Finding out that multiple myeloma has come back again may be particularly stressful for patients. They might not know how to talk about it, and it may be hard to know exactly what kind of emotional support they need.
Tips for providing emotional support include:
- Ask your loved one how he or she is feeling so you can share this with the treatment team
- Be understanding when he or she is no longer able to do something
- Provide encouragement and be there to listen
- Make sure your loved one knows how important he or she is to you
- Let him or her set the tone and topic of conversation when talking about multiple myeloma
Balancing doctor appointments, dosing schedules, and household responsibilities can feel like a full time job. If you are able to do so, make the most of your time with the doctor or nurse by coming prepared.
Things you should bring to the doctor's office include:
- Contact information for all physicians, specialists, and therapists
- Insurance information and any financial issues
- List of allergies
- Notes on how the patient is feeling or changes in how they feel
- Schedules of other appointments
- List of other medicines, dosing schedules, and side effects
- List of questions
Tips for supporting your loved one:
- Stay informed to have more effective conversations about his or her health, and go with him or her to doctor visits, if possible
- Make sure that your friend or family member takes the doctor-recommended dose on schedule as prescribed
- Keeping a detailed notebook, planner, or calendar can help you and the person you’re caring for keep track of doctor visits, changes in his or her health, and dosing of medications
- Understand important side effects so you know when to reach out for medical support and help your loved one have the best experience on therapy
As a caregiver, you may be involved in someone’s medical care. It’s important to work together with the treatment team. Some questions you may want to ask about the practice are:
- When is the office open?
- Who would I contact after office hours or if there is an emergency?
- When and how is the best time to contact the office?
- Who can I go to with questions when the doctor is not around?
You may have specific questions for the treatment team at any point in a patient’s journey. It’s important that you feel confident reaching out when you need information. Some points that you might want to know more about are:
- The patient's diagnosis
- A change in the patient's health
- A concern about a new symptom
- A new medication or changing medication
- Possible side effects
- The results of lab tests