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Sep

27

Determining What’s Important After A Mesothelioma Diagnosis


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Once in awhile it is important to step back and take stock of what is important to you and what is not. A recent mesothelioma patient and his wife reminded me of the importance of reflection. They were a couple from another state. He had recently been diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma and they had come to a mesothelioma center to see what options were available. The diagnosis had been a difficult one and it had taken a few months to make.

After meeting with the mesothelioma team and undergoing  testing, one of the options presented to them was surgery. They decided to undergo the surgery and returned a few weeks later for the surgery. Visiting them after surgery, the patient could not say enough about how good his wife had been to him, and how he could not have done it without her.  As he was recovering, though, a hurricane hit their home state and they couldn’t leave when the time came. For a time, they did not even know if they had a home to return too. They took this all with great patience and acceptance.

When someone asked if the past few months had been the worst time of their lives, they responded they did not see it like that.  The past few months had been challenging from the diagnosis, to the surgery, and now the hurricane, but they were focusing on the people they had met. They had been shown so much kindness, and now they were so much better off for not being at home when the storm struck. They had taken one of the most stressful times in their lives as an opportunity to get closer to each other, their friends and families, and to really think about what was important and what was not.

They did get back home and had some damage to their property. When talking to them once they were home, they were again counting how lucky they had been and thankful to all that had helped them. “Things can be replaced or repaired.”

When diagnosed with any type of serious illness, it is a challenge to remain positive and move forward. In addition to the physical challenges, there is the fear of what the future holds. The way this couple handled their challenges, which such clarity of priorities, is inspiring.

Sometimes when you are in the midst of a situation you can get caught up in wasting time on things that really do not matter. When you reflect on these situations, ask yourself if what you are reacting to is really important.  A lesson taught by people who have realized what is important to them.

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