Asbestos exposure may cause many illnesses, including different types of cancers such as bile, ovarian and laryngeal, but nothing comes closer to the aggressive mesothelioma. Despite being a rare form of cancer with less than 0.3% of cases, it is still difficult to live with and painful to treat, but the tragedy of the illness doesn’t end there.
The illness takes a toll on your mental, physical and financial well-being as you seek treatment while understanding the condition. Learning about the disease can help you cope with it better and make better choices. Here’s why mesothelioma is an upsetting disease out of all asbestos-related conditions:
1. The Painful Symptoms
Mesothelioma comes with signs and symptoms that start showing on your physical health. The symptoms are painful and can take a toll on your body, but before you get your diagnosis, the substantial pain you feel in your body may drive you to the hospital. These may progressively get worse if you don’t get treated. Although most mesothelioma cases affect the lungs, pleural mesothelioma symptoms are easy to identify. Here’s how the disease makes its presence known in your body:
- Severe Chest Pain: The pain you feel in your chest is sharp and intense and may not go away with painkillers and can make breathing uncomfortable. The pain you feel should get examined, or it can become unbearable.
- Cough with Blood: If you have mesothelioma, there is a high chance you may find blood in your sputum. Coughing makes you spit mucus, so in case you find spots of blood in your spit, it’s time to see a doctor.
- The buildup of fluid in the Lungs: If fluid starts building up in your lungs, you will feel it; while lying on your back, you may feel short on breath and feel like drowning. You may also develop a hoarse breath and have trouble breathing. When your body is not getting enough oxygen, you will feel fatigued.
2. The Expensive Treatments
After getting your diagnosis, you may need to look at treatment options. Unfortunately, most treatment options are expensive. A doctor will study your cancer in-depth to determine what route is suitable for you. If your cancer is restricted to one area, clearing it is easy. But if your cancer has spread around your body, the treatment takes longer with multiple rounds of treatment. Some of these options are as follows.
- Surgery. Surgery is an experienced option, although the medical bill covers the cost of the surgery and the supportive care such as the hospital bed you need the following treatment. However, your doctor may only suggest you get surgery if you have a manageable tumor size. But, you should prepare yourself for the treatment’s cost and contact your insurance company to save yourself from a hefty bill.
- Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy helps you in two cases. After the surgery, the doctor makes sure that all cancer cells are gone by giving you a round of chemotherapy. The second case where you may need chemotherapy is if you’re ineligible for surgery. You need the medicine to flow through your system and get rid of the cancer cells. This treatment may get administered over several rounds, so you may end up with a high price to pay. It helps if you contact your insurance company beforehand, but sometimes the cost of coverage is not enough.
- Radiation. Radiation is another option doctors entertain when they try to treat mesothelioma. The radiation helps get rid of cancer cells and alleviates the pain you may be experiencing in that area. This treatment also doesn’t come cheap. You may need to go through more than one round of radiation, which can add up to a high bill.
3. The Slow Recovery
After your rounds of treatments, you’re wheeled into a room and allowed to recover. However, you may feel uneasy, weak, and nauseous while you’re there. Your journey with mesothelioma doesn’t end at treatment. You still need to recover from those sessions. Recovery from treatment is slow. It can also add to your existing medical bills. Here’s what you go through when you try to get better:
- The Sudden Onslaught of Side Effects. After surgery, chemo, and radiation, you will feel the sudden side effects of each. You may feel waves of nausea, have a poor appetite, and may have trouble keeping food down.
- High Chances Of Feeling Depressed. Recovery can lead to feeling depressed due to lack of sleep, confinement, and trouble adjusting to your medicines can take a toll on your mental well-being. You may start feeling discouraged and isolated, which can gradually turn into depression. You may also have the lingering feeling of fear while thinking about your illness. The thought of remission or your condition deteriorating can make recovery harder on you.
- Adjustment to New Medications. A doctor may prescribe you medicines after your treatment which can be challenging to consume. You may need to take them at certain times, and if you skip a dosage, you may face another round of side effects. In some instances, you may feel pain after surgery or chemo, and it can extend to unimaginable levels. Doctors may give you painkillers to remedy the pain, but you need to mind your consumption amount. Pain medicines are one of the leading causes of addictions.
Illnesses like mesothelioma can get viewed as a tragedy, as it claims lives and is tough to treat. From the minute a person learns about mesothelioma festering in their system, they need to get help. The whole process can aggravate, from monitoring symptoms to getting treated.
However, the best solution after learning about your diagnosis is treatment. You shouldn’t live in pain because of the disease and try to utilize every way to get better. You will find that allowing yourself to heal from your ailment may make you feel better and pull you from melancholy.