Multiple Myeloma And Emotional Health

A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event. It affects not only your physical health, but your emotional health as well. Your emotional well-being needs just as much attention as your physical health after treatment. While everyone’s recovery process is unique, this article outlines some tips for enhancing your post-diagnosis emotional health.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle for Emotional Health

Eat well, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep: these are the three keys to improving your physical health and your emotional welfare. Studies show that these three practices can:

  • Alleviate anxiety and depression
  • Boost your energy level
  • Improve your overall sense of well-being.

Don’t expect to feel upbeat all the time. You’ll have good days and bad days. If, however, you experience low moods that last for two or more weeks, discuss them with your doctor. According to the American Cancer Society (2009), one in four people with cancer develops major depression. Although depression can sap the energy you need to heal your body, it is a highly treatable illness.

Evaluate Your Priorities after Multiple Myeloma Treatment

After cancer treatment, many people take the opportunity to reevaluate their priorities and decide what’s most important to them. Perhaps you’d like to spend more time with your family, take up a new hobby or become a multiple myeloma support advocate. Try to take life one day at a time and pursue those things that give your life meaning.

Multiple Myeloma and Emotional Health: Minimize Stress

One of the biggest challenges for cancer survivors is the return to a normal life. You’re faced with many questions. Should I return to work? Which everyday activities should I resume? Should I ask for help with errands and chores?

During treatment, you probably put all your family, financial and work problems on hold. Now that your treatment is over, you’re probably beginning to feel overwhelmed by these issues as they resurface. You don’t have to fix every problem at once, though. Try to set priorities and handle one issue at a time.

As you begin to establish a new daily routine, make time for the people and activities you’ve determined to be the most meaningful to you. Take time to relax and set reasonable goals for getting all your necessary tasks done. Don’t be discouraged if you’re having trouble doing something you think you should be able to do. If, for example, a 40-hour work week is too much for you, cut back on your hours.

Cancer and Spirituality

Cancer changes many people’s view of life and the world around them. They take time to reflect on the meaning of life, their purpose in life and their connection to a higher power. Some find hope and meaning in a spiritual connection they never had before.

Multiple Myeloma Support

You don’t have to deal with all these new adjustments by yourself. You can seek support from a counselor, your pastor or your family and friends. You might also join a multiple myeloma support group to enjoy the comfort and encouragement of connecting with other multiple myeloma survivors.

Resources

American Cancer Society. (2009). How do I cope? Retrieved October 15, 2010, from http://www.cancer.org/treatment/understandingyourdiagnosis/afterdiagnosis/after-diagnosis-how-do-i-cope

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Staff. (2006). Understanding depression. Retrieved October 15, 2010, from http://www.camh.net/About_Addiction_Mental_Health/Mental_Health_ Information/Depressive_Illness/depressive_ill_understanding.html

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2009). Cancer survivors: Managing your emotions after cancer treatment. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-survivor/CA00071

National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Facing forward: Life after cancer. Retrieved October 13, 2010, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/life-after-treatment

Finding comfort in spirituality. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.nccn.com/life-with-cancer/188-cancer-and-spirituality.html