Getting Over Grief: Understanding its Stages and How to Heal

Do you know all the causes of grief?  Death is a major cause of grief, but there are others.

Losses such as health, career, status, role, divorce, and financial loss cause many people grief.

Want to learn more?

Jane Newton, Community Educator from CNV Detox has sent information  on their guide “Getting Over Grief: Understanding its Stages and How to Heal” to help educate the public and  make learning about grief simple.

The bottom line is that most people don’t think much about grief until it hits them, even though grief affects almost everyone.

Here’s the link to this resource: http://www.cnvdetox.com/understanding-grief/

Do Not Be Too Comfortable In Your Comfort Zone!

Freedom

Everyone has a comfort zone, one which we very often prefer not to step outside of because it makes us feel… well uncomfortable (of course). But what if we stay there all the time? Do we develop? Do we grow as individuals?

How Comfort Zones Stifle Success

Have you ever entered a room full of people you didn’t know and your first thought was to turn around and leave?  At a meeting, have you been asked at the last minute to get up and thank the speaker?  These are examples of what many consider as being outside their comfort zone.So, what is a comfort zone & what’s wrong with living in one?

Roy T. Bennett put it like this,

The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

ComfortZone
It seems that psychologically, we’re programmed to seek comfort, but unfortunately comfort isn’t really the best thing for us if we want to have success.

Their comfort zone is the state which highly successful people try their best to avoid; they are constantly trying out new ideas to see what works out and what doesn’t. When their plans don’t work out as expected, they use these experiences as learning opportunities to progress closer to their goals.

So, when you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, take some deep breathes and calm your mind. Don’t freak out but look at this as a new opportunity in front of you, a new action to take, that just like any other action, requires a process that happens one step at a time. Look on that first step as a gift, a chance to try some small thing that might lead to a great journey that you’d miss if you don’t take that first step!

Yes, starting something new is usually scary and it might bring about doubt. That’s normal. Change will cause a lack of ease because it’s unfamiliar territory, nonetheless, the unfamiliar can become familiar once we embrace it. So how can you embrace jumping out of your comfort zone?

You can start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What do you really want in life, what is your dream?
  • Why do you want it?
  • Are your current actions helping you move towards that dream?
  • What can you change so that you are working towards it?
  • Do you want your dream enough to make those changes even if they are not comfortable?

By now you know what you need to do, so do you feel ready? If you answered yes to that, now is the time to implements those changes, the ones that can launch you into success.

break freeIf you want to experience the freedom of being a complete action taker who is willing to do anything, regardless of how scary it may be, you have to find something of major significance to drive you. I promise you that having a fluffy goal with no emotional backing (for example, a certain amount of yearly income) is not a driving force, it is more of a nice-to-have.

The driving force I am talking about is something much more personal, much more sacred to the individual. It is a representation of you, your beliefs, your morals, values and everything else that defines you at the core of your being.

Think Olympic champions (and hopefuls) who make huge sacrifices just to compete at this high level. Without having a driving force inside them, how would they commit to the years of dedicated & often painful training that is needed, putting aside the social life & friendships that others take for granted?

Very few people ever take time to define this for themselves, so they never truly tap into their driving force. That is why we see so many people living complacent lives, accepting mediocrity and frustration instead of aggressively pursuing something that makes them come alive. Because of this, it never occurs to them that they should be stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things.

 

Guide for Managing Aging Parent’s Finances

The Young Adult’s Guide to Managing an Aging Parent’s Money

Thanks to Brigid Ludwig for pointing me to a new guide on helping parents manage their money as they get older. It covers important discussion topics and warning signs that they may need help, as well as how to become their power of attorney and keep track of their important financial documents.

The guide also has advice on

Use this guide to organize you and your parents’ financial journeys and get ahead of any potential issues before they arise.

Mesothelioma Surgery for Elderly Patients

nurse-reading-to-elderly-patient

Age Is Just a Number: Mesothelioma Surgery for Elderly Patients

Guest Posy by: Devin Golden on Mar 5, 2020

In almost any explanation of mesothelioma treatment options, there is a clause. The routes available depends on numerous factors, one of which is age. This clause — that age, among other factors, could limit treatment — is usually specific to just one option: surgery.

A study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology suggests that age might be the most often-used factor when determining if a patient is eligible for mesothelioma surgery.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer for which there are already limited treatments. Removing the most effective one just because of a person’s age? We at Mesothelioma Guide hope surgeons and doctors consider far more than just that number.

In Review: Mesothelioma Treatment for Elderly Patients

Elderly couple holding handsThe study involved examining the National Cancer Database for all patients at least 80 years old with recently diagnosed nonmetastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma. In other words, the patients’ disease is in its early stages and hasn’t spread to vital organs — but it could, and likely will, if untreated.

The researchers found 4,526 patients who met the criteria and looked into the treatment approach used for each. According to the study’s results, which was published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

  • Just 2% of the patients had surgery (likely pleurectomy with decortication) plus chemotherapy
  • Around 13% had just surgery
  • 22% had only chemotherapy
  • 63% were “observed,” meaning they didn’t receive any curative treatment

The average age of pleural mesothelioma patients is 72 — the disease is more likely to impact the elderly than many other forms of cancer — and restricting these patients to chemotherapy or nothing is usually an early death sentence. The median survival times were:

  • 4.1 months for those observed
  • 9.5 months for those receiving just chemotherapy
  • 12.2 months for those undergoing surgery and chemotherapy

By comparison, the figures for pleural mesothelioma patients under 80 years old were:

  • 17% only underwent surgery or had surgery and chemotherapy (median survival of 17.7 months)
  • 47% had just chemotherapy (median survival of 12.2 months)
  • 36% were just observed (median survival of 6.6 months)

More to the Story for Mesothelioma Treatment

The argument against elderly patients having surgery — or even chemotherapy — is that their bodies may not be strong enough. Other complications may arise due to surgery. However, not every 81- or 82-year-old patient has the same health. One may have poor nutrition or other health concerns. Another could be a former marathon runner who eats healthy and exercises regularly.

While the study says the 90-day mortality rate for those having mesothelioma surgery was 28.5%, this figure does not consider the quality of patient selection. As author Justin Karush says on the Society of Surgical Oncology website, “When selecting patients with mesothelioma for surgery, it is paramount to consider the ability to offer adjuvant treatment.”

Additionally, a survival time enhanced by 200% — the difference, according to the study, between no curative treatment and surgery plus chemotherapy — could be enough reward to take the risk.

Quality of Life Due to Surgery

Pensive elderly manFor people with peritoneal mesothelioma, the benefits of surgery are just as great — if not greater. A study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology reviewed the quality of life in 46 patients who underwent cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). The median survival of these patients was 3.4 years, and 36.5% lived for at least five years.

By comparison, only 18% of peritoneal patients in general live for at least five years, and the life expectancy of elderly patients with this disease is at most two years. While there are similar risks associated with elderly patients undergoing cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC, the increased survival time is relevant.

So is the increased quality of life. The study suggests that patients who underwent surgery experienced improved emotional well-being and social functioning, fewer emotional issues and less pain. The study concluded, “(Quality of life) returned to baseline or improved from baseline between three months and one year following surgery. Despite the risks associated with this operation, patients may tolerate HIPEC well and have good overall (quality of life) postoperatively.”

Unfortunately, many elderly mesothelioma patients will never get the chance to enjoy that improved quality of life since the general assumption is they should stay away from the operating room. That’s a discouraging one in the medical industry, and one we at Mesothelioma Guide hope changes going forward.

Note to Mesothelioma Patients and Their Loved Ones

If you’re a newly diagnosed mesothelioma patient, we are on your side and will do anything possible to help you through this difficult time. Most importantly, we can help you find the best treatment available.

Our patient advocate and registered nurse, Jenna Campagna, is the No. 1 resource for learning more about mesothelioma. She also can refer you to a mesothelioma specialist with a track record of success in helping patients live long past the average prognosis. Email her jenna@mesotheliomaguide.com to begin your path to recovery.

 

Devin-Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is the content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin’s objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.