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What You Can Do

Understanding Your Illness - Mesothelioma

Many people, when told they have mesothelioma, feel helpless. But there are many things you and your family can do.

Understanding Your Illness
Understanding your illness and its treatment will help you and your family to

Know what to expect
Do things to help your treatment

It is best to talk to someone who really knows about mesothelioma. Doctors, nurses and social workers at the major mesothelioma centers have extensive knowledge about mesothelioma. Call us at 1-800-780-2686 or email us below for a list of mesothelioma doctors, mesothelioma clinical trials and mesotheioma hospitals.

Before you go to see the doctor it may help if you make a list of questions.
Take someone with you to remind you of what you wanted to ask and to help remember some of the answers.

Practical And Positive Tasks
When you are being treated or recovering from treatments, you may not be able to do things you used to do. But as you begin to feel better

Have a go at simple tasks
Gradually try to do a little more

Success will give you confidence, but remember be patient and take one step at a time. All people want to improve the way they feel. Some of the ways this can be done are

Following a healthy, well-balanced diet
Gradually try to do a little more
Learning relaxation techniques
Exercising regularly

But only do these things if you want to and only if it makes you feel better. Well-meaning friends or relatives may make all sorts of recommendations about what you should do. You don't, however, have to make any sudden or drastic changes to your lifestyle. If you recently have been diagnosed or treated, you may feel you have had enough change for a while. If you decide to exercise

Build up slowly
Gradually try to do a little more
Base the type of exercise, how strenuous it is and how often you do it, on what you are used to and how well you feel

Many people strongly recommend joining a support group. While there may not be a support group specifically for mesothelioma patients in your area, joining a support group for cancer patients will work.

Following is a list of what patients say really worked for them:

Making lists of questions to ask at the mesothelioma hospital.
Asking about sources of information and support when you go to the hospital. You may not be told what is available unless you do.
Not dwelling on your condition.
Making the most of what you have - do the things you've often put off before.

If you are at home more than you were, you might want to get a dog. You'll get daily exercise and meet a lot of people when taking it out for walks.