Living With Multiple Myeloma

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Emotional and Physical Coping

Living with multiple myeloma is a difficult journey. Your multiple myeloma may not respond to treatment or may come back after treatment. People living with multiple myeloma often have to cope with the emotional impact as well as physical issues such as fatigue and bone pain. That is why it’s important that you take care of yourself. Finding good resources for support and learning what you can about multiple myeloma may help you take a more active role and make informed decisions about your treatment and your disease.

 

Emotional Coping

How You Are Feeling Matters

Depending on where you are in your treatment journey, you may have different feelings about your multiple myeloma. Your feelings may change over time. You may feel anxious, afraid, uncertain, angry, or depressed. It is normal to have some or all of these feelings. Each person will handle them in a different way.

There are many things that may help you cope with your emotions:
  • Talk about your feelings. It’s OK to experience them
  • Ask for support from family, friends, and others. Having someone who will listen can be very helpful
  • Seek help through counseling and support groups
  • Find other ways to express your feelings, such as music, painting, or writing
  • Try deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation exercises
  • Pay attention to your physical needs for rest and nutrition
 

Physical Coping

The Importance of Nutrition

Getting proper nutrition through a well-balanced diet is very important for people living with multiple myeloma. A nutritious diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, or beans, is recommended. Try to limit your use of cream-based sauces, dressings, and dips, and try to avoid refined carbohydrates, such as pastries and sweetened breakfast cerals.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.

Being Active Is Important

Exercising regularly can help reduce stress and relieve fatigue. Talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program. Set goals to slowly increase your activity level. You may want to take a walk, do yoga, or try range-of-motion exercises to help reduce tiredness, relieve stress, and improve your sense of well-being.

 

Caregiver Information

As a caregiver, you play an important role during the treatment journey by providing encouragement and support.