Emotional Well Being
For many people, having a diagnosis of mesothelioma can be overwhelming, and will affect their lives in many ways. This can be in a practical, everyday way, but it can also affect how you feel about your life, your relationships, your work and your finances. All of these can lead to uncertainty, fear, a loss of control, and can affect your ability to cope with your mesothelioma diagnosis.
The feelings can be so overwhelming that they may prevent you managing day to day. You may want to be alone, you may want your family and friends around you. There is no right or wrong way to react, and that reaction will be individual to you.
Talking about your feelings is usually a good place to start. Talking about how you feel, what worries or frightens you, can sometimes help you practically and emotionally. For a lot of people, talking to friends and family is enough, but for some, talking to a professional is easier and feels safer. Professionals include your doctor and nurse, counsellors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, or people who provide complementary therapies such as massage, reflexology or relaxation.
Ask your nurse or your cancer information centre if there are any local support groups. These are groups where you can meet other people with mesothelioma who may be able to understand how you are feeling. These groups are usually open to carers, partners and families as well. They often include practical education on related issues, but also provide a social space where you can meet other people in a similar situation to you. They are often run by local Asbestos Victim Support Groups and specialist mesothelioma nurses. The Mesothelioma UK website has an up to date list of support groups on their website and there is an online virtual support group specifically for peritoneal mesothelioma.
For further information on this, see the Macmillan booklet “Coping with your Emotions”.