As a mesothelioma lawyer, I represent my clients in their legal claims against the asbestos companies that sold the asbestos products that caused their mesothelioma. I have explained to all of my clients that their cancer could have been avoided if these companies had warned about the dangers of asbestos which they were required to do. I have stood before juries and have argued cases on behalf of my clients finding satisfaction in providing them with a means for financial security in spite of this disease’s deadly toll.
Whether through trials or settlements, I can provide to my clients a financial recovery that enables them to meet the costs of their treatment, pay their bills, and provide for their family now and in the future. While I cannot give back to any one the time and experiences lost because they have this devastating disease, I can give them the peace of mind to know that they and their family have the resources to deal with this disease and to continue in spite of it.
But I have learned over these past three decades that mesothelioma victims need as much support as they can get as they face this disease. There are many ways mesothelioma patients can find the support they need to help them cope with their cancer. My clients have found that support from family members is key.
The Biggest Challenge
For many of my clients, one of their biggest challenges is to be able to accept help, be it from loved ones and friends, medical professionals, counselors and their community.
But learning to accept support without feeling bad or sad about it is one of the most important skills any one of us can learn. Your whole life you‘ve been working hard, paying taxes and social security and taking care of others. Now it’s your turn to let your family and close friends and relatives help you in return.
You need to feel understood, accepted and listened to. It’s important to still feel needed maybe in new ways, allowing you to give back whenever you can. It’s important to remember that, even in the face of mesothelioma, you are still you and fully capable of making decisions that affect your life and future.
Support from Family and Friends
This is your inner circle, and each person will give what they can. My advice is never to think, “I don’t want to be a burden.” Helping you – picking up a few groceries, getting a relative at the airport, taking you on an errand, bringing in a meal, walking the dog — makes them feel like they’re doing something. You’re going to see some of them are more comfortable with the situation than others and sometimes, when people don’t know what to say, they stay away. That’s where you or your caregiver can help by suggesting ways to help. You can also try being honest about how you feel, even if that’s not usually your style.
One piece of advice: You don’t have to repeat your story, with all the latest details, to everyone who calls, visits or e-mails their questions and concerns. Sometimes you can sum it up in a few words and ask if they want to be added to an e-mail list of people who want to keep up with the latest on your condition. (You can give that responsibility to one of your kids or perhaps a close friend.)
Families Drawn Together in Difficult Time
Through the years that I have represented mesothelioma clients, I have seen many family members come around clients and forge very close and powerful relationships. Often times, bonds that were already close are strengthened even further. But in other cases, I have seen meaningful relationships develop that previously had been strained, lost or neglected in the demands of life. The incredibly difficult circumstances that surround a diagnosis of mesothelioma also afford a unique opportunity for many families.
Welcome Support with Open Arms
Mesothelioma patients face a daunting challenge and will need much love and support from family and close friends. Do not be afraid to ask for this support. Receive the support and care from others with open arms and gratitude. I can tell you from my own experiences with my mesothelioma clients that all of this love and support will help you through the difficult times of dealing with this tragic disease.