A multiple myeloma diagnosis can be a scary thing, but it doesn’t mean that you should lose hope for an enjoyable future. While there is currently no cure for this rare form of blood cancer, treatment is possible, and there’s no reason you can’t live a fulfilling life with this disease. However, it’s important to realize that achieving the life you want will take some effort on your part. Here are a few tips for understanding how multiple myeloma can affect you and what you can do to work around it.
Protect Yourself from Illness
Multiple myeloma seriously compromises your immune system, which means that recovery from common injuries and illnesses is a much more complicated process, especially when it comes to dealing with infection. Thankfully, there are some ways to prevent exposure to germs or other contaminants. It’s a good idea to carry hand sanitizer when leaving the house, and always be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after any potential contact with germs. During peak flu season, which typically starts around November, it’s also suggested to limit your outings in public places where the disease can spread quickly. Finally, avoid sharing personal items such as glasses or towels with others, especially people who are showing signs of illness themselves.
Create a Diet
Weight loss is a common side effect of multiple myeloma and most other types of cancer, so you’ll want to make sure your diet is providing you with adequate nutrition. The exact specifications will vary from person to person, so it’s always best to consult a dietitian who has experience with your condition before making any changes. However, a multiple myeloma diet will normally involve increasing your intake of calories to offset the weight loss. Additionally, your dietitian will also have advice about dealing with appetite loss due to common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
Don’t Neglect Your Emotional Health
Multiple myeloma and the procedures used to treat it can drain you emotionally, so it’s important that you have a support system to get you through this trying time. Family and friends are a common source of comfort, but you may also find you want to branch out and look for people who know firsthand what you’re going through. In this case, support groups (both on and offline) can prove to be a valuable resource.
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