• Establish strong relationships with your care team.
• Prioritize self-care activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
• Educate yourself on the latest treatments and lifestyle changes to help improve outcomes.
• Find support through family, friends, or cancer-focused support groups.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. It affects an estimated 35,730 people in the United States this year alone, and treatment can be challenging and emotionally draining. If you are one of the many who are facing treatment for multiple myeloma, here are five ways to help you cope:
Keep Up With Your Care Team
Your care team plays a huge role in your overall health, so it’s important to establish strong relationships with them. Make sure you keep up with your appointments, communicate openly about any issues or changes in your health, and ask questions if you don’t understand something they are saying. Knowing the specifics of your treatment plan will help you feel more confident in navigating it. Here are the professionals that should be part of your care team:
Your oncologist will be the one to oversee your care and treatment plan. They can answer questions about your cancer type, available treatments, and expected side effects. Additionally, they can help you develop a plan of care to increase the effectiveness of your treatment.
Your nurse will be one of the main people who will provide hands-on care during your stay in the hospital or clinic. They can answer any questions about your medical condition and provide emotional support. Find out what type of nursing services are available in the hospital or clinic, and take advantage of them.
A social worker can help you understand your treatment options, provide information about community resources and financial assistance programs, and support you through difficult decisions. Additionally, they can provide emotional counseling if the stress of your diagnosis is too overwhelming.
A hematologist can advise on any issues about blood cells or marrow abnormalities that may arise due to treatment. They will also be able to tell you about any potential risks associated with specific treatments.
A dietitian can help you plan a nutritious meal plan that will help ensure your body is getting the daily nutrients it needs during treatment. They can also provide advice and tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including exercise and stress-management techniques.
Multiple myeloma treatments can take a toll on your body and mind. It can cause physical symptoms such as fatigue and pain and mental health issues like anxiety or depression. It’s important to prioritize self-care during this time by doing activities that promote relaxation and help you manage your stress levels. Here are a few tips:
Get Plenty of Sleep
Multiple myeloma can cause sleep disturbances, exacerbating physical and mental symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you sleep and practice good sleep hygiene. This includes avoiding stimulants like caffeine late in the day and getting into a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.
Eat Healthy Meals
Medications for multiple myeloma can cause nausea and vomiting, so eating a diet low in fat is important. Avoid foods that are spicy or fried, as well as those with strong odors. Instead, choose bland foods at room temperature, such as crackers, toast, potatoes, and rice.
Multiple myeloma is a complex disease, so understanding what it entails will make it easier to manage its effects on your life. Take some time to read up on the latest treatments available and different lifestyle habits that can help improve outcomes, such as exercise and nutrition. Knowing more about multiple myeloma will help you make informed decisions about your care.
You can also look into survey panels for multiple myeloma, which can provide valuable insight into how others are facing and coping with this diagnosis. This can help you understand the full scope of what you’re dealing with and gain support from those who share similar experiences. Knowing your condition can help you manage your symptoms and make more informed decisions regarding your care.
Having someone there who understands what you’re going through can make all the difference when managing multiple myeloma treatment. Whether it’s family members, friends, or support groups specifically designed for cancer patients, it is invaluable to have people who can listen and provide emotional support during this difficult time.
It may be helpful to talk to a therapist or join a support group to understand how other people have managed multiple myeloma treatments. Sharing your experiences and feelings with others can help you feel less isolated.
Multiple myeloma treatment can be emotionally draining, but there are ways to cope. Hopefully, these tips will help you manage the challenges of multiple myeloma treatment to give you the strength and courage to face whatever comes next. With a strong care team, self-care habits, and support from loved ones, you can make it through this journey with grace and resilience.