Myelom-Gruppe Rhein-Main

Last modified: 12 January 2013

Patient and Family Support

The diagnosis "I have cancer!" often comes as a shock to patients as well as their family members and friends. However, a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. Even though there is no cure for multiple myeloma, it can be treated successfully. Treatment options are being constantly improved and expanded and this means that the patients' chances of survival are continuously increasing. Many people have learned to live full lives while living with cancer.

People often feel overwhelmed and alone when confronted with a cancer diagnosis. The first step towards overcoming this isolation is to talk about your disease to your family or somebody who is close to you. This may be difficult for both you and the person you talk to. However, you can influence the situation in a positive way by signalling that you are ready to accept help from others while ensuring that you will not become over-dependent.

Be well informed and organise help

In order to cope more effectively with the cancer diagnosis, it is also important to be well informed and organise help whenever necessary. Even though there may be only a few patient organizations specialising in multiple myeloma, many cancer organisations provide helpful information and services for patients and families before, during and after cancer treatment. The Internet also provides a wealth of useful information but it is important to view it critically. There is also a list of links to patient organizations on this website.

Should you or one of your family members wish to exchange information with other people confronted with the disease and join a self help group but have found that there is no such group in the area, contact your local cancer organization, health authority or insurance and ask for advice. Also consider joining a group about a similar cancer type. If there are no self help groups near where you live you may wish to set up such a group yourself. Sometimes talking to a pastor or psychotherapist can also help you to better cope with the situation.

If you feel that your present situation does not allow for you to openly speak about your disease with others, try to speak about it to someone in your family circle or to a friend you can trust. Talk about your situation and also make a list of questions that you would like to discuss with your doctor. Don't forget this list when you go to see you doctor and also consider asking the person you trust to come with you and support you when you meet the doctor - four ears can often hear more than two.