So You Have Mesothelioma — Now What? A Step-By-Step Guide on What to Do When You’re Diagnosed

September 16, 2014

“You Have Cancer” — that’s about the last thing in the world anybody wants to hear.

You Have Cancer. It’s the three little words that begin the movie, three little words at the edge of a cliff, the beginning of a sentence, the thing you fear absolutely. To ever have to speak to what comes next… to say, I have cancer to your children, to your spouse, to your friends? Three little words and everything is different, nothing is ever the same again and with those three little words you’ve been changed, too. Because now you’ll have to put on your battle gear and, no matter whether you want to, no matter whether you are prepared, no matter whether you even know what you’re doing or not, now you have to fight for your life. Because at the end of the day, it’s only you. You can have a support system aplenty but it’s you that heard those three little words and it’s you that hear them everyday, echoing at the back of your head. You have cancer, you have cancer, you have cancer!

So what do you do? Particularly when the cancer in question is mesothelioma, one of the most difficult cancers to fight, one of the most harrowing.

We could say you just get up and go to your doctor and do what you can — that is the gist of it, of course, but it does nothing to account for the sheer confusion and mass of decisions you’ll have to start making. Not to mention the fact that, in battling cancer, there is just as much to do with your own recognition of the cancer and efforts to de-stress and keep yourself as level-headed as possible.

Here’s what we suggest, a step-by-step guide to help you pick yourself up after those three little words, get where you need to be and stay focused on what matters: getting yourself the best treatment you can, spending time with those that matter to you and making the plans you need to make to make sure that you’re family and loved ones are taken care of, no matter what happens.

And in case you don’t notice below, the steps we’re talking about here tend more to the emotional side of things — because the emotional points are what you’ll need to conquer in order to take those meaningful steps of action with a clear head. However, if you’d like to know more about the typical action-oriented steps to take as a patient, tell us! You can give us a call at (866) 538-0485 or email us here for a free consult with one of our mesothelioma lawyers. And you can also let us know on our Facebook page or via the comments section below if there is a blog topic you’d like us to discuss.

Step 1: Acceptance.

We hear you, “why would I accept mesothelioma?” After all, “acceptance” sounds like “being okay” with what happened. But, hear us out for a second, because that is definitely not the case.

You will never be okay with what happened to you. You will never be okay with your mesothelioma. That’s because mesothelioma is a cancer that should not happen to people — a cancer that is directly related to a negligent, multi-billion dollar asbestos industry that hid the risks of asbestos for decades and is still trying to do so in developing countries around the world (can link to Washington Post blog). If you have mesothelioma, that means you were most likely exposed to asbestos fibers, typically while on the job, from a loved one who worked with asbestos (often unknowingly) or in a building with asbestos that was decaying. What happened to you IS NOT okay, that’s why there are so many mesothelioma lawyers working to help mesothelioma patients and their families get the help they deserve to fight the cancer.

What acceptance does mean is coming clean with what happened. This minute. Right now. Asbestos is a deadly cancer that acts quickly. The quicker you start treatment (and the sooner you were diagnosed), the better your odds.

In order to make the decisions you need to make in the following months, you need to be aware of what you are dealing with. Because you do not have time to loose as you struggle to understand that you have mesothelioma and what that looks like.

Step 2: Breath.

Now that we have thoroughly freaked you out — please, remember to breath.

Mesothelioma is an absolutely horrible cancer and we are fighting every day to help the patients who have been harmed and to help put an end to the use of asbestos in our country for good. (Think asbestos has not been banned in the United States? Think again.)

However, while it can feel at times like the cancer is so much bigger than you and you have lost your power, the truth is, you can still be in control of your treatment, your plans for how to spend your time now and how you want to assist your family and loved ones and what you want them to know.

You still have the power. But you’ll need to breath for a second and come to a place of calm and composure (— we know, that’s going to be hard!).

Step 3: Decide: What Do You Want?

Now that you have accepted what is happening and tried to breath and calm down as much as you can, now is the time to focus in.

Here’s what we want you to think about: What Do You Want? As in, really? What do you, more than anything in the world, what do you really want?

More often than not it is time with loved ones. Sometimes it’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t. Sometimes it is to reconnect with someone you cared about who got away. Sometimes it is to make amends with someone you have hurt — or someone who has hurt you.

There has to be something that you need to do that doesn’t have anything to do with fighting mesothelioma, but has to do with something much bigger: The reasons why we live in the first place, the things that keep us going, the things that help to make our life complete.

Once you understand what you really need to do, not just the things to do for your treatment but the things to do so you will be able to get rid of the regret and disappointment and live now with peace… now is the time to take the risk or make the time or be the bigger person.

You might need to talk to your doctor in order to find the time to do what you need to do. Or you may need to ask a favor from a friend or family member.

But now is the time where whatever you want to do, whatever you need to do, whatever has been nagging at the back of your head for some time now… now, you do it.

And after it’s done? We suggest you repeat. Accept. Breath. Think about what you need to do.

We think you’ll find that these three steps can help guide you emotionally throughout your treatment, to help you find your composure and put your energy into places that will bring you energy and peace instead of drain you.

We at least encourage you to try it out for a few days. If it’s helped you, please let us know below or on our Facebook page .

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In good faith,

The team at Baron and Budd.