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How to Talk With a Loved One Who Has Mesothelioma

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Dec 09, 2022

Finding out a friend or family member has mesothelioma can be difficult and frightening. This rare cancer develops after asbestos exposure.  However, despite mesothelioma being rare, it is aggressive and deadly.

If your loved one just told you they have cancer, you may not know what to say to them. So, what do you say to someone after they tell you they have been diagnosed with mesothelioma? Below, we share some tips for talking with a loved one with mesothelioma.

How to Talk With Someone Who Has Mesothelioma

According to the American Cancer Society, listening is one of the most crucial things when talking with a loved one with mesothelioma. If your loved one has mesothelioma, you should try to understand how they feel and avoid things such as judging or trying to change their feelings. Let your loved one know you are ready to listen to them whenever they want to talk to you.

Your loved one may feel guilty that they did something that caused their mesothelioma. For example, your loved one may feel this way because someone asked them if they did something that might have resulted in them developing their illness. Unfortunately, stigmatizing mesothelioma patients is quite common. Stigmatization can make your loved one feel, among other things, depressed and isolated. Stigma can even negatively affect how your friend or family member approaches their mesothelioma treatment. If your sick loved one feels stigmatized, it will help to be comforting and caring.

If your loved one talks about death or what they fear will happen to their family in the future, you do not have to say anything. However, you should be prepared to listen to your loved one's pain or unpleasant thoughts. And if your friend or family member asks you to share what you think about, for example, their disease or treatment, be honest but avoid answering questions to which you do not know the answers.

While it is good that you encourage your loved one, you need to avoid showing your loved one false optimism. When you show false optimism, it is like you are ignoring the patient's real fears, sad feelings, or concerns. Also, the American Cancer Society advises avoiding telling a mesothelioma patient that you know how they feel.

Lastly, as much as humor can help with coping, you should only joke with a mesothelioma patient if you know they can handle and appreciate the humor. When it comes to making jokes, it is usually best to let the patient take the lead. If, for example, your loved one finds a side effect such as hair loss funny and mentions it, you can join them in a good laugh. 

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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