Diagnosed with Mesothelioma: Advice from Mesothelioma Patients on How to Cope

It is natural to feel powerless when you are first diagnosed with mesothelioma. You may even think there is nothing you can do for yourself – that the doctors, nurses and hospitals are the only ones who can help. The truth is there are many courses of action both you and your family can take to start coping with mesothelioma and fighting the cancer.

In the video below, Simmons Hanly Conroy clients Brenda, Ernie and Mary Jane – all mesothelioma patients – share two important steps they took to start helping themselves cope with mesothelioma. Watch the video or keep reading to learn about what you and your family can start doing to fight your own battle.

First, and foremost, Brenda and Mary Jane said it was important to get the right information about their particular type of mesothelioma and how it should best be treated. They encouraged other patients to become better informed about their type of mesothelioma cancer and available treatments because that will help to find the right doctors and, ultimately, the right treatment plan.

At first, doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Mary Jane, even though it felt like her insides were glued. For her, the lesson was if you’re not happy with the doctor, then you go to someone else until they find out what it is. Most general practitioners don’t have experience with mesothelioma, she said, so they don’t know what to look for.

Second, Brenda and Ernie emphasized the importance of staying positive. They agreed that having negative feelings can be very draining for you, your family and your friends.

“A lot of my positivity comes from family and it comes from praying an awful lot and keeping yourself busy with life itself. Not the depressing,” Brenda said. “That way I stay positive and I don’t think about meso back here.”

Hear more patient advice from those who have already lived it:

Find more information for mesothelioma patients in the Mesothelioma Facts and Information section of our website. There you can Read More about the types of mesothelioma, diagnosis, progression and treatment options.


Learn More About the Patients’ Battles with Mesothelioma


A St. Louis area resident, Brenda became a client of Simmons Hanly Conroy after being diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. Brenda had never heard of peritoneal mesothelioma before her diagnosis. After a period of shock and devastation, she began to research asbestos cancer and resolved to face her disease head on. She fought against the cancer for 6 years before passing away in 2010, years longer than her original prognosis. We remember her courageous spirit and warm disposition and were honored to help her and her family during this difficult time in their lives.


Ernie experienced symptoms for nearly eight years before being diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2002. After fighting the disease with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, Ernie passed away in 2009. We remember him for his wonderfully positive attitude during difficult times.

Mary Jane

In 2003, Simmons Hanly Conroy client Mary Jane was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. She believes her decisions to find the right mesothelioma doctor and to keep a positive attitude both played important roles in fighting mesothelioma – a battle she has been winning for the past 13 years and counting. Today, Mary Jane has made helping other mesothelioma patients her life’s mission. We are proud to have her on our side.

Read More mesothelioma client stories.

Simmons Support Team
Simmons Hanly ConroyWritten by:

Editorial Team

The Simmons Hanly Conroy Editorial Team consists of journalists, writers and editors who strive to deliver accurate and useful information to families needing legal help. Our team works alongside the firm's attorneys and shareholders, as well as with medical professionals and other specialists, to keep all information relevant and helpful.