Life changes with a diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer, but life doesn’t end.
Don’t stop living.
Recent advancements in therapy have tempered the gloom-and-doom attitude that once accompanied a diagnosis. Specialists have personalized the multidisciplinary treatment plans that can turn mesothelioma into a more manageable disease.
Survivors are living busy, productive lives, going three, four, five years and beyond without serious complications. Some even reach the decade mark.
Here are several tips that may make life more enjoyable as you live with a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Start a regular, and enjoyable, exercise routine. It can be as simple as a regular walk around the block. Do something that makes your muscles work. Push yourself to move, even when you don’t feel all that well. You’ll be glad you did. Yoga and stretching is great. Ride a stationary bike at your own pace. Walk the dog. Just do something every day that provides some exercise.
Ease Your Mind
Find an experienced mesothelioma specialist. This isn’t always fun, but it will ease your worries, knowing you will be getting the best possible care. Most doctors, even oncologists, don’t understand the intricacies of this rare disease, which lessens your chance of survival. Once you have someone you trust, then you can enjoy life worry free.
Keep living your life. Keep doing what you did before, especially the things you liked to do. Don’t change your routine. Plant that spring garden because you’ll be around to harvest in the early fall. Start a new hobby. Find something to be passionate about. Visit the grandkids more. Don’t sit on the couch and sulk about this disease. Find things to keep your mind off the cancer, and you will live longer.
Everyone Likes to Eat
Fuel your body with healthy foods. It’s actually fun to eat healthy. You’ll be surprised how much better you can feel if you’re eating right. Talk to a nutritionist to get some ideas. There are foods that discourage cancer. Proper nutrition is critical, particularly if you’re going through any cancer treatments. You may lose your appetite, but don’t stop eating.
Go Back to School
Visit your local high school or community college. This might sound strange in your retirement years, but you’ll be surprised. Read a calendar of community events, and you’ll find concerts, plays, football games and other events open to the public. You’d be surprised how much fun it will be. It’s actually invigorating to be around a younger crowd like this.
Join a mesothelioma support group. Talking with others dealing with the same issues you are can be uplifting. With a rare cancer, there is often a feeling of isolation. Other mesothelioma patients will relate well to your concerns, often better than a doctor or nurse can.
Worship and Spirituality
Get more involved in your church, synagogue or wherever you worship. Join a Bible study group. Places of worship usually offer volunteer work, too, if you are physically strong enough. You’ll be surprised at the power of prayer. It works.