A mesothelioma diagnosis can be challenging for both you and your loved one. While they are getting medical treatment and struggling to recover, there are many things you should do to make their lives easier and more comfortable.
When a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, the family often wonders how to best care for them. Supportive treatment for mesothelioma patients will focus on their lung health and explore ways to relieve cancer symptoms and their side effects. Since this rare illness is usually detected in its final stages with short life expectancies, caring for a loved one with mesothelioma can be exceptionally tough.
Here are some suggestions for helping your loved one get through mesothelioma treatment.
1. Emphasize on Their Lung Health
Mesothelioma is a disease that primarily affects the lungs. As a result, the most critical factor to monitor and maintain would be their lung health. The cancer symptoms will most likely make it very difficult for your loved one to breathe, so try to create conditions that don’t exacerbates ymptoms or further lead to pulmonary infections. Respiratory symptoms will most likely intensify as a patient proceeds through the phases of mesothelioma, resulting in excessive coughing, breathing problems, and discomfort while breathing.
Avoid smoking in the presence of a mesothelioma patient and ensure that their surroundings have clean, fresh air. Medicines and pulmonary therapies are also available to make patients comfortable. Certain medications can help open up the airways, allowing for easier breathing. The discomfort caused by tumors pressing against the chest wall can be relieved with pain relievers. Pulmonary therapists can teach patients breathing exercises and ways to assist them in improving their breathing. To begin mesothelioma treatment as soon as possible, speak with anoncologist about a referral to a pulmonary specialist.
2. Join a Support Group
Family and friends can be a tremendous source of comfort; however, there is no replacement for the experience, counsel, and assistance that others struggling with similar problems can provide. Your loved one is in desperate need of all the help he can obtain. They can’t do it on their own, and neither can you. There are several support groups for the severely unwell people and their families, which is a blessing.
Speaking with individuals who understand your situation will make you feel less alone and perhaps comfortable. Since mesothelioma is such an uncommon illness, survivors may find it more beneficial to connect with others who have the same condition. It is also helpful for caregivers to speak with other caretakers. Patients with mesothelioma can find online and phone-based support groups. These mesothelioma support groups offer free vital resources such as group therapy and online discussion rooms.
3. Explore Every Treatment Options
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the primary treatments for mesothelioma. Only a small percentage of individuals are diagnosed early enough to get surgery. Many patients who have mesothelioma cancer participate in clinical studies and trials. Patients benefit from these trials because they can access novel medications and treatments. Many novel immunotherapy medicines, for example, are being studied on mesothelioma patients. These immunotherapy medications can help people live longer by reducing or controlling tumors and reducing chemotherapy side effects.
Besides this, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) may also aid in the improvement of quality of life. Yoga, tai chi, Reiki, hypnotherapy, meditation, and breathing exercises, are all examples of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that may alleviate side effects of chemotherapy. Along with these mind-body therapies, alternative treatments are also extremely beneficial to a mesothelioma patient. These include acupressure, massage therapy, and nutritional therapy.
4. Help Decrease Side Effects of Therapy
Reducing therapy side effects, as well as managing cancer-related symptoms, is essential to keep patients comfortable. It’s critical to inform a physician when you notice any new symptoms or treatment adverse effects. Side effects can be treated with medications and therapies, and it’s crucial to do so as quickly as possible. Patients who opt for surgery should expect a four- to six-week healing period. Following surgery, patients often experience fatigue, muscular weakness, and discomfort. Chemotherapy can cause exhaustion, nausea, or vomiting. Anti-nausea medications are extremely successful inpreventing and treating nausea caused by chemotherapy. There are also a variety of natural nausea therapies available.
Lastly, to deal with exhaustion, you must ensure that your loved ones optimize their energy during the day and consume a high-protein diet to aid healing. Cancer patients require a nourishing, well-balanced diet—and eating nutritious foods can be beneficial for over all health. For cancer patients, getting enough calories and protein is critical. Calories provide energy, whereas protein aids in the recovery and repair of the body.
5. Focus on Mental and Emotional Health
Apart from the physical effects of mesothelioma and its treatment, the disease’s mental health effects should not be neglected. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, it’s natural to feel terrified and depressed. They will need extra time to overcome their fears, so make an effort to spend some time with your loved ones and meet all of their emotional requirements. A nice present or surprise can help to lift their spirits and keep things positive.
Furthermore, emotional support is something that mesothelioma patients require above everything else. Recovery also necessitates the presence of a companion. The mental and emotional health of your loved ones can have a huge impact on how they handle and recover from the disease’s unavoidable hits. Understand and accept that your loved one will have both good and bad days, be ready to listen to their problems, give suggestions, and prove that they too are loved. With your assistance and the assurance that they have people who are concerned about them, they can feel emotionally supported and know that if they are experiencing emotional difficulties, they can come to you for assistance.
Since everyone is different and finds different activities to be supportive and helpful, it’s critical to consider a loved one’s personality when providing aid. Before doing anything, such as taking them to a yoga session or offering any form of advice or suggestions, know what they want and would enjoy.
Everyone’s needs change when they’re unwell, but by thinking about what your loved one enjoys and values can show them you care while also making their life a little better and brighter.