A multiple myeloma diagnosis can be overwhelming. If your loved one has multiple myeloma, they’ll need encouragement and positive energy. You may feel helpless in the face of this, but your love and support can play a pivotal role in their recovery.
Here are a few tips to help a loved one manage and cope with multiple myeloma.
Your loved one has a lot on their plate, so they’ll appreciate any support you can offer. Managing treatment for multiple myeloma can be stressful. If you learn about their condition and treatment, it can be easier to empathize with them and understand their recovery process.
To educate yourself, consider asking to accompany your loved one to doctor’s appointments.
This gives you an opportunity to learn about treatment options directly from their doctor. In addition, their doctor may provide diet recommendations and other specific instructions.
You can also ask the doctor questions to help you understand your loved one’s outlook.
Your presence at appointments is helpful because your loved one may not remember every bit of information that their doctor shares. Offer to take notes for them to refer back to after the appointment.
Various treatments are available for multiple myeloma.
Some people with multiple myeloma choose medication, surgery, or radiation to achieve remission. Others with progressive multiple myeloma may choose not to treat the disease. Instead, they treat the symptoms.
You may not agree with your loved one’s decision regarding treatment. However, they have to make a decision based on what they feel is right for their body and health.
If your loved one asks for help in choosing the right treatment, there’s nothing wrong with sitting down with them and weighing the pros and cons. Just remember that it’s ultimately their decision.
Organizing a care plan may be difficult for someone who’s dealing with the side effects of treatment. If possible, consider stepping in and lending a helping hand.
Here are a few things you can do to help:
- Create a schedule of their doctor’s appointments.
- Develop a schedule for taking medication.
- Call in prescription refills or pick up their prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Multiple myeloma can take a physical and emotional toll on your loved one. Your family member or friend may need daily support.
In addition to driving them to doctor’s appointments, other things you can offer to do include:
- running errands
- cooking meals
- cleaning their home
- babysitting their children
- taking care of their pets
- assisting with personal care, such as dressing and feeding
Sometimes, people with multiple myeloma just want to talk and express how they feel. Even though you may also feel scared, it’s important to provide a listening ear and offer encouragement.
Being able to talk or cry freely about their diagnosis may help them feel better. If they know they can confide in you, they’re less likely to keep their feelings bottled up.
Treating multiple myeloma can create a financial burden. Resources are available for financial assistance, but your loved one may have too much on their plate to do the proper research.
Speak with social workers, caseworkers, or private organizations on their behalf to discuss eligibility, or ask their doctor about local or statewide resources.
Consider support groups, whether in-person or online. It may be beneficial for them to connect with people living with the same condition. This way, they don’t feel alone. Speaking with a counselor may help as well.
Eventually, your loved one’s cancer may go into remission. This doesn’t mean that you need to stop providing help and support. It may take a while for them to regain full strength and resume their typical activities. Your assistance might be needed for some time.
Once they’ve completed treatment, they may need to make a few lifestyle changes to improve their long-term outlook and reduce the likelihood of a relapse.
For example, making some dietary improvements and keeping an active lifestyle can help strengthen their immune system.
Offer assistance by helping them find recipes and prepare healthy meals. Support and encourage them as they begin a new exercise routine. Join them on walks or go to the gym together.
Even without medical training or experience as a caregiver, it’s possible to assist a loved one undergoing multiple myeloma treatment.
Treatment can be short term or long term. Sometimes it may be too much for your family member or friend to handle.
However, with your love and support, it’ll be easier for them to cope and remain positive throughout treatment.