Have you been diagnosed with a frightening illness? Having a diagnosis of a cancerous disease such as mesothelioma can be overwhelming. And undeniably, it will also affect your life in many ways. That doesn’t mean you lose hope and the drive to live.
Like all other cancers, mesothelioma triggers when a cell’s DNA experiences mutations. As the cell outgrows itself, it becomes a tumor and travels into the lungs. Scientists aren’t sure what causes mesothelioma, but they have identified factors that increase the risk of developing this cancer. The most significant one is asbestos exposure, as it travels into small airways and irritates the lungs. It might sound like a deadly disease, but doctors have found numerous ways to treat it.
However, financial constraints remain a problem when it comes to getting treatment. Some patients don’t have health insurance covering chronic illness, whereas others rely on aid. Before this cancer puts a toll on your financial and emotional wellbeing, have a look below. Here are six ways to cope with financial and emotional stress for mesothelioma victims.
1. Seek Help with Medical Bills
Truthfully, the cost of cancer treatment seems like an obstacle. As a result, newly diagnosed patients cannot align their expenses against their resources. Instead of accumulating debt, get financial help with your medical bills. Firstly, you have to seek help from your insurance company. Secondly, learn how to file a claim and get compensation for your medical bills. The insurance agent might tell you your policy doesn’t cover chronic illness. In that case, upgrade your insurance package.
Moreover, look into asbestos trust funds. Asbestos product manufacturers were forced by the law to put money in special trusts to get compensation for future victims. Approximately $30 billion were set aside, meaning you can receive a portion of this money for your treatment.
2. Join a Support Group
In the hustle of managing finances and physical wellbeing, we often forget about the patient’s emotional health. Getting diagnosed with life-threatening cancer such as mesothelioma can put a toll on a patient’s mental health, making them feel depressed. Even though family and friends try to comfort the patient, the professional help they need is out of your realm.
If you can’t provide the support they need, help them join a support group. The counselors help cancer patients process their diagnosis and feelings, allowing them to cope with emotions. In short, counselors will provide emotional support to the patient throughout the treatment. All these aspects of support groups help with patients’ mental health, allowing them to cope with treatment-related stress and anxiety.
3. Explore Treatment Options
No matter at what stage mesothelioma gets diagnosed, doctors give patients a time of 12 to 18 months. As a result, people lose hope and become reluctant towards their treatment. It does nothing instead of making the patient’s condition worse. Therefore, family and friends should encourage their loved ones to explore all treatment options.
If the patient doesn’t want to undergo chemotherapy, they can opt for radiation treatment. Here, doctors kill the cancer cells using less painful laser treatment. Depending on the stage of mesothelioma, patients can also get lung surgeries to get rid of the cancer cells. Once you have decided, analyze the costs to determine which treatment seems like a more viable choice.
4. Plan Your Real Estate
Even though the doctors try their best to cure mesothelioma patients, the survival rates are low. Hence, the patients must develop a viable financial plan involving writing a Will. You have to fill out legal documents after a mesothelioma diagnosis to make things easier. Firstly, assign the financial power of a lawyer to someone. It would be a person you trust to make financial and legal decisions during your absence.
Secondly, choose a healthcare power of attorney to make decisions related to your health. This person will make decisionson your behalf. It will also give that person the authority to communicate with your doctors, access your medical records, and get you the proper treatment. Lastly, you have to create a Will, giving instructions for handling your estate after your death. You have to name an executor to manage your financial matters, such as paying debts, distributing property to legal heirs, etc.
5. Look for Financial Aids
Despite having insurance, many people struggle to pay for mesothelioma treatments. In addition to taxing treatments, they have to pay for housing care, medications, and travel bills. Fortunately, financial aid can take off the burden from you. Most financial aid programs cover the high costs of medical treatments with transport bills. Similarly, they also compensate for lost salaries since the patient suffering from this cancer cannot work.
Financial aid will cover living expenses such as utilities, groceries, and rent, depending on your family dynamics. Also, they will protect your children’s future if you pass away. All you have to do is understand your financial aid options for mesothelioma and see what the state offers. It will allow you to prepare for unforeseen expenses that can arise once you start the treatment.
6. Plan For Long-Term Care
Mesothelioma, being aggressive cancer, can take a toll on patients. It requires them to utilize numerous care options, including hospital and home care. Therefore, you must plan for long-term care options for the seamless transition between care facilities. For that, you have to conduct extensive research on long-term care options. Note down the location of care facilities and assess their market reputation.
In addition, ensure the facility offers all the care options you will need. Lastly, decide how to fund the cost of long-term care. Most insurance policies compensate for these costs, and even government programs can help. The key is to understand patients’ medical needs at every point in time. For instance, if a patient says they aren’t comfortable at the facility, look for an alternate immediately to ensure emotional wellbeing.
Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma can be overwhelming. People start counting their days while gathering funds to pay for the treatment. After all, chemotherapy and radiation treatment cost a fortune. At the same time, patients also suffer emotionally, knowing they don’t have years to live. In such situations, some financial and emotional assistance can come in handy. Likewise, they can join support groups and get health insurance to cover medical bills.