You knew something was wrong. Over the past months, you experienced symptoms that included weight loss, nausea, chest pain, persistent coughing and shortness of breath. Still, the diagnosis from your doctor shocked you. The unexpected punch in the stomach that knocked the wind out of you was one word. Mesothelioma.
You understand that mesothelioma is a serious and usually fatal form or cancer. And you likely do not have long to live. In general, a person diagnosed with mesothelioma lives only a year to 22 months. Now, what do you do? There are plenty of things to focus on.
Get affairs in order, contact an attorney
Each year, an estimated 2,600 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma and nearly as many die from the disease. If you have mesothelioma, there are many things that need prompt attention.
For example, You may want to seek a second medical opinion, but also continue with medical treatment. You also should consider learning more about the disease. Getting emotional support also may help you cope. And try to enjoy life as much as you can with your loved ones.
However, here are three other important things to do once you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis:
- Make sure your affairs in order: Few people survive a mesothelioma diagnosis. The disease is usually uncurable. This is a crucial time to discuss estate planning with your family and let them know your wishes as to what happens to your assets. This may also include lining up hospice care.
- Research your work and living history: A mesothelioma diagnosis usually comes 20 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Trace your work history over the past few decades and trace your where you have lived during that time as well. Doing so may help you determine where you had regular exposure to asbestos. You may have inhaled asbestos fibers at work on a regular basis or at home as many building materials contain the fire-resistant mineral.
- Contact an empathetic and experienced attorney: You want to know your legal options as to whether seeking a settlement or pursuing a trial. A knowledgeable attorney collects evidence, investigates your case to determine what products and locations would have caused your illness, and, most importantly identifies the party responsible for your exposure to asbestos.
Sadly, there likely is not a lot of time left for you or anyone who has mesothelioma. Do the best you can with the limited time you may have. And use that time wisely.