approach may do more harm than good. Putting on a brave face takes a lot of energy and puts an emotional burden on a person. It is natural for them to feel sadness, anger, or frustration during this time, and it can be helpful to acknowledge these feelings. A strong emotional support system can include family, friends, support groups, or professional counselors. A patient’s loved ones may be experiencing many of these emotions as well, and everyone benefits from having open lines of communication in which they can all be honest about these feelings.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Provide Comprehensive Representation to Mesothelioma Patients
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call the Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at-fault for your asbestos exposure and hold them accountable for their negligence. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we help mesothelioma patients and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey obtain compensation. Call us today at 877-743-4652 or contact us online for an initial consultation.