Terminal illness: Adjusting to the life changes it brings

When you heard your doctor say that tests and examination lead him or her to believe that you have a terminal illness, you might have felt like the earth dropped from underneath your feet. You might have sought medical attention because of certain symptoms you were experiencing. If your situation involves suspected asbestos exposure, such symptoms might include chest pain, lingering cough, weight loss or extreme fatigue.

Mesothelioma and asbestosis are two asbestos-related illnesses for which there are no cure. Once you have a diagnosis of this nature, daily life and priorities shift. What's most important is staying as healthy as you can and living as high quality a life as possible for as long as you're able. As symptoms worsen, you'll no doubt need daily living assistance. It's also a good idea to learn as much as you can about asbestos injuries, including what type of support is available.

Knowledge is a key to terminal illness care

Before you got sick, you might not have known much about asbestos and the way it can affect the human body. If your employer was aware that you were at risk for asbestos exposure on the job, he or she hopefully provided you with proper training and equipment to keep you as safe as possible. Sadly, employer negligence is a key factor in many asbestos litigation cases.

It pays to learn as much as you can about your condition, including what types of treatments are best known to help alleviate pain and discomfort or extend life. Researching asbestos, such as composition of materials, friability and how microscopic fibers can enter your body may help you better understand how you contracted a terminal disease.

Not being able to get well is not your fault

Many asbestos injury patients feel guilty when they can't find a way to get better. If you're a parent of young children, you may relate to such feelings. Positive thinking is definitely known to help strengthen immune systems and help ill people feel better. It may be important to your health to recognize that your illness is not your fault and you are also not to blame for an inability to recover or cure your disease.

Things you can control

While discussing your condition with your loved ones or friends might be difficult, you can help others understand where your current priorities lie and any special instructions you'd like to share regarding the dying process. Many terminally ill patients in Pennsylvania take the time to execute estate plans. If you haven't done so and as long as you are of sound mind, this might be an option you'd like to consider.

As you feel able and compelled, you can share your thoughts and feelings with those closest to you. You may even want to plan some of the details of your passing, such as whether you want to be at home or at a hospice center for instance, or what type of services you would like your family to have in the wake of your death.

Other issues

In situations where terminally ill patients learn that their injuries were likely preventable were it not for someone's negligence, it can be emotionally devastating. You may be able to speak to someone well-versed in asbestos litigation law to learn more about how to seek financial recovery for your losses, which may potentially help your loved ones with expenses when the time comes.

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