Great Tips on How You Can Cope With the Uncertainty of Mesothelioma

Worrying about the mesothelioma cancer coming back (recurring) is normal, especially during the first year after treatment. This is one of the most common fears people have after cancer treatment. And even many years after treatment, this fear may still be in the back of your mind. As time goes by, many people say that their fear of mesothelioma resurfacing decreases and they find themselves thinking less often about their cancer. But even years after treatment, some events can cause you to worry about your health. These may include:

-follow-up visits
-anniversary events (like the date you were diagnosed, had surgery, or ended treatment)
-of a family member
-symptoms much like the ones you had when you first found you had cancer
- the death of someone who had cancer

Here are some ideas that have helped others deal with uncertainty and fear and feel more hopeful:

-Be informed. Learn what you can do for your health now and about the services available to you. This can give you a greater sense of control.

- Be aware that you do not have control over some aspects of your cancer. It helps to accept this rather than fight it.

- Be aware of your fears, but don't judge them. Practice letting them go. It is normal for these thoughts to enter your mind, but you do not have to keep them there. Some people picture them floating away, or being vaporized. Others turn them over to a higher power to handle. However you do it, letting them go can free you from wasting time and energy on needless worry.

-Express feelings of fear or uncertainty with a trusted friend or counselor. Being open and dealing with emotions helps many people feel less worried. People have found that when they express strong feelings, like fear, they are more able to let go of these feelings. Thinking and talking about your feelings can be hard. While it is important not to let cancer rule your life, it may be hard to do. If you find cancer is taking over your life, it may be helpful to find a way to express your feelings.

- Take in the present moment rather than thinking of an uncertain future or a difficult past. If you can find a way to be peaceful inside yourself, even for a few minutes a day, you can start to recall that peace when other things are happening – when life is busy and confusing.

- Work toward having a positive attitude, which can help you feel better about life now.

- Use your energy to focus on wellness and what you can do now to stay as healthy as possible. Try to make healthy diet changes. If you are a smoker, this is a good time to quit.

- Find ways to help yourself relax.

- Exercise and be as active as you can.

- Control what you can. Some people say that putting their lives back in order makes them feel less fearful. Being involved in your health care, getting back to your normal life, and making changes in your lifestyle are among the things you can control. Even setting a daily schedule can give you more power. And while no one can control every thought, some say they've resolved not to dwell on the fearful ones.

-Get support

A support group can be a powerful tool for both survivors and families. Talking with others who are in situations like yours can help ease loneliness. You can also get useful ideas from others that might help you.

There are many kinds of support programs, including individual or group counseling and support groups. Some groups are formal and focus on learning about cancer or dealing with feelings. Others are informal and social. Some groups are made up of only people with cancer or only caregivers, while others include spouses, family members, or friends. Other groups focus on certain types of cancer or stages of disease. The length of time groups meet can range from a set number of weeks to an ongoing program. Some programs have closed membership and others are open to new, drop-in members.

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