Mesothelioma is a fast moving and extremely aggressive cancer that can go from one small tumor to metastasized all over the body in a matter of months. The treatment options for this type of cancer are aggressive, and a relatively healthy and active person can go from their normal life to bedridden and in excruciating pain in a matter of weeks.
Science and research have made great strides in treating the cancer. However, since the treatment options are aggressive and can change a persons lifestyle drastically and in a relatively short period of time, psychological and psychosocial support systems need to be in place to keep a patient in good spirits and motivated to live through the difficulties they will encounter with the disease.
Unlike many other illnesses and diseases people are diagnosed with, Mesothelioma does not go away and it does not stop progressing without serious intervention. This is a rapid growing cancer that requires intense therapy to even slow it down. The prognosis for Mesothelioma is not good, and many people die within 12 to 18 months of initial diagnosis.
Considering that most people realize they have just received a death sentence when they get diagnosed with Mesothelioma, it is imperative that they receive the psychological help and counseling necessary to get through it. A good support system of family, friends, and colleagues can go a long way in helping the Mesothelioma patient conquer treatments and bad days.
In rare instances, people do beat the disease. In the case of Margie Levine, who was diagnosed at the age of 43, she has lived 12 years and currently lives symptom free, after initially being diagnosed with malignant pleural Mesothelioma. She was told by 4 different specialists that she only had months to live after she was diagnosed. She has since published a book about her journey, her chosen treatment options, and the wonderful support system she had along the way to help her persevere.
Thus, Mesothelioma does not necessarily have to be a death sentence. For those people who have the will to live, a driving determination to fight, and a solid support system, it is possible to live many active years after receiving a Mesothelioma diagnosis.
The support in the first few months is crucial. This is the time when people newly diagnosed with Mesothelioma are going through the stages of grief. It is normal to go through a time of denial and a time of mourning for the life they once had. However, due to the fact that this disease moves so quickly, the normal grief stages are seriously shortened because treatments need to start almost immediately. Thus, it is extremely important for patients with Mesothelioma to have an excellent support system right away to help with the psychological aspects of coping with the disease.