A Guide for Loved Ones Affected by Asbestos: Part II-Helping Your Loved One During Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma treatment should begin as quickly as possible after a diagnosis has been made to increase the likelihood that it will take effect. What this means for your family member or loved one is that very little time will be allowed for processing the diagnosis itself and also that important decisions will need to be made very quickly.
You can help support your loved one by attending doctor’s appointments and accompanying he or she to treatment centers. If your loved one has to be hospitalized, it may provide some comfort for you to stay in the hospital as well- or at least visit daily. Be sure to ask the patient directly what amount of accompaniment would make him or her most comfortable and also offer the most practical assistance. For instance, it may be that your help would be most appreciated by house- or pet-sitting, rather than keeping bedside vigil.
To be properly supportive, you also will need to understand what to expect during mesothelioma treatment and what all it can entail. Of particular importance is knowing about possible side effects—something the patient is not likely to be prepared for and may need significant assistance in managing. Find out what your loved one’s treatment options are and help him or her conduct the necessary research to determine which is best in his or her individual case.
There is a high likelihood that your loved one will be in the process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit while simultaneously receiving mesothelioma treatment. Helping to facilitate this process in whatever ways you are able may be of great assistance to the patient, who often will not be feeling up to making frequent trips to the attorney’s office or even returning important phone calls.
Because treatment must begin so quickly, the patient may also have a difficult time doing the legwork involved in hiring an attorney. You can help with this as well, by researching law firms that specialize in asbestos-related illnesses and possibly setting up consultation appointments.
Once your loved one has chosen a qualified asbestos attorney, you can help facilitate communication between the two, when necessary. This may mean helping to gather information requested by the attorney’s office, while your loved one is being hospitalized for mesothelioma treatment.
Another one of the most important things you can do for your loved one during treatment is help keep him or her healthy. This will include helping to maintain adequate nutrition, as well as ensuring that all medication are properly taken and that stress levels are kept to a minimum. Exercise can be of great benefit to patients undergoing treatment, and you should encourage your loved one to try and stay active. All of these things are likely to be difficult for someone who is sick, and you can be an invaluable assistant during times of extreme struggle.