Caring for Someone with Mesothelioma: What to Know

older couple holding hands

When a loved one receives a diagnosis of mesothelioma, it can be devastating for the whole family. You and your family might wonder how you will move forward and help your loved one any way you can.

In many cases, close family members take on the role of a caregiver in this stressful time. But what should you know if you will be caring for someone with mesothelioma?

What Should I Do as a Caregiver?

Taking on the role of caregiver is a big step. So, here are some essential tips to help you as you move forward:

  1. Learn what you can about the disease: The diagnosis can be overwhelming for everyone. And as a caregiver, it can help if you take some time to understand the disease your loved one is facing. Research the symptoms, details, and potential treatment options, so you are informed.
  2. Provide them with support: Caregivers often keep track of medication and appointments, as well as run errands and do household chores, to try and take as much pressure off of their loved one as possible. Ask your loved ones what they need, and work out a caregiving plan.
  3. Find your team: Supporting a loved one with mesothelioma can be a full-time job, so it is often helpful to surround yourself with a cancer care team. This might include family members or friends nearby here in California to help you take on some caregiving duties, such as driving your loved one to appointments or helping with chores around the house.
  4. Keep a record of their progress: If you attend medical appointments with your loved one, it is helpful to take notes of what their physician or specialist says. You should also keep track of the symptoms your loved one experiences. Even if your loved one keeps their own record, it helps to have two different perspectives.

Remember: Take Care of Yourself Too

Dealing with the emotional stress of your loved one’s diagnosis is not easy for anyone – including the caregiver.

On top of coping with this new reality and caring for your loved one, you must also make sure you take care of your own mental and physical health. Caregiver stress and burnout is a very real concern. It is important to keep watch for the signs of stress and tend to your own needs while you take on this critical role to help your loved ones in their time of need.