Caregiving for a Mesothelioma Patient

The experience of a loved one or family member being diagnosed with cancer, this is no cake walk; emotionally or physically.  As mentioned in a previous post about picking your support team, the primary caregiver is the strongest source of support for them and their family.  YOU
have been selected to be their rock.  You essentially will manage the patient’s life with tasks ranging from scheduling and traveling to doctor appointments, refilling medication, to handling the finances for this loved one.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused primarily by exposure to asbestos.  The majority of cases are found in seniors due to the severe latency period of 20-50 years. Mesothelioma symptoms usually do not start appearing for 15-50 years after exposure.  Common early symptoms include:

1.  Fatigue
2.  Coughing
3.  Shortness of breath
4.  Reduced respiratory function

Asbestos was commonly used throughout the 19th century; many seniors now have come into contact with asbestos earlier in their life.  Because symptoms may not appear for many years, it is difficult to catch in its early stages.  To help caregivers and patients better understand their prognosis, The Mesothelioma Center provides free information on treatment options specific to your diagnosis.

The majority of people reaching out to our center for assistance and education are the adult children of the patient, their caregiver.  The term “sandwich generation” has been given to the generation of people who are responsible for caring for their parents as well as their own children. Luckily enough these caregivers have access to the internet and other devices to aide through this hard time.  Here is a great list of resources for caregivers and support teams.  There are many other organizations like the Family Caregiver Alliance where you can find online support roups, care giving information and advice.

Here at The Mesothelioma Center, we can help assist patients and caregivers by finding top specialists and getting you to them through  programs such as Road to Recovery and Angel Flight, discuss treatment options and help apply for financial assistance.  We would love to hear from you anytime, “like” us on Facebook to share your stories and “follow” us on Twitter for live updates on the latest mesothelioma news.

For more information, contact:

Rachel Gilner, Public Outreach

(407) 434-0732

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

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