Families Affected by Mesothelioma
A relatively short survival period naturally makes many people want to spend time doing the things they enjoy with the people they love. But the taxing nature of mesothelioma and its treatments mean that you may not feel up to it. You will also worry about your friends and family and the impact your prognosis has on them. All these concerns and questions can evoke grief in patients and those close to them.
Neither you or your loved ones have to deal with grief alone. Cancer affects many people, and grief counseling is one way you can come to terms with illness and learn to cope with the strong emotions that cancer brings.
There are ways you can get through this and experienced experts who can help you do it.
The Importance of Grief Counseling for Mesothelioma
Even though you may be experiencing grief, counseling may not be at the front of your mind. You might be more focused on getting through treatment, cheering up those you love and maintaining a level of normalcy in your daily life. While these things are all great, grief counseling can be an immensely helpful force in helping you accept your disease and make the most of what you have.
Maintaining a positive viewpoint and a willingness to mentally fight mesothelioma can help improve your quality of life while you deal with cancer.
It may seem easier to just maintain a grim outlook, but doing so will hinder your ability to tackle mesothelioma head-on. This is an important time to communicate your feelings and emotions and build deeper connections with those you love. Everyone will benefit as a result. It can even be encouraging to simply see how many people love and support you.
Grief Counseling for Mesothelioma Patients
Grief counseling can play a big part in a patient’s ability to come to terms with their diagnosis and prognosis. Although grief counseling is commonly recommended for terminally ill patients, it’s beneficial for patients with better prognoses or for patients who have achieved remission as well. The sadness that comes with being diagnosed or the fear of it returning can cause grief in any patient.
A grief counselor can help educate patients about the dying process and provide insight into how their body will change with the progression of the illness. They may offer comforting advice to help ease anxiety and help patients accept the reality of the diagnosis, allowing them to live in the moment and feel prepared for the outcome.
In addition to worrying about the loss of abilities, mesothelioma patients can experience a range of emotions. They may feel angry or betrayed because of the nature of mesothelioma being caused by asbestos. They may feel guilty about imposing added responsibilities or worry onto loved ones. Some individuals might be ashamed of having to be taken care of.
A grief counselor has experience with the common feelings of cancer patients and can help you realize that these are shared concerns that can be overcome. A qualified counselor can also help you set goals for yourself, make the most of the life you do have and be proud of everything you have and can accomplish.
Some common places where grief counselors work include:
- Cancer centers
- Hospices and nursing homes
- Private practices
You may also be able to find forums and communities of support for grieving cancer patients online.
Grief Counseling for Friends and Family of Mesothelioma Patients
It’s also natural for friends and family of mesothelioma patients to experience grief. This can be exceptionally difficult, as you may want to present a positive, optimistic attitude in front of your loved one when you are spending time together. You want your memories to be happy, of course. You may also worry that your grief is preventing you from making the most of the time you have left with your friend or family member.
Grief counseling can help you work through these feelings and offer inspiration to make the best of the time you have left with them. It can also help you accept and prepare emotionally for the death of a loved one, and find ways to honor your relationship with them before and after they pass away.
Grief counseling for loved ones can help you share your grief with the patient and others in their circle. You may find a bond with other friends and family members that you have in common with the patient. In addition to helping you mitigate anxiety, a grief counselor can also assist you in making important planning decisions pertaining to
- End-of-life care
- Funeral arrangements
- Estate planning
- Fulfilling the patient’s wishes
You can also receive advice on supporting a family after the patient’s death.
Ultimately, grief counselors can deliver active advice as well as simply listen. This can be comforting and encouraging for anyone affected by mesothelioma.
Advantages of Joining a Mesothelioma Support Group
In addition to one-on-one grief counseling or patient and family counseling, mesothelioma support groups can be very effective in helping you cope with grief. It can be comforting to connect with other patients and families who are experiencing the disease and hear their stories. You’ll see the different ways that people are coping, and this may help you work through your own grief.
With a rare disease like mesothelioma, it’s incredibly helpful to realize that you are truly not alone.
It’s always valuable to see clearly that you are not the only one experiencing this and that others are feeling what you are feeling. Although other people in your network may sympathize, support groups can offer a level of understanding that can’t be found elsewhere.
Online Mesothelioma Support Groups
As well as in-person support groups, in today’s age, mesothelioma support groups can be found online or on social media. This is particularly useful for mesothelioma patients as the disease is so rare that there may not be any mesothelioma-focused support groups near you. In this case, you can seek out online support or join a general cancer support group, where you’ll find much of the same empathy, understanding and encouragement.
You Can Cope With Grief
If you’re experiencing grief, things might seem hopeless. You might not think that something as simple and straightforward as counseling could help you manage the complex web of emotions affecting you. But just remember that many people have gone through what you’re going through before—and many people are going through it now.
Grief counseling truly can help you come to terms with a terminal illness so that you can live life with mesothelioma to the absolute fullest. If others can do it, you can too. We’re here for you.
Connect with Mesothelioma Hope if you have any questions about resources for coping with mesothelioma-related grief. Our dedicated staff can help you find what you need in a timely manner. Please call us at (866) 608-8933..