When you begin your mesothelioma journey, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed. Dealing with the medical issues, the financial questions, the grief and the shock all take time, so it’s natural that the last thing on your list of considerations would be joining a mesothelioma support group.
That doesn’t mean that you should forget about it entirely. Mesothelioma patients gain tremendous benefits from participating in these groups, no matter whether they are conducted at a local facility in a face-to-face format, or forums that you can log onto to chat online.
The benefits of joining a mesothelioma support group are hard to put into words. Patients who have gotten past their initial apprehension and joined in have found themselves welcomed by people who understand what they’re going through like no others.
Fellow patients can empathize about the shock, grief about their diagnosis; their anger at the asbestos companies and employers that failed to protect or warn them; the pain, fear and discomfort of medical treatments; and their worry about family members and friends. The four biggest benefits that cancer support groups offer are:
- The ability to exchange information about resources and tips for coping with problems specific to the disease
- The relief of stress, fear, anxiety and confusion
- A greater tolerance for the indignities and discomforts involved with their treatment regimen, as well as acceptance of doctors’ recommendations and orders
- An improved quality of life as a result of bonding with others who understand the challenges that they face
The best way to find a mesothelioma support group in your local area is to ask your oncology social worker for a recommendation. There are also national and international groups on the internet that the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help you to locate.
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