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Living with myeloma

Life with a myeloma diagnosis can present many challenges. It is important to take some time to adjust to the physical and emotional changes and establish a daily routine that suits you and the symptoms you’re living with. Your family and friends may also need time to adjust.

Because of the nature of myeloma, treatment may be ongoing, and it may be hard to accept that life won’t return to normal. For others, you may have mixed feelings when treatment ends, and worry that every ache and pain mean the cancer is active.

Cancer Council 13 11 20 can help you connect with other people with a similar diagnosis and provide you with information about managing the emotional and practical impacts.

Whether treatment ends or is ongoing, you will have regular appointments to monitor your health. During these check-ups, you will usually have a physical examination and you may have blood tests, x-rays or scans.

How often you will need to see your doctor will depend on the level of monitoring needed for the type and stage of the myeloma. Between follow-up appointments, let your doctor know immediately of any health problems.

If you have continued feelings of sadness, have trouble getting up in the morning or have lost motivation to do things that previously gave you pleasure, you may be experiencing depression. This is quite common among people who have had cancer.

Talk to your GP, as counselling or medication—even for a short time—may help. Some people are able to get a Medicare rebate for sessions with a psychologist. Ask your doctor if you are eligible. Cancer Council SA operates a free cancer counselling program. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for more information.

For information about coping with depression and anxiety, call Beyond Blue on
1300 22 4636 or visit beyondblue.org.au. For 24-hour crisis support, call Lifeline 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.

This information is reviewed by

This information was written and last reviewed in September 2020 by Cancer Council SA's experienced information team with support from national Cancer Council publications.