The Importance of Communication after a Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

July 28, 2018
The Importance of Communication

Being diagnosed with mesothelioma or, really, any kind of cancer can be heartbreaking. It’s an unfortunate disease that can put a strain on your body and mind. But, it will also affect the relationships you have to those closest to you. It’s important to understand that, while the disease may be affecting you and your body, it will also affect your loved ones.

Children, spouses, friends, and even co-workers will all take the news differently. Getting better is always the main goal, but, after a cancer diagnosis, it’s vital to keep the lines of non-judgmental communication open with everyone you care about. Be honest and forthright. If you feel uncomfortable discussing your illness with a certain person, let them know. Likewise, some people in your life may not want to hear about your disease at all, so it’s good to keep that in mind.

No one reacts to a mesothelioma diagnosis in the same way, and you can’t expect everyone in your life to react how you want them to.

Partners and Spouses Hurt the Most

Mesothelioma may be affecting you directly, but the pain your spouse or partner feels is right up there. There’s no question that a mesothelioma diagnosis can throw a wrench into your relationship. Things you may not have considered before you diagnosis suddenly become major topics.

For instance, in some households, one person does all the housework. If that person happens to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, then all of that housework falls onto the shoulders of the other spouse.
The overwhelming sadness felt by a spouse or partner can also not be ignored. In some cases, the partner may be frustrated by their inability to help the situation. This can manifest itself in occasionally controlling behavior. If it becomes a problem, it’s important to discuss feelings and roles in the relationship to come to a mutual understanding.

Write Down Things You Need

People want to help when their loved ones are down and out. By preparing a list of things you need, you can both help yourself and help your family and friends feel useful. This list can be as simple as washing dishes and as hard as preparing meals. It really depends on your individual situation.
Again, people want to feel useful and providing them with a list removes a lot of anxiety and confusion from the situation.

Try to Be Understanding

It’s also very possible for individuals in your life to wear themselves thin trying to help you. Try to understand that, while you are sick, one person can’t do everything for you. If you have a large support system, then make use of it. Multiple people can help you cross off things on your list of chores.
If someone feels burdened by all the work, try to consider their point of view honestly and objectively. Again, honest communication is vital after a mesothelioma diagnosis. It may not be pretty for a while, but neither is the disease. Counseling might be an option if you are struggling with disease and the strain it causes your relationships.

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call or email us for a free consultation.