Benefits of Support for Mesothelioma
Support for mesothelioma ranges from financial to emotional, but no matter the form it takes, mesothelioma support can offer many benefits for you and your family. The benefits of mesothelioma support are detailed below.
Improved Survival Rates
Some research shows support groups improve the attitude of patients, which may contribute to the length of survival.
Better Quality of Life
Meeting with others who are facing the same issues you are facing can make you feel less alone. You are also getting out and socializing with others and forming relationships with people experiencing what you are.
Connections With Other Victims
Talking to someone who understands how your symptoms are impacting your daily life or how the stress of the disease is weighing on your mind is comforting. Together, you can share ways to cope.
Reduced Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
Holding all your concerns inside can create a great deal of stress. By seeking mesothelioma support, you are releasing your concerns to others who understand exactly what you are going through.
Strengthened Sense of Community
Mesothelioma can feel isolating. Sharing your experiences with others can help you feel less alone and able to fight this disease alongside others.
Emotional support can be as or even more important than financial and practical support. You should make sure all of your and your loved ones’ needs are met — not just the practical needs.
Mesothelioma Support Groups
Mesothelioma support groups offer a dimension of care aimed at improving your sense of well-being. These groups are a safe place to go to share your day-to-day feelings, medical victories, and losses with people who truly understand and care about your journey.
Because of the manner in which you contracted your cancer — through asbestos exposure that may have been caused by negligent asbestos-containing product manufacturers — and the severity of mesothelioma, you may benefit from connecting with others dealing with similar thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Support groups offer a shared connection and experience with other mesothelioma survivors who have the same illness, enabling you to feel less alone and more connected.
Local Support Groups
Local support groups provide face-to-face contact and are an excellent way to meet others to bond with and share support in a more intimate manner.
You can find local cancer or mesothelioma support groups through:
- National Cancer Information Center (NCIC): NCIC can help lead you to a support group in your area by calling 1-800-227-2345.
- Hospitals: Most hospitals offer cancer support groups for their patients. Ask a member of your care team for more information.
- Mesothelioma cancer centers: One of the benefits of mesothelioma cancer centers is that most people suffering from mesothelioma travel there for treatment. Many of these centers host support groups for those who want to join.
There may not be a local support group near you that is dedicated solely to mesothelioma patients due to its rarity. Check these resources if you are interested in a local group for cancer patients.
Phone Support Groups
Phone support groups are a great option to connect with other mesothelioma patients. You may find these groups offer a good compromise between joining a mesothelioma-specific group and enjoying the greater familiarity that may come from face-to-face support.
You can find mesothelioma phone support groups through:
- The Meso Foundation: Join a conference call from your own home to listen and talk about shared experiences, struggles, and victories once a month.
- The Meso Foundation’s Caregiver Support Group: If you’re a caregiver, dial in with other caregivers and receive the affirmation and validation many people need as they care for their loved ones.
- NCIC: NCIC serves as a center point to connect you with just the right kind of support network.
Online Support Groups
Local and phone mesothelioma support groups are only available at certain times, but there is no schedule for your struggles with mesothelioma. This is where mesothelioma online support groups may be most helpful.
You can find mesothelioma support groups online through:
- The Mesothelioma Warriors Survivors: This private Facebook group mediated by the Meso Foundation is open and always available for its members. Join others in conversation whenever you need to talk, be encouraged, or just get any frustrations and sadness off your chest.
- Mesothelioma Caregiver Conversations: The Meso Foundation welcomes caregivers to a Facebook page designed just for them.
- Mesothelioma Loss Support: The Meso Foundation also has a Facebook page for those who have experienced loss due to mesothelioma.
To register and join any of the Meso Foundation’s Facebook groups, contact [email protected]
While these online communities may not be as intimate as face-to-face or even phone-based support groups, they can provide invaluable support when other means are not available.
Other Types of Mesothelioma Support
Other types of mesothelioma support includes emotional support, practical assistance, and financial support.
Financial Mesothelioma Support
A mesothelioma diagnosis can also greatly impact a family’s finances. Doctors’ appointments, diagnostic tests, and mesothelioma treatment can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unexpected costs. Financial support for mesothelioma exists to lift some of the burden weighing on you and your loved ones.
Did you know there’s financial assistance for treatment? Chat now for more information.
Some financial support options for mesothelioma include:
American Cancer Society (ACS)
At cancer.org, you can discover your eligibility for the financial support that ACS offers, such as free or subsidized medical equipment programs, insurance explanations, and budgeting guidance.
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation)
You can speak to a mesothelioma expert on staff at the Meso Foundation who can provide mesothelioma support on a range of financial issues.
Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America (MesoRFA)
MesoRFA provides a list of resources for financial assistance for mesothelioma cancer patients.
National Cancer Information Center (NCIC)
You can call the NCIC 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345 to receive information about programs in your area to help with expenses not covered by insurance.
Mesothelioma Support for Travel
Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find mesothelioma doctors and even more difficult to choose one. It may also require traveling to a top mesothelioma cancer center.
Traveling and accommodations for your treatment can be expensive. Luckily, some organizations offer travel support to mesothelioma victims and their families.
Transportation support for mesothelioma includes:
- Meso Foundation support: The Meso Foundation offers grants for those traveling to see mesothelioma experts out of their area or for those enrolled in clinical trials.
- ACS support: The ACS provides transportation to and from treatment and accommodation and temporary housing arrangements through discounted hotel rooms and Hope Lodges throughout the country.
- Air Charity Network: This charitable organization provides air transportation to people in need of treatment at specialized facilities.
- Angel Wheels To Healing: Angel Wheels provides non-emergency long-distance ground transportation to financially disadvantaged patients.
- Mesothelioma cancer centers: Most cancer centers offer their own lodging accommodations or partner with local hotels to offer discounted rooms for patients receiving cancer treatment.
All of these programs exist to make sure traveling for treatment does not become a burden for you or your family.
Emotional Mesothelioma Support
Fighting mesothelioma takes a huge emotional toll and often requires more emotional support than your family and friends can give. The symptoms of mesothelioma can cause great pain and discomfort, negatively impacting your quality of life.
Thankfully, many programs and groups offer mesothelioma support services for mental health and emotional needs.
Emotional support for mesothelioma includes:
- Support from friends and family
- Palliative and end-of-life care options provided by the ACS
- Mesothelioma support groups
- Cancer support groups
Mesothelioma-specific support groups and awareness efforts are great ways to relate to and support other mesothelioma patients.
Mesothelioma community support can spread awareness about mesothelioma and help patients feel heard.
Community support for mesothelioma includes:
- Mesothelioma awareness efforts
- Fundraisers, such as races or concerts
- Local hospital cancer awareness events
There are also several mesothelioma awareness efforts in the United States.
National Mesothelioma Awareness Day
September 26th has been Mesothelioma Awareness Day since 2004.The Meso Foundation steps up its efforts of awareness and fundraising by using social media and promoting third-party fundraising events across the country.
National Asbestos Awareness Week
In 2013, the U.S. Senate designated the first week in April as Asbestos Awareness Week to advocate for the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure on the lives of Americans throughout the decades.
International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
The International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a two-day conference created by the Meso Foundation for the mesothelioma community. The conference highlights the latest treatment options and allows the community to connect with top mesothelioma experts.
Private Mesothelioma Support
There are several options for patients to connect with individuals specializing in cancer patient support. These specialists can speak with you one-on-one to give you support during your diagnosis.
There are several options for private mesothelioma support including:
The Cancer Support Community
The Cancer Support Community offers a daily 12-hour live chat from 9 AM to 9 PM with experienced counselors and resource specialists.
Cancer Hope Network
The Cancer Hope Network matches you with a volunteer cancer survivor who shares your diagnosis via phone call. Talking with a survivor gives you access to support, resources, and forms a connection with someone in a similar situation.
Mesothelioma Family and Caregiver Support
Mesothelioma support groups are also available for those with loved ones diagnosed with cancer. These groups may provide support for coping with a mesothelioma diagnosis, grieving a loss, or supporting mesothelioma caregivers.
Below, find examples of ways to access mesothelioma support for families and caregivers. To register and join these groups, contact [email protected]
Mesothelioma Loss Support
The Meso Foundation has a private Facebook page for families and others who have lost someone to mesothelioma to mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Caregiver Conversations
The Meso Foundation hosts a Facebook page to help connect caregivers for advice, resources, and emotional support.
Find Support for Mesothelioma
You may feel anger toward the companies that exposed you or a loved one to asbestos. You may feel isolated in this situation as if no one understands what you are going through.
A mesothelioma support group may offer kindness, knowledge, support, and a shared understanding of your situation.
Mesothelioma Hope also offers 24/7 support from dedicated Patient Advocates. Contact us today.
Mesothelioma Support FAQ
How does cancer affect your mental health?
Upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, it’s common to have feelings of anxiety and depression about the uncertain journey ahead.
Mesothelioma patients and caregivers are encouraged to lean on their support systems following their diagnosis and during their treatment plan. Mesothelioma support — whether in the form of a support group, financial assistance, or simply asking for help with daily tasks — can be extremely beneficial for patients’ well-being.
It’s also important to note that it is still possible to receive treatment for mental health conditions even while battling cancer. Talk to your doctor about what next steps you can take if you begin experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression after your mesothelioma diagnosis.
How can I find mesothelioma support groups online?
Online support groups have become more useful than ever in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. To find mesothelioma support groups online, turn to trusted organizations like the Meso Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
These organizations offer numerous online support resources — and if they don’t have what you’re looking for, they can help point you in the right direction.
Even though you may not be able to meet with other mesothelioma patients in-person at this point in time, you can still make meaningful connections online.
What financial help is available for cancer patients?
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma cancer, you may be eligible for various forms of financial assistance. Numerous charities and grants exist to help you afford treatments and other expenses.
Additionally, you may qualify for legal compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit or asbestos trust fund claim. Filing a lawsuit may sound overwhelming; however, financial compensation can prove invaluable when it comes to affording your costs of care.
An experienced mesothelioma attorney can handle all the heavy lifting while you focus on your health and spending time with loved ones.