Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A cancer diagnosis can be shocking and devastating. With time, you'll find ways to cope with the stress and uncertainty of living with cancer. Until you find what works best for you, consider trying to:

  • Learn enough to make decisions about your care. Learn enough about multiple myeloma so that you can participate in making decisions about your treatment and care. Ask your doctor about your treatment options and their side effects.

    You may find additional help gathering information through your local library and online. Start with the National Cancer Institute and the International Myeloma Foundation.

  • Maintain a strong support system. Having a strong support system can help you cope with issues and anxieties that might occur. Your friends and family may be willing to offer support.

    You might also find that support from a formal support group or others coping with cancer may be helpful. Friends you meet in support groups may be willing to share practical advice for coping with cancer and cancer treatment. Support groups are also available online.

  • Set reasonable goals. Having goals helps you feel in control and can give you a sense of purpose. But don't choose goals you can't possibly reach. You may not be able to work a 40-hour week, for example, but you may be able to work at least part time. In fact, many people find that continuing to work during cancer treatment can be helpful in maintaining some normalcy.
  • Take time for yourself. Eating well, relaxing and getting enough rest can help combat the stress and fatigue of cancer. Also, plan ahead for the downtimes when you may need to rest more or limit what you do.
Sep. 11, 2014

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