Depending on your culture, personal experiences, and the gravity of the situation, telling people you love about your myeloma diagnosis can be difficult. You are mindful of your children, family, and friends' feelings, and know that by sharing this monumental piece of news, you will be entering a new phase of life that you will never come back from.
There is no "one right way" to tell your loved ones that you have myeloma, but hopefully hearing others' experiences can give you ideas on how to tackle this heavy subject with family and other loved ones, as well as provide some validation to your journey that this is an emotional, mental step that needs to be taken as a part of your myeloma journey.
Tad Chance and Maci O'Grady joined the Newly Diagnosed Myeloma Patients Chapter on March 30th, 2022 to share their experience of processing Tad's diagnosis and then sharing that diagnosis in their own time with people they loved. Feel free to watch the 25-minute video below or read some of the takeaways that we got from their presentation.
6 Steps for Telling Your Family, Friends, and Loved Ones You Have Myeloma
- Allow yourself and your partner to feel scared, sad, angry, or even ask "why us?" Give each other the space to feel those emotions.
- Educate yourself. Take advantage of HealthTree Resources (HealthTree for Multiple Myeloma (Myeloma Crowd), learn about multiple myeloma and work with your doctor to understand your treatment options.
- Come to an acceptance with your myeloma diagnosis. When we are in acceptance, we become more clear and make better decisions. Make decisions from a place of acceptance and understanding.
- Begin sharing with your family. Share as much information as you have about multiple myeloma, your treatment plan, next steps, etc. The more that you can fill in the blanks, the less fear they will have.
- Give your loved ones a space to be scared, sad, or angry. Do not feel you need to bright-side it for them. Just like it was for you, it will be emotional for them too.
- Share with your loved ones how they can best support you. Don't be afraid or too proud to ask them for help, it makes them feel good.
A big thanks to Tad Chance and Maci O'Grady for their genuine experiences and advice. You can connect with them through the Myeloma Coach program. Request them to be your coach on HealthTree Coach for Myeloma (Myeloma Coach) today!
about the author
Audrey is the Editor for the HealthTree Foundation for Multiple Myeloma. She originally joined the HealthTree Foundation in 2020 as the Myeloma Community Program Director. While not knowing much about myeloma initially, she worked hard to educate herself, empathize and learn from others' experiences. She loves this job. Audrey is passionate about serving others, loves learning, and enjoys iced chais from Dutch Bros. She also loves spending time with her supportive husband and energetic three-year-old.