Four Ways to Manage a Terminal Illness
When we imagine how we expect our life to be, we usually imagine a hale, hearty life until the very end, without any unexpected hitches. Although this might be what we want, it’s not the reality we face. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be a literal life-changing moment. It can feel as if everything has come to a standstill. And it can be challenging to figure out where to go from here.
However, your diagnosis doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end of your life’s journey. There is still a long way to go, and you can still fulfill your dreams even as you deal with your illness. For many, dealing with a terminal disease while attempting to make the most of their life can make each experience even more meaningful. But, to do so, you need to learn how to cope with your aggravating condition. If you find yourself a little lost, keep reading below for some advice on managing a terminal illness.
Get all the information
The first step to managing a terminal illness is to equip yourself with all the necessary information. If you don’t have all the details regarding your condition, you can find it incredibly challenging to cope. You can face a lot of uncertainty and fear if you’re unaware of what to expect. With the correct information, you’ll have a better idea of how to improve your quality of life. You’ll be aware of what you need to be careful of and how you can prepare for what’s ahead.
Although you may have a vague idea of what to expect about more common terminal conditions, you can have a more challenging time if you’re dealing with a rare disease. For example, mesothelioma is one such condition with a lot of uncertainty. It is infrequent, and patients usually have a short lifespan after diagnosis. Educating yourself on the various types of mesothelioma and the treatment procedures can make it easier to figure out how to manage the condition. Furthermore, finding out the symptoms can help you spot the disease early and get treatment to improve your prognosis. So, always get more info on your condition.
Talk about how you feel
For most of us, being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be one of the most traumatic experiences. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re at – this information can be life-changing and not exactly in a positive way. The journey forward can feel like a rollercoaster ride. Hence it would help if you talk about how you feel instead of bottling up your emotions.
If you don’t share how you feel, you can have a tough time facing the reality of the situation and making the most of your time. Talking to a close family member or friend can give you the reassurance and support you need in this challenging time. Even if the first time feels awkward or hard to open up, you won’t regret it down the line. If you think you can’t open up to those around you, going to a therapist can be an excellent way to manage your emotions. Once you start opening up, you can improve pain management for yourself and your caregivers.
Cater to your care needs
After diagnosis, expect your quality of life to decline with time. Depending on the illness you’re diagnosed with, you can experience different levels of impairment. If you want to ensure you live a comfortable life, you need to be honest about your care needs and arrange for the best care you can afford. This requires an open conversation with your healthcare provider and your family members.
If you’re expecting your independence to decline as time goes by, hiring a nurse can make it much easier to manage your needs. Conversely, you can arrange for a wheelchair, at-home medical equipment and educate yourself on how you can monitor your health in the best way. You can also work with a family member if they wish to care for you themselves. This can include educating them on what you need, how you feel, and getting professional guidance on how they can help.
Seize the moment
We’ve all heard the expression ‘carpe diem,’ but there’s no situation more apt for it than this. With a limited amount of time left, you need to go ahead and do all the things you’ve been delaying. Now is the best time to seize the day and do things for yourself. So shun all the mundane tasks taking up your time.
Whether you’ve been planning a trip, trying to learn a new skill, or just looking to make new friends, there’s no better time to start. Every item you check off your bucket list can help you feel much more accomplished and help you go without any regrets. Also, if you haven’t been expressive about how you feel, there’s no better time to open up to your loved ones. Tell them how much they mean to you, and give them happy, loving memories to look back upon.
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness doesn’t mean you’re at the end. There are still multiple ways you can make your life memorable and enjoyable. Managing your terminal illness can be easy if you follow these steps to cater to your mental and physical health. No matter how much time you have left, you can make it enjoyable and filled with love and light for yourself and your loved ones.