What can you do after a loved one’s mesothelioma diagnosis?

Hearing about a loved one’s mesothelioma diagnosis – whether it is your spouse or your parent – can come as a shock. You may feel at a loss for how to move forward and how to help.

There are a few steps you can take to help your loved one and your family.

Learn more about mesothelioma

It is common to hear about mesothelioma, but how much do you know about it? If a loved one is diagnosed with this rare cancer, it can help to research and understand matters including:

  • Symptoms of mesothelioma as it develops
  • Medical treatment options

Mayo Clinic provides abundant information on these topics. Learning more about mesothelioma can be scary and even saddening, but it is important to know what to expect, so you know how to help.

Provide support

You may wonder how you can support your loved one as both of you attempt to process the reality of this diagnosis. This can look different for everyone, but you may consider:

  • Driving them to appointments
  • Grocery shopping or cooking meals
  • Completing chores around the house
  • Offering emotional support

Sit down with your family and discuss how you will support your loved one – and each other –. It may also be necessary to consult your employer to understand your options and possibly create a more flexible schedule so you can be there for your family.

Understand the legal implications

Asbestos exposure is the cause of mesothelioma. Usually, it is possible to file a lawsuit and/or administrative claims (against various asbestos trusts) to recover compensation after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. Depending upon the nature of the exposure, it may also be possible to file a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, or a state workers’ compensation claim.

Thinking about a legal claim can be overwhelming while facing a diagnosis, but those diagnosed with mesothelioma deserve compensation. It can help to explore the legal options available to you to ease the burden on your loved one and your family.

Care for yourself too

Being a caregiver is not easy. Even if you do not take on the role full-time, it can be challenging to navigate your daily life while being there for your family. Many caregivers deal with mental health concerns and extreme levels of stress. Remember to find time for yourself to process your own emotions and prioritize self-care.

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