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How can I help my family member who has mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma does not affect only the patient: It can have a ripple effect through an entire family. It often falls to family members to care for their loved one who has been diagnosed with the disease. Caring for a family member who has mesothelioma requires immeasurable compassion, strength and patience.

As the relative of someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You may be wondering how you can even begin to care for your loved one in their time of need. Fortunately, there are several ways to help care for a family member who has mesothelioma.

1. Offer your support

It is never easy to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis-- as the patient, or as their relative. One of the best things that you can do for your family member is to offer your unwavering support. There are a few ways to do this—one is by letting your relative know that you will always be there for them to lean on through their treatment. Another way is to create a support team of fellow family members, friends and community members. You can also look up nearby support groups for mesothelioma patients.

2. Research the diagnosis

Take the time to research mesothelioma, its causes, the treatment and any potential side effects. If your loved one has any questions that you cannot answer, help them find appropriate resources. Education is an important tool that you can use when helping your family member make decisions about their medical care. Having a good understanding of mesothelioma will also help improve your confidence as a caretaker.

3. Practice self-care

Though a lot of your time may be taken up caring for your loved one, it is also important to carve out a few moments for yourself. Caring for a family member who has mesothelioma can be very stressful. Try to find a few moments to care for yourself by taking a nap, getting some exercise or doing an activity that you enjoy. 

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