September is Blood Cancer Awareness month. It is a great time to spread awareness about blood cancers including multiple myeloma. Many individuals have never even heard of myeloma until it came knocking at their door and they were diagnosed.
The American Cancer Institute estimates in 2020 there will be approximately 32,000 individuals diagnosed with myeloma. Each of these newly diagnosed individuals will have their life turned upside down, have to make critical decisions quickly and will benefit from seeing a myeloma specialist. If you are newly diagnosed with myeloma following these six steps can help reduce your anxiety and allow you to take meaningful action.
The impact of myeloma is huge and reaches beyond the individual receiving the life altering diagnosis. It has a direct, deep and life altering impact on those who will step up to help care for their loved one as they battle myeloma. Caregiving is no small task and often comes on top of other life roles and responsibilities (parenting, professional commitments, etc.). It can become a very lonely and overwhelming task. As individuals take on caregiving responsibilities it is essential that they care for themselves while also caring for those they love.
Education and resources are available for caregivers offering ways to cope with this new role. As a caregiver it is essential to take care of yourself by finding and establishing your own individual support. The Myeloma Crowd offers specific, one on one support to caregivers through our Myeloma Coach program. All of our Coaches are either a myeloma patient or caregiver willing to share their experience with other patients and caregivers.
Two program participants recently shared,
"Thanks for your help! Was feeling very isolated!…..Sharing our stories definitely lightens the burden.”
I am no longer in a state of anxiety: I am learning how to be an advocate, what questions to ask, etc....Fabulous program, awesome staff!!
Talking to someone who can relate to what you are going through can make all the difference. The Myeloma Coach community is filled with caring individuals willing to share what they have learned to help others.
Our goal is to not only support the 32,000 individuals diagnosed with myeloma in 2020 but also the 32,000 individuals who will be helping care for and support those individuals.
If you are caring for a loved one with myeloma you do not have to do it alone. Visit our website www.myelomacoach.org to find a Coach today.
about the author
Rozalynn Hite is the Myeloma Coach Director and wife of myeloma patient Richard Hite. Rozalynn is an occupational therapist and mother of three beautiful children.