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Living with Myeloma

"You have multiple myeloma." With just four words, the lives of both patients and the people who care about them can be changed in many ways.

Being diagnosed with cancer is overwhelming for most people. And it can be particularly confusing when it's a type of cancer few people know about.

It's important for patients with myeloma, as well as for their families and caregivers, to receive the information and support they need to deal with the diagnosis and its emotional fallout.

If you have been diagnosed with myeloma, or if you know someone who has, you undoubtedly have many questions and concerns. This section addresses some of these concerns and explores ways you can get the support you need, to:

  • Help you understand more about myeloma and its impact on your life.
  • Help you manage the issues you may face.
  • Help you and your family cope with the effects of myeloma.

At times, multiple myeloma patients and their loved ones may feel scared, angry, frustrated and/or depressed. These are normal (and completely understandable) reactions when faced with a serious health problem.

Most people find they can handle their problems better if they can share their thoughts and feelings with others. This emotional sharing can help draw people closer and make everyone feel more comfortable expressing their concern and offering their support.        

You are not alone. And you can help others by sharing your story. 

Although you may not personally know other myeloma patients, or other people whose loved ones are living with myeloma, your story has the power to touch them in ways you may never know.

We would like to hear from you about how you've learned to live with your diagnosis and how you're overcoming the challenges of multiple myeloma, so we can share your experience with others.

Please send your stories, coping tips and insights on how myeloma has impacted you, your family and/or your friends, along with your permission to publish your comments to: [email protected]

On behalf of all the people with whom your story will resonate, and who will feel less alone as a result of your willingness to share it... thank you!

Testimonial from a patient's friend

I would like to start by sharing a story of my friend, who was diagnosed seven years ago. I cannot give you all the details of his treatment, but I do know that he has been involved in clinical trials and underwent a stem-cell transplant 5 years ago.

"However, what I can tell you is that he has been at the forefront of knowing and sharing current information about multiple myeloma. He has spent countless hours dedicating himself to Myeloma Canada: organizing conferences for patients, caregivers and medical professionals; writing, editing and publishing the first Canadian Patient Handbook; leading support groups and leader workshops; providing telephone support to others; and too many other things to mention.

"I guess I am sharing this story because I want patients, family and friends to know that there have been many advances in the treatment of myeloma that allow those diagnosed to live a full and productive life. There are good days and there are bad days. However there is no limit to the good work that he has done – and continues to do – for the Canadian myeloma community.

Elisabeth, friend