Benefits of Sharing Your Mesothelioma Story

Awareness & Research
Reading Time: 4 mins
Publication Date: 01/26/2018
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us

Testimonials

"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Lashawn
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article

APA

Nolan, D. (2021, February 25). Benefits of Sharing Your Mesothelioma Story. Asbestos.com. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2018/01/26/benefits-sharing-mesothelioma-story/

MLA

Nolan, Dana. "Benefits of Sharing Your Mesothelioma Story." Asbestos.com, 25 Feb 2021, https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2018/01/26/benefits-sharing-mesothelioma-story/.

Chicago

Nolan, Dana. "Benefits of Sharing Your Mesothelioma Story." Asbestos.com. Last modified February 25, 2021. https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2018/01/26/benefits-sharing-mesothelioma-story/.

Typewriter

For thousands of years, humans have shared stories through speaking, pictures and writing.

Listening to and sharing stories is how we educate and entertain our children, bond with friends, grieve our losses and celebrate our joy. Sharing stories is how we make sense of the world around us and process new information to create our own personal narrative.

Many people find comfort and a sense of connectedness when they share the story of their wedding day, the birth of their child or a big career move.

Sharing personal accounts can also help us cope with traumatic life events such as the loss of a loved one or a cancer diagnosis. Events that have a big impact on us need to be processed and integrated into our new reality.

Research in the field of linguistics and psychology shows sharing stressful life events such as a mesothelioma diagnosis can benefit us physically and emotionally.

When Talking About Cancer Was Socially Unacceptable

Until about 40 to 50 years ago, cancer survivors rarely felt they had permission or an opportunity to share their cancer experiences.

It was considered taboo to discuss a diagnosis with family members or close friends.

At the time, even mentioning the word cancer was considered socially unacceptable. Many simply referred to it as the “Big C.”

The rapid increase of cancer support groups in the 1980s finally allowed cancer patients and caregivers an opportunity to talk about their cancer journey and give and receive support from others going through similar experiences.

Newly diagnosed cancer patients are usually eager to talk to survivors who have already received treatment and experienced advanced symptoms and side effects.

Reasons to Share Mesothelioma Stories

We can share cancer stories orally or in written form. There are many benefits — and a few risks — to sharing experiences and inner thoughts and feelings with others.

Reasons a person may want to share their story include:

  • Providing medical history to health care providers. Many mesothelioma patients find they will recount how they were diagnosed and treated many times to their health care team. A primary care physician or family doctor may not be familiar with mesothelioma symptoms or treatment options, so a patient may have to educate them on the specifics of the cancer and what to look for should recurrence or progression occur.
  • Venting about negative emotions or experiences. Emotions such as anxiety, fear, stress and sadness can get jumbled in our heads in a way that feels disorganized and overwhelming. Keeping a journal or talking to a supportive listener are good ways to vent about negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Celebrating treatment successes. Many mesothelioma patients can’t wait to share good news with others. Telling loved ones about completed chemotherapy treatments or a successful surgery is a great way to spread joy and help everyone focus on positive moments.
  • Educating and supporting others. Most newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients and their caregivers are eager to hear stories from survivors to get perspective. Some mesothelioma patients find it rewarding to share their own treatment experience as a way of giving back and providing hope to others.
  • Searching for and expressing the meaning of the cancer journey. Major events such as marriage, having children and the loss of a loved one are woven into our life story. These events shape our values, worldview and hopes and dreams. Sharing a cancer experience can help a patient feel more deeply connected with others or with their spirituality. Some mesothelioma survivors form a new, positive meaning to life after a cancer diagnosis.
  • Informing co-workers or loved ones about health issues and asking for help. Coping with mesothelioma treatment isn’t easy. Patients may want or need help from family members, friends or co-workers. The more this inner circle knows about what a patient is going through, the better equipped they will be to offer the right kind of help or support.
Share Your Story
Are you or someone in your family a mesothelioma survivor or caregiver? Tell us how this cancer has impacted your life.
Share Your Story

Risks of Sharing Cancer Stories

There are many benefits to sharing a cancer experience, but it is important to know potential risks.

As a mesothelioma patient shares challenges, fears and successes, they could face very personal questions, unsolicited treatment or diet advice or even judgmental comments.

While most people intend to be supportive, some mesothelioma patients have shared their personal cancer stories and not received the type of support they wanted.

Cancer chat rooms and support groups are a safe place to share cancer stories, as they are usually moderated by trained volunteers or health care professionals.