Learning of a mesothelioma diagnosis can be devastating for both mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial issues resulting from this condition is often extremely taxing and can leave mesothelioma patients feeling anxious and overwhelmed. In order to help individuals with mesothelioma cancer cope with challenges associated with their disease, mesothelioma support groups have been established throughout the country. The purpose of these organizations is to provide an opportunity for members to share their experiences, learn from one another, and gain comfort from knowing that they are not alone in their struggle with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma cancer support groups can vary in the way that they are run and the types of things that they focus on, so it is important to find a group that meets your needs and matches your personality. For example, some groups are run by a health care professional, such as a psychologist or social worker. Other groups, known as peer groups or self-help groups, are led by group members who have no special medical training. Some mesothelioma support organizations are more structured and focused on practical matters related to the disease, such as how to manage the negative side effects of mesothelioma treatments. Other groups choose to emphasize emotional support and the sharing of personal experiences. If you are a mesothelioma patient who is interested in joining a mesothelioma support group, you may have to go to a few different meetings in order to find a group that you are comfortable with.
There are several options for finding a mesothelioma support group in your area. First, you can ask your mesothelioma doctor if he or she has any suggestions about local groups you can join. Second, try consulting with the nurses or social workers at your mesothelioma treatment center to see if they can provide you with information about local mesothelioma support programs. Third, check with your mesothelioma hospital’s social services department and find out if they can give you a list of cancer support programs in the area. Finally, some individuals with mesothelioma find ways to connect with other mesothelioma patients by using the Internet. Joining an online cancer support group or posting on a mesothelioma message board can help mesothelioma patients connect with other people affected by this disease.
Dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis is never easy, but there are sources of support available for mesothelioma patients. Joining a mesothelioma support group may not be for everyone, but for many patients, these organizations provide invaluable comfort and assurance during this difficult period. In addition to support groups, family members, friends, and religious leaders are often an important source of support for mesothelioma patients.