Undergoing treatment for mesothelioma can be a challenge to sustain for the long haul. The mesothelioma team invests in the patient, with their expertise and time. This treatment plan is most successful when the patient is willing to partner with the team as well. For most treatments of illnesses, the best equation is that the team and the patient are invested in whatever it takes to make the best possible outcome for the patient. Usually the relationship between the patient and team is ongoing and long term.
Once the plan is formulated and executed, a plan that could involve radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or surgery or a combination of therapies, and the patient is home managing his care, often the physical and emotional challenges set in.
With improvements in therapies for a growing majority of patients, malignant mesothelioma can become a chronic condition for some. Chronic conditions require attention and balancing.
Living with a chronic condition day to day is challenging. The CDC describes a chronic condition as conditions that last one year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. It is also estimated that between 95 and 99 percent of chronic care is managed by the person that has the chronic illness.
Most patients will do anything to get better so that is a great start on the investment. It requires activity, nutrition, and a good mental state. What makes a patient who has a rare disease have a good mental state is a good question. The mind is a huge component of fighting illness, and it helps us move forward and not get caught up in our thoughts.
There are many ways patients can stay positive and engaged. You can commit to making a new habit – research shows that it can take up to 66 days to form a solid habit. Many make a list of activities they would like to perform and monitor their progress. Everyone deals with ups and downs – there will be good days and not good days. Sometimes things seem easy that were difficult the day before.
Researchers have shown that being grateful can have positive effects on your brain and increase happiness. Researchers also suggest writing down a list of things that you appreciate, to remember that much more of what we are grateful for. If you have a diary of things you are grateful for, this will become a tool to reflect upon.
The key to being the best you can be while you continue your living with malignant mesothelioma is self-investment of time in your health for the long term. You are the biggest investment and if you don’t invest in yourself, who will? Basically, it is investing or contributing time to you. The investment can include physical, mental, or spiritual activities.
One investment that you know will return dividends is trying to achieve the best possible outcomes with your health. Make it a habit to live your life to the fullest with malignant mesothelioma for the long haul!