A diagnosis of mesothelioma can be a devastating experience. When first diagnosed many people feel shocked, numb and unable to believe what is happening or to feel any emotion. Some people feel as though the situation is happening to someone else—as though they are watching themselves from the outside.
At first you may find that all you can take in is the fact that you have mesothelioma. Often people say that when they were told they had cancer, they didn't hear the rest of the conversation with their doctor at all. One person who had just been diagnosed said "the doctor's lips were moving, but I couldn't hear any sound coming out."
Asbestos cancer is so aggressive that you may start feeling worse soon after you are diagnosed. And because cancer and emotions are so powerfully connected, you may also sometimes feel a sense of panic and may have physical symptoms that feel more severe because of your feelings about them.
You might find that you can take in only a small amount of information and so you have to keep asking the same questions over and over again, or you need to be told the same pieces of information repeatedly. This need for repetition is a common reaction to shock. Some people might find their feelings of disbelief make it difficult for them to talk about their illness with their family and friends. Other people might feel an overwhelming urge to discuss it with everyone.
The diagnosis and treatment may cause you to feel a range of strong emotions such as fear, anger, sadness or depression. These emotions are common responses but can be very frightening and difficult to deal with.
Cancer of any kind and your emotions will always be interlinked. Asbestos-induced mesothelioma signs and symptoms may be very similar to those for lung cancer. And much like lung cancer, both prognosis and treatment are different for early stage versus stages 3 and 4. Although both pleural (lung) and peritoneal (abdominal) mesothelioma are currently considered terminal, get the up-to-date facts from your doctor. Researchers are continually working urgently to find new ways to extend patient life expectancy.
Visit our website for more information about mesothelioma causes, traditional treatments such as radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, how to help yourself when you’re living with mesothelioma, and what to expect from the legal process of pursing compensation.