Dealing with multiple myeloma (MM), smoldering myeloma, or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) can create fear and anxiety. Members of MyMyelomaTeam and their loved ones worry about treatments, finances, quality of life, and what will happen with their health.
“I feel really scared on the inside,” one member shared. “Not knowing how long the medications are going to keep working, and not knowing what the future holds. It sometimes seems overwhelming.”
Finding effective ways of managing these concerns can benefit the mental and physical wellbeing of the person with the disease and their support system.
Some members are able to decrease their stress by adopting new attitudes: “I have read that our physical reaction to anxiety is the same as that for excitement,” one member commented. “Hence, when feeling anxious I try and turn it into a feeling of excitement for the possibilities of a positive outcome of stem cell therapy.”
Another member shared, “My mantra is the following: what is not within my control, I have to let go of. I try to literally ‘sweat the big ones’ but that's not always easy.”
Many members turn to faith and prayer when experiencing fear or stress. “When I’m scared, I pray more and ask Him to replace that fear with peace,” one member wrote.
Leaning on family and friends can also help reduce fears about myeloma. One member shared his experience of telling close friends and family: “Once I let it all out, it helped me tremendously. You truly need all the love and support from your family and friends. I have always been the caretaker so it was so hard for me, but I’m glad I shared this with them.”
Support from a mental health professional is another important resource. One member shared: “I am taking anxiety medication to calm me. I have to work hard on lowering my stress. It is very difficult for me.”
On MyMyelomaTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with myeloma, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Dealing with fear and anxiety is one of the most discussed topics.
Here are some conversations about anxiety:
How do you manage stress? Share your experiences on MyMyelomaTeam.com.