Finding that you have mesothelioma is quite shocking and confusing. Initially it may be difficult to accept reality and to think clearly. You may feel shocked, confused, vulnerable, a feeling of loss of control and a fear of the unknown. You may be overwhelmed with feelings and find it difficult to express them. You may also feel that you are unable to cope with the situation and feel helpless. Family members, relatives and friends also experience strong negative feelings and are also confused as you are. It is quite normal to be confused after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Everyone in your place would be so! After all mesothelioma cancer is no joke. Although different individuals may have different feelings from one others and may look at the situation in a somehow different manner, many individuals have feelings of confusion, shock, fear, disbelief, vulnerability, anger, blame, guilt and other emotions.
For most individuals the first feelings after the diagnosis will be that of shock, confusion and disbelief. When we receive bad news, it is quite natural to be shocked and this is usually the first reaction to a mesothelioma diagnosis or any other very bad news. You may feel that this is not really happening to you. A feeling of confusion may envelope you and it may be difficult to reason in a clear and concrete way. Some feel an urge to talk to people in order to accept the reality.
It is quite natural to be worried and feel fearful if mesothelioma cancer or any other cancer is diagnosed. Since cancer is a severe disease, many individuals diagnosed with cancer are afraid of many things. One of these is that of dying. It is true that mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer but it is also important to realize that many individuals diagnosed with cancer have defeated the odds and have lived for many years. It is well known that individuals have been cured from the most aggressive type of cancer and lived happy and productive lives.
Many individuals are also afraid about the discomforts and pain of living with cancer. Many also ponder about the side effects of treatment and if it will work at all. Nowadays there are several ways to reduce discomfort and pain. Moreover clinical trials provide new hopes in cancer treatment.
It is also important not to give importance to stories of past cancer patients. Treatment of today is more effective than that of the past and is less unpleasant. Treatment and recovery varies also with the individual and many other factors. Therefore it is useless to worry about past cases and rumors since they are unrelated to your mesothelioma cancer. Moreover different cancers have different characteristics. However if you have pain, today's drugs and other forms of treatment can considerably relieve it.
Many individuals are also worried about how this diagnosis will affect their life pattern in general. They will ponder how their lifestyle will change and the effects this diagnosis will have on their work, their family, their friend and their finances. They may be afraid that the new life changes will be difficult to cope with. Nowadays there are many facilities and services that can help in sorting one's emotions. It is important to start by sorting emotions and to ask any questions you have to your physician in order to abate certain useless worries. The more you learn about the situation the less it becomes frightening and the more you may feel in control. Remember also that human beings worry a lot about numerous things, usually inflating their worry to such an extent that their worry is much worse than the real thing. Worry can however be eased by learning about your illness as much as you can from a specialist and from reliable sources. By talking to relatives and friends can also ease fear. There are also many counseling service and support groups that can help you as already stated.
The patient may have problems in accepting the fact that he or she has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. One may feel that by denying the fact he or she feels that it is not happening. Denying the fact may result from fear and embarrassment about the disease. Denial has both its advantages and disadvantages. Initially denying the disease may give time for the individual to adjust to the new situation. On the other hand if the individual continues to deny the fact of the diagnosis this may deter the patient from taking action promptly and so the necessary treatment given in time. However after some time, most people usually accept the fact that they have cancer.
Another common feeling is anger. You may ponder why it is you that have been singled out and not someone else. Why cancer has struck me and not someone else? Why me? These are common questions. You may feel that the world has been unfair with you. You may be angry at your relatives, friends, health care providers, asbestos companies and even God. Anger arises from inner feelings such as anxiety and helplessness and in reality it is directed towards the illness. Anger is a defense mechanism that helps us to cope but it is important that you inform your relatives and friends that you are not angry with them.
Other feelings include blame and guilt. Blame and Guilt are two sides of the same coin. These two feelings try to mask the real feelings. When one suffers from mesothelioma it is quite natural that one tries to find reasons why cancer had happened and may blame oneself or other individuals. People usually feel better when they find the reasons why certain things happen. Mesothelioma is caused by different factors where chance or bad luck plays a big part in the story. Different people are more prone to develop cancer than others because of the genes they inherit from birth. Moreover workers exposed to airborne asbestos particles were not informed of the dangers involved in their work. Sometimes a single strand of asbestos can trigger mesothelioma and the use of asbestos is quite widespread. Still other individuals may have been more exposed to mesothelioma than other people and still they may not develop the disease. Therefore it is useless to blame yourself for the mesothelioma. There are a large number of factors that one has no control on them. Most people also blame themselves for being a burden on their loved ones.
Sometimes you may feel lonely. Although you may be surrounded with family members and friends you may still feel a sense of loneliness. If you feel lonely it may help if you join a support group or you may wish to take counseling.
Sometimes throughout our lives there are moments when we need time for ourselves; when we desire to be left alone. This need may also arise if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, when you would like to be left alone in order to sort up your own feelings. Family members and friends may not understand this need since they would like to share this difficult moment with you and they may feel confused about your behavior. It is so important to inform them about your feeling and of your need for privacy.
Stress and anxiety are common feelings after a mesothelioma diagnosis. The patient may even feel depressed about the whole situation. Depression is characterized by low moods, loss of interest in usual activities and a diminished ability to experience everyday pleasure. Sometimes it may be even difficult to get out of bed in the morning. However such feelings are common for people that have between diagnosed with a severe disease such as mesothelioma. So do not hesitate to seek help on this problem. Your physician may prescribe a course of drugs or may refer you to a counselor who specializes in the problems encountered by cancer patients.
Whatever the feelings are it is important to try to be positive and to look at the situation from a positive perspective. Of course this is easier said than done. Mesothelioma is a serious disease and it is normal to fear for the future. Being positive may not necessarily mean being cheerful and happy all they time but it is important not to allow the negative emotions to overwhelm you.
Sometimes patients may feel that they need help to deal with their emotions. Every individual is different from each other. Different individuals have different degrees of resistance to stress and different ways in coping with stress. It depends on many factors such as your character, your genes, life experiences and the support you have. A counselor may be of invaluable help for you in order to sort your emotions and help you to meet the challenges ahead. So if you feel that you need counseling, go for it.