10 Things Mesothelioma Survivors Can Do to Support Cancer Patients
January 27, 2022
When a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, a new, unknown world is opened to them, their family members and caregivers.
To be honest, it can be quite scary. Having others who can relate to your situation, show their support and help you along the way brings a sense of hope.
I am reminded of this quote by Fred Rogers, creator and host of the children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors — in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.”Fred Rogers
Helping other mesothelioma patients is important to me, because sharing my story with them brings them hope and allows me to show my support in many ways.
During my journey with peritoneal mesothelioma, I had no one I could really talk to who could relate to what I was going through. Mesothelioma was very new to me and being that it was 15 years ago, little information was available for this type of cancer.
Once I beat it I told myself I wanted to help others by showing my support, something I wish I would have had when I was diagnosed. For 2022 I plan to continue to show my support for the mesothelioma community because it’s important. Others need to see the “helpers” because showing the helpers gives others hope.
10 Ways to Help Mesothelioma Patients
You may be wondering how you can show your support. Here are some easy and safe ways for mesothelioma survivors to get involved with the mesothelioma community and support others going through this journey.
- Join a private Facebook group. The Mesothelioma Center’s private Facebook support group is open only to those directly impacted by mesothelioma. By becoming a member, you can share insights and interact with other patients, caregivers and family members affected by this disease. The group brings a sense of community and reassurance that you are not alone.
- Share your story. Everyone has a story to tell. No matter how small you think it is, it could make a huge impact on someone else. You can share your story on the Wall of Hope on Asbestos.com, so when people visit the site they can read it and be encouraged. You can also share your story via our social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.
- Offer a one-on-one. Some people are private and may feel more comfortable with communicating on a one-on-one basis. This connection allows each of you the time and attention to discuss questions and concerns.
- Check in. You may notice that you haven’t heard from a particular person in a while. Give them a quick call, text or email just to let them know you are thinking of them. This may just make their day!
- Offer prayer. When it comes to prayer, some may not know how to pray or how to find the right words to say. Asking them if it’s OK to pray with them may be just what they need. In my conversations with meso patients in the past, they all let me pray with them and it’s been helpful to each of us.
- Volunteer. Volunteering your time can make a huge impact on a patient’s life. If you live close, volunteering to take them to treatments or to run errands is a great way to show your support.
- Celebrate with them. Show your support by celebrating their milestones with them. Whether big or small, they’re all wins! Is it their last day of chemo or radiation? Send them a nice card or call them and sing them a celebration song.
- Bring encouragement. Being able to say the right thing at the right time is so important. Encouragement goes a long way and can and will make them feel better. Having you encouraging them could inspire them to keep going.
- Share resources. If you know of a great resource that can help someone diagnosed with mesothelioma, be sure to share it. The Patient Advocates at The Mesothelioma Center have helped so many people diagnosed with the disease and can offer assistance.
- Participate in fundraisers. For the past two years or so, I have participated in the Miles for Meso 5K. This year was special because my family joined me, and I was able to meet others in the mesothelioma community. This initiative raises awareness and funding for mesothelioma research.
Support Comes in Many Different Forms
I will be the first to tell you that there is no one way to offer your support to mesothelioma patients as a survivor. I truly feel led to support meso patients, just from my experience, knowledge and my story of hope. It allows me to make that connection and offer my support in many ways.
Just think about when you were going through your journey, and the things you may have needed support with. That same thing may be lacking in the lives of other patients, and you’re the right person to offer it to them. Helping others will enhance their quality of life, give them hope, increase their mental well-being and boost their confidence.
To all my fellow mesothelioma survivors, let’s start this year off by showing our support to meso patients. I am sure it will make a positive impact!