Caring for a loved one — and caring for yourself
You play an important role as a caregiver for your loved one living with multiple myeloma. Whether it’s emotional support, practical assistance, or simple encouragement, you can make a difference in your loved one’s experience.
It’s also important that you be mindful of your own health and well-being — the better you feel, the better you can take care of your spouse, family member, or friend.
How you can help plan for the journey ahead
As a caregiver for someone living with multiple myeloma, you can actively assist with important everyday tasks:
Help schedule and coordinate infusion appointments
Arrange or provide transportation to appointments
Accompany your loved one to infusion appointments and help take notes and ask questions
Keep a journal to track things like side effects, questions that come up, care instructions, and medical information
Work with your loved one’s care team to ask questions and report any issues or side effects
Help with daily needs like meal preparation, cleaning, and paying the bills
Remember to take care of yourself, too
At times, you may feel overwhelmed or anxious about your role as a caregiver. That’s normal. And that’s why remembering to take time for yourself is an important part of being a caregiver. The better you take care of yourself, the better you can care for your loved one.
Here are some tips to help you take care of yourself:
Stay active. Whether it’s taking a short walk or going for a long run or bike ride, regular physical activity will help keep you feeling good
Take time for yourself. Do something that brings you joy. It could be cooking your favorite meal or listening to a song you love. A little goes a long way
Connect with friends. Meet up with a friend or call, text, and email to stay in touch with the important people in your life
Stay mindful of your own health. Visit your doctor when you need to and set realistic limits on what you can do as a caregiver
- Ask for help when you need it
- Reach out to family and friends for support
- Join a local support group or an online community for those who’ve been touched by cancer. Based on your needs, you may also find additional assistance through the American Cancer Society Resource Search
- See a counselor or mental health professional