Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer which normally affects the lining of the lungs. People who are exposed to asbestos have the highest risk of developing this disease.
According to a report released in 2017 by the US Centers for Disease Control, between 2,400 and 2,800 Americans are diagnosed with this disease every year.
Mesothelioma comes with other conditions, especially mental health problems. A substantial number of people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma become depressed after they learn that they have the condition: according to Asbestos.com, 25% of all cancer patients become depressed when they learn of their status.
Depression can worsen the health status of a spouse who is suffering from mesothelioma: Depression can weaken your spouse’s immune system (the body’s defense against infections) and that can reduce his or her chances of survival.
Additionally, when a spouse suffers from depression, he or she may isolate himself, or he may feel listless. Consequently, he or she may not relate to you affectionately and so you may not enjoy his company and your emotional connection as a married couple may weaken.
So, if your spouse has this disease and is suffering from depression, here are a few things you can do to make your spouse feel better so that you can continue to have a great marriage.
1. Reaffirm Your Love For Your Spouse Every Day
Chemotherapy treatment, which may cause hair loss in your spouse, and other treatments, which can make your spouse put on excess weight or lose weight or which can affect the quality of your spouse’s skin, as well as what friends, family, and neighbors may say or think about the way they may have changed physically, can all make your spouse’s image of himself or herself change: they may feel unattractive. Consequently, your spouse may become insecure and may doubt that you still love them, and that can worsen feelings of sadness.
Therefore, make it a habit to keep reminding your spouse that you still love them and you still care about him or her even though they may have changed physically.
When you are reaffirming your love for your spouse, focus on the inner beauty, their outstanding character traits, to remind him or her that they have something valuable and worthy of adoration and that can help reduce feelings of worthlessness they may experience as a result of the changing image they may have of themselves.
For example, regularly, you may say something such as, “Yaa, I love you today just as I did when we first met. I still see the beautiful you, the kind, caring, understanding, considerate woman that I married and pledged to love till death parts us. My love, I want you to know that my affection for you has not changed at all. I will keep loving you every day that we spend together. You are still the queen of my heart!”
When your spouse hears such encouraging words from the most important person in his or her life, it will make your spouse think less about the change in his or her physical looks and make him or her think about what is great about them and that can help your husband or wife to feel happier.
2. Let Your Spouse Reconnect With Nature
Pain is one main contributory factor that makes mesothelioma patients feel miserable: your spouse’s cancer tumor may put pressure on surrounding nerves and organs and that can make your husband or your wife experience pain. Additionally, cancer treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can also make your spouse experience pain.
However, a study has revealed that people who view trees, or who view scenes of nature, or who can even view a plant in a room, are able to tolerate pain better than people who do not view nature.
Viewing trees or a plant, reconnecting with nature, can help to fill one with pleasant feelings, which can distract one and make him or her endure pain better. And when your spouse can handle the mesothelioma pain better, he or she will find it easier to walk around with a smile on his or her face.
And, other studies have shown that when one spends time in nature, it can help the person to control the symptoms of depression: walking in a natural setting makes the area of the brain associated with depression to experience decreased activity and that can make a depressed person feel better.
So, if you live near woods, drive your spouse to the woods or walk hand-in-hand to the woods and spend time strolling through nature. As your spouse admires the trees, butterflies, birds and so on, he or she may be awed by the beauty of nature and that can inspire hope in your spouse, which will make him or her decide to enjoy life again.
Alternatively, place potted Golden Pothos, Peace Lily, or Arrowhead Vine in your spouse’s bedroom or sitting room and encourage your spouse to interact with these plants often because research shows that these plants can help one deal with depression: let your spouse feel the leaves often, or stand and admire the plants and it will make him or her feel better.
3. Let Your Spouse Express His Or Her Gratitude Often
Research has shown that when a person feels grateful, it can help him or her to feel happier: feeling grateful causes the brain to release chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin which are “feel good” hormones that make one feel happy and satisfied with life.
How can you encourage your spouse to express gratitude? Here are some ways you can help your partner to feel grateful:
- Let your spouse write down 20 ways in which you have showed love to him or her during the week, at the end of every week. Furthermore, remind your spouse of the fact that it is not everyone who is diagnosed with mesothelioma who has a husband or wife to support him or her. It will make your partner appreciate your presence in their life. Consequently, your husband or your wife will see that he or she is privileged and that may influence your spouse to change his or her perspective and look at the positives of the situation instead of focusing on the pain and discomfort associated with the condition. As a result, he or she may choose to walk about with joy in the heart.
- At the end of every day, sit down with your partner and let him or her write down 10 good things that happened in his or her life that day. Let your spouse read the blessings of the day to himself or herself over and over and encourage your spouse to reflect on the fact that despite his or her condition, good things are still happening to him or her. When your partner ruminate on this, he will find it easier to look at the bright side of life.
4. Grow Flowers And Vegetables With Your Spouse
A study which was carried out in Norway revealed that when people do gardening, it helps their mood to improve.
So, grow allamandas, dahlias, marigolds, roses, bougainvilleas, artichokes, beans, egg plants, cauliflowers, celery, cucumbers, or leeks with her in your yard or your backyard.
As your partner focuses on planting an allamanda, watering the roses, or cutting dead bougainvilllea branches, his thoughts will shift from thinking about the disease often, to doing something responsible and that can help to drive negative thoughts from his mind.
Additionally, as the crops and flowers grow and blossom, it will make your spouse feel that he or she has achieved something worthwhile and that can boost your spouse’s self-esteem, which can help to drive away feelings of worthlessness.
5. Exercise With Him Or Her Every Day
Some cancer experts recommend that a mesothelioma patient exercise regularly because it helps to improve mood, among other benefits.
Several studies have shown that when one exercises, stimulates the brain to release a group of chemicals known as endorphins which make one feel happy. When your spouse feels good, he is more likely to feel positive about life and he is more likely to walk around with a smile on his face, or to laugh when you crack a joke.
So, have a discussion with your spouse and make him understand the benefits he will derive if he chooses to exercise every day.
Additionally, let a mesothelioma survivor who shares the same sex as your spouse, and who got depressed when he or she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, but who took up the habit of exercising regularly and has experienced a mood boost, talk to him or her and encourage him or her to adopt that lifestyle too.
The testimony of this man or woman will be more compelling because your spouse will feel that once this person has also gone through what he or she is going through, that person’s word must be credible and if he also starts exercising, he will also benefit.
One kind of exercise you can do with your spouse is aerobic dancing: exercising whilst listening to your favorite music at the same time. The accompanying music will help to lift your spouse’s spirit, as well as make the times of exercise feel less tedious. So, grab your spouse’s hand every morning or evening, turn on the sound system, and relive the early years of your marriage by doing the dance moves you used to do when you first met.
And to motivate your spouse to continue exercising, give him or her an incentive whenever they finish with their weekly regimen of exercise. For example, give him or her a loving massage, give your spouse a $20 or $50 tip, take your husband to watch his favorite soccer team in action, or take your wife to her favorite restaurant and give her a treat.
6. Worship God With Your Spouse Often
When your spouse worships Jehovah with you, it will remind him or her that the Loving Heavenly Father, who has helped him or her in the past, still cares and loves him or her and He will keep him or her. That can help to drive away feelings of worthlessness that may be plaguing your spouse.
Additionally, as your spouse focuses on God instead of himself or herself during worship, it will help your spouse to remember the nature of God: he or she will remember that with God all things are possible, and that can help drive away feelings of hopelessness, and that can make your spouse feel more positive about life.
So, encourage your spouse to worship God by saying something such as this often, “Jehovah, LORD God Almighty, I worship You for You are a great Creator. God, You are holy and righteous. All power, all glory, all honor belongs to You. Creator, You are worthy to be adored by the work of Your hands. You made the stars that shine in the dark night to remind us that when we experience darkness in our lives, You can make a star shine to give us hope. LORD, You created the sun that shines in the morning to remind us that when darkness fall on us, it is not the end of life because the sun will shin the next day: we will experience brightness and happiness in life again. LORD, You healed Hezekiah of his disease and added 14 more years to his life when he fell sick. You healed the sick of diseases in Bible days, and You still heal many of their diseases today. O Great God, Savior, Strong Deliverer, Merciful and Gracious Helper, kind and good God, I worship and praise You today because with You all things are possible. I worship You, LORD, Jehovah-rafai, our Healer because I know You can heal me. Nothing is too hard for You, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient miracle-working God. You do the things that men cannot do. Glory be to Your holy Name.”
When your spouse worships this way often, it will help to inspire hope in your partner and he or she is likely to feel more positive after this spiritual exercise.
When your spouse is diagnosed with mesothelioma and he suffers a depression as a result, reaffirming your love for him, drawing him close to nature, making him express his gratitude for the blessings he enjoys every day, and encouraging him to worship God often can help your spouse to feel better.
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Copyright ©2018 All rights reserved Christian Dating Advice for Men
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the cells that line the lungs which are known as the mesothelial cells. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), between 2,400 and 2,800 people in America are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year.
Research shows that about 1 out of every 4 cancer patients suffer from depression, and this rate is even higher in mesothelioma patients, especially in those with malignant mesothelioma.
Depression can worsen a mesothelioma patient’s health status: it can weaken his immune system and that can increase the chances that the cancer will spread to other organs.
And if the mesothelioma patient is in a romantic relationship, the depression can cause problems. Feelings of sadness about the disease can make you distance yourself emotionally from your partner or your spouse. Consequently, your lover may not enjoy your company and your connection as lovers may weaken and that can weaken the stability of the relationship.
So, what can you do to deal with feelings of depression after a diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer so that you can continue to live healthy, and so that you can continue to be fun, and so that your partner or spouse will continue to enjoy the relationship?
One way to deal with depression when you are diagnosed with mesothelioma is to do exercises every day.
Some oncologists assert that when mesothelioma patients exercise, it can help them to deal with the feelings of sadness that mesothelioma patients experience after a diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Exercise stimulates the brain to release hormones known as endorphins which make one feel good, and which dulls the perception of pain in the body so that one can endure pain better.
Additionally, neuroscientists have found that the region of the brain that regulates mood is small in depressed men and women. Exercise makes the body release proteins known as neurotrophic factors (also known as growth factors). These proteins cause neurons, or nerve cells, to grow and make new connections in the brain and the region of the brain that regulates mood becomes big. Consequently, the brain works better and one feels good about himself or herself.
Lightweight strength training is one exercise that cancer experts assert is safe for mesothelioma patients to do. Accordingly, here is a lightweight strength training exercise you can do regularly to help boost your mood:
- Put a 5-pound dumbbells in each hand.
- Lie supine on a low bench or a low table, with your elbows bent, and with the weights against your chest. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground.
- Inhale deeply and count up to 5.
- Then, raise both dumbbells straight over your body.
- Exhale and count up to 10.
- Then lower both dumbbells to your chest again.
- Inhale deeply again and count up to 5.
- Repeat raising both dumbbells 10 times.
- Then, let the dumbbells rest at your chest again.
- Then, raise the dumbbell in your left hand over your body. Exhale.
- As you lower the dumbbell in your left hand, raise the dumbbell in your right hand until whilst the dumbbell in your right hand is raised high up, the dumbbell in your left hand would be resting on your chest.
- Repeat alternating the raising and lowering of the dumbbells in your hands 10 times.
Do Yoga Often
If your depression is mild or moderate, yoga can help you. Research has shown that yoga can help people to deal with mild or moderate depression: yoga stimulates the brain to release “feel good” hormones into the body and that boosts the mood of the depressed person. Additionally, yoga helps to reduce immune system chemicals that make one feel sad.
Therefore, do yoga poses often. There are many easy poses one can do to help relieve the symptoms of depression. Here is one of them:
- Stand erect with your feet together and your arms by your sides.
- Look straight in front of you. Concentrate on a point in the distance. It may be the wall of your room, a tree in front of you, your wardrobe, or your mirror.
- Breathe in deeply and as you do so, imagine that you are breathing in peace and calmness. Simultaneously, start raising your arms in front of your body and keep raising them until they are both pointing upwards by the sides of your head, with your palms pointing upwards.
- Close your eyes, imagine you are hearing the best news you can ever hear in this world, inhale deeply, and raise your body on your toes.
- Exhale and lower your arms slowly, laterally, until your hands are at shoulder level and your palms are facing forwards.
- As you inhale, lower your feet until they are flat on the ground, and keep your eyes still closed.
- Then, spread your feet about one meter apart.
- Move both arms forward slowly and when they are about 45 degrees from their original position, move your right hand diagonally towards your left shoulder until your right hand grabs your left shoulder.
- Then, slowly move your left arm diagonally toward your right shoulder and let it lie on your resting right arm.
- Breathe in deeply and arch your body forward, and then downward as far as it can go. Count up to 10.
- Raise your torso slowly and as you do, breathe out slowly.
- When you are straight again, inhale deeply, count up to 10, and arch your body backwards as far as it can go.
- Exhale and straighten up slowly again.
- Breathe in, arch forward and downward again, and count to 10.
- Straighten up slowly as you exhale, inhale and count up to 10 when you are straight, and then arch backwards.
- Exhale slowly and then straighten up slowly.
- Repeat arching forward and downward, and arching backward when you straighten up, 20 times.
Boost Your Production Of Serotonin
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or a brain chemical, that sends messages from one part of the brain to other parts.
Neuroscientists assert that when the brain cells produce little amounts of serotonin, or when there are no receptor sites to receive the serotonin that is made in the brain, it makes one feel depressed. In other words, when one can boost his or her production of serotonin, one will feel better.
How can you boost your serotonin production?
- Consume a lot of foods that contain tryptophan because tryptophan is the amino acid that is used to make serotonin in the brain: the cells in the brain that make serotonin combine tryptophan hydroxylase with tryptophan to produce serotonin. Therefore, eating foods rich in tryptophan can help boost serotonin production in the brain. Foods rich in tryptophan include eggs, chicken, rabbit meat, turkey meat, goat meat, duck meat, sardines, mackerel, tuna, beans, anchovies, mushrooms, and snails.
- A study published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience has revealed that changing your thoughts and thinking positively can change chemical reactions in your brain, and the flow of blood through the brain, and that can help you to feel better. One thing you can do to help you do that is to read an inspirational book such as the Bible. For example, read Jeremiah 31 v 20 where God says, “Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? I do remember him still. Therefore, my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the LORD.” It will remind you that though you are going through suffering, God still loves you and He has not forgotten you and He will have mercy on you and be gracious to you so that you can survive the mesothelioma. That will help you to feel happy.
- Expose yourself to bright light, such as sunlight, often. Go outdoors often, take brisk walks in the sun for 30 minutes a day and the levels of serotonin in your brain will increase.
A study carried out by the University College of Dublin has revealed that socializing can help one to deal with depression.
Talking to others can help you to release painful emotions so that you can feel better. Additionally, it will give you a sense of community and help to remind you that there are others with problems in the world and they are bearing their problems with fortitude and so you should also learn to bear your situation. Being reminded that you are not the only person in life facing struggles can give you some sense of relieve which will help you to feel fine.
So, go out and chat with friends or school mates often instead of locking yourself up in your room and crying or grumbling over your situation.
Alternatively, identify other mesothelioma patients in your town and invite them to have dinner with you sometimes so that you can chat about your disease over bowls of rice and encourage each other and give each other mutual support.
Another option you may consider is to join a mesothelioma support group where you will receive resources and other forms of help that will make you feel that you are not alone in this fight. The love and support of the members of the support group will help to give you hope and you will feel better.
To deal with depression when you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, do exercises every day, do yoga every day, boost your levels of serotonin, and spend time around other people and you will feel fine.