Diagnosed with Mesothelioma? Call 877-MESOTHELIOMA or Live Chat now for a Free Legal Compensation Consultation

Lisa Hyde-Barrett Articles: Page 1 of 41

  • Home
  • Lisa Hyde-Barrett

Author: Lisa Hyde-Barrett

New Year is Time for Reflection for Mesothelioma Patients

Happy New Year!

As we welcome the beginning of 2022 and the end of 2021 we reflect on how time keeps marching on. The mesothelioma community continues to be a resilient, caring group. Dealing with a life threatening rare disease along with a pandemic is challenging for patients and loved ones. 

Now that COVID-19 has been with us for almost two years, all of us are reminded about the importance of resilience and patience in taking care of ourselves and each other.

The New Year is a time of new beginnings and new promises, a fresh slate. With the New Year comes some continuing challenges such as the continued COVID-19 pandemic, the toll on the mesothelioma community, and the continued need for research for malignant mesothelioma

We have all seen and experienced the emotional toll that the pandemic has on all of us – how with time we have become weary and afraid. For mesothelioma victims and families those feelings are compounded by being diagnosed with a serious cancer. We started to care for people diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma decades ago, and as we continue to actively care for patients and their families who are diagnosed with this cancer daily, we are amazed at the ability of the human spirit to deal with adversity.

As we welcome the new beginning a New Year offers we are grateful for the advancements of the past years. The year 2021 saw improved survival time for patients with non epithelioid mesothelioma by using a combination of immunotherapy agents ipilimumab and nivolumab, as first line treatment. This treatment has offered options to some patients who did not have many, and is just an example of the steps towards a cure that continue to go forward.

Progress does not come in a straight line. It can be elusive. The New Year offers a chance for thanks and gratitude for continued scientific progress and hope in 2022.

We wish you all a happy, peaceful, and healthy New Year as we go forward together to face the challenges ahead.

Expressing Gratitude as a Mesothelioma Patient

This time of year is ideally filled with family and friends getting together and creating memories.

For people that are facing health challenges like being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the holidays can be a challenging time. When your world has been upended and you may not be at home for your usual festivities or you are not feeling the holiday mood, feeling grateful can be hard to do. Expressing gratitude may be even harder. Sometimes it is necessary to dig down deep within yourself to express thankfulness to those that are helping you.

During this time of year there is a lot of effort spent on getting the perfect present, the most thoughtful, the one thing that the person can really use for family and friends. For many of us this adds stress to what can already be a stressful time. Presents don’t have to be shiny and new and perfect, the gift of interacting and strengthening a bond in a relationship can be a much more meaningful present.

We all need to take some time out of this busy holiday season to express our gratitude to people that impact our lives. Many of us spend time and money shopping, decorating, baking – when for many a much more impactful thing would be to stop and thank someone for their kindness. 

Telling someone that you are grateful for their support and presence in your journey can benefit both you and them. Acknowledge someone for listening to you when it would have been easier for them not to take the time.

By making a call, sending a note, text, or e-mail, or even giving a shout out on social media, you have acknowledged the kindness that has been shown. Recognition and acknowledgment can help improve and strengthen your relationships, 

Research has shown that one of the benefits for the person expressing gratitude is greater happiness. Gratitude helps people relish good experiences, improve their health and improve their relationships.

This holiday season, slow down and acknowledge those that enrich our lives in a way that can’t be quantified, and so much more than a perfect present.

Happy Holidays!

Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis is the Start of a Journey

Being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma will most likely change your perspective about life. The things you put emphasis on will no longer hold the same value. The relationships and everyday things you paid little or no attention to will now seem important. Our value system as you know it changes, our viewpoints will change without any conscious awareness. 

Most likely you will learn more about yourself than you ever thought. You will begin to understand what makes you tick. When recovering from mesothelioma you will learn to understand your body. A whole new relationship will form. All of a sudden you will have certain hours of the day that you will perform better than others. There will be foods that give you energy, while others that once provided comfort will now be less appealing. You will learn the art of compensation and the art of acceptance.

You may not like the limits mesothelioma has placed on you but you will learn to figure it out. Some days will be very difficult while others will go by with more ease.

Having a rare disease like malignant mesothelioma is not easy on any level. Most medical professionals will paint the worst case scenario, and then the real experts of this disease will give you all scenarios. These will range from the very best to the very worst. Some of this will be up to you. 

Of course, your disease is there. The type and the extent are facts. Taking a step back after the initial shock takes place may be the best thing you can do. Picking and choosing the things or situations that you are in charge of may be helpful. 

Remember the things that made you smile yesterday are still there. Make a list of the things you can do while treating Mesothelioma. Pull every positive aspect you can and write it down. Being overwhelmed can interrupt your thought process. If you can only think of a couple of items that you are in charge of then just write them down. Keep the notepad handy. 

Another thing you can do is think of the things you are grateful for. It is a difficult time to feel grateful but just make the list. When you are feeling not so well some day you can go back and reflect upon these ideas. Your mesothelioma journey will take you to a place where your life will change, you will meet people and you will learn to smile again with your loved ones and your new friends.

Mesothelioma Community Recognizes November as National Family Caregivers Month

November is recognized as National Family Caregivers Month. First recognized in November 2013, by President Obama, the purpose of this month is to raise awareness for family  caregivers and to improve their overall lives and well being. 

Over the course of life, chances are that we all will be caregivers at some point for a parent, sibling, loved one, partner, neighbor, or friend. It is not something that we plan on or prepare for, it usually just happens.

Family caregivers come in all ages, sexes, shapes. They are as varied as all of us. Each one does what works for their particular circumstance. They provide care for loved ones, friends, and partners across the whole spectrum of caregiving. They take physical care, psychological care, and coordinate care for someone else. They do tasks like taking someone to the grocery store, to doctors appointments, or simply spending time with them. 

If there is an “average” age of caregivers it is 47-54 – employed women. Providing care to the elderly, the average age of the caregiver is 62. And minority caregivers provide more care than their white counterparts. The length of time in the caregiving role can be less than a year to more than 40 years. Family caregivers are unpaid, and often unrecognized.

This is a very stressful job that can impact the caregivers’ health. Although there are definite positive benefits of caregiving, for the caregiver there also can be negative implications. 

Since the pandemic it seems more important than ever that we take care of each other. All of us have seen what isolation can do to our collective mental health. For many family caregivers that is their reality for long stretches of time. 

Shining a light on a problem or situation is important. More important is how can we help? Look around, you probably know someone who is providing care for someone else. Help them accept help. A phone call, a visit acknowledging what they are doing, staying with the person while they go for a walk, small things can mean so much.

Caregivers are giving to others, and you can help by giving to them. Accepting help is difficult for some people but it can provide relief for the caregiver who is already giving so much!

For Mesothelioma Patients, Time is What You Make of It

Time is one of our greatest assets. According to Miriam Webster the meaning is “the thing that is measured as seconds, minutes, hours , days, years, etc.” Time is something we all have, we just don’t know how much. 

Many illnesses threaten our timeline and sometimes force us to look at how we spend our time.  Malignant mesothelioma is bad news, with some options, but still with no cure. Researchers, doctors and scientists continue to push science for more information. When diagnosed with this disease or any other serious illness, looking for a timeline is natural. The question often asked is “how much time do I have?” Although no one can say with certainty, there are averages of time that are based on previous patients. When faced with the knowledge that you have a serious illness and your time may be limited, most want the best of what time is left. The best for one, can be different for the next. 

I met a woman a few months ago, she had undergone a pleural biopsy. She was pretty convinced that she had pleural malignant mesothelioma. Prior to confirmation she told me she would choose wisely what type of treatment she would opt in for – which was ultimately immunotherapy. She has responded positively but has been left with some side effects. Her goal is to move out of her present housing situation and live somewhere easier. Physically, emotionally, and financially she has had to make some tough decisions. She feels as if these changes will give her a better quality of whatever time she has. Fortunately, she has a support system and a plan.

Dealing with terminal illness forces us to ask ourselves, how will we live out our remaining days? Some, if allowed, “live like they are dying.” Receiving a terminal illness as a diagnosis almost always forces one to reflect upon their life, and where and what they would like to do with whatever time remains. 

We all measure time with different clocks. Some mark time by births, weddings, deaths, current events. However you choose to measure time, don’t forget to live it and enjoy it. We know when one is diagnosed with a terminal illness it feels as if time is standing still. Despite whatever time you have left, you are given the opportunity to have many conversations with people . These illnesses allow one to say “I love you”, make amends or share some intimate conversations. 

All of us need to cherish our time  and relationships for time is promised to no one.

Download Your Free Mesothelioma Handbook & Treatment Guide

Free Mesothelioma Patient

& Treatment Guide

We’d like to offer you our in-depth guide, “A Patient’s Guide to Mesothelioma,” absolutely free of charge.

It contains a wealth of information and resources to help you better understand the condition, choose (and afford) appropriate treatment, and exercise your legal right to compensation.

HONcode Certified

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Office Location

Last Modified:

Copyright MesotheliomaHelp.org
The information provided by Mesothelioma Help is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Our website does not host any form of advertisement.

Mesothelioma Help Cancer Organization is sponsored by Belluck & Fox, LLP
Site by Consultwebs