A recurrent theme when we first speak to new service users is stress. The diagnosis often comes as a shock. People are frequently stunned to realise that they have been exposed to asbestos or that it has caused them harm, often many years afterwards. Once the news has sunk in, there is then the everyday stress of managing the disease and its treatment!
Doctors and nurses have to focus on relieving the other syptoms that exposure to asbestos can cause and may have little time to think about the stress that goes with them. So a new blog post by veteran mesothelioma patient Tamron Little caught my eye. She knows from her own experience that an asbestos related disease is always stressful, both for the patient and their carers.
How asbestos causes stress
Tamron writes, ‘There will always be stress, whether you’re waiting for the results of your recent scans, trying to juggle your newfound caregiving responsibilities, or worrying about [your] treatment [options].”
Tips to cope with stress
She offers the following tips to help you cope:
- Take a break if you can, or try to slow down. There are no prizes for rushing to the end of the week.
- Spend time with people who matter to you, like family and friends.
- When things get on top of you, watch a favourite film or TV programme that makes you laugh, because laughter is a good stress buster.
- Listen to some music you enjoy, because music can lift the spirits and have a calming effect.
- Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. This may help relieve some of your other symptoms but it can also help us all to relax.
You may find that a support group can help as well. We have a support group for mesothelioma patients and their carers. Please ask for more information if you think this might help you.
You can read Tamron’s blog here.