Who can help?

Myeloma affects people in different ways. You may not feel as fit as you used to before treatment. You may also find you can’t do all the things you once took for granted. It can take some time to get back into a routine.

Different people are available to help. These include:

  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapists
  • social workers
  • psychologists
  • district nurses
  • palliative care nurses.

If myeloma means that you can’t move around easily, you may need specialist equipment or people to help you in your daily life. Organisations and schemes that can help include:

  • the British Red Cross
  • the Disabled Living Foundation
  • Scope
  • the Blue Badge scheme
  • good neighbour schemes.

Who can help when you have myeloma?

Myeloma affects people in different ways. After treatment, you may not feel as fit as you used to be. You may find you can’t do all the things you once took for granted. If you’ve been in hospital or have had to rest at home for long periods, it can take some time to get back into a routine. Different people are available to help.

  • Physiotherapists in the hospital or the community can teach you muscle-strengthening exercises. If necessary, they can also help you start moving around again safely. You should avoid heavy lifting or any activities that may put a strain on your spine or other bones.
  • Occupational therapists can assess how well you will manage your normal activities. They will come to your home to see if any changes can be made to help you cope more easily.
  • Social workers can offer support and practical advice to you and your family, both in hospital and at home. If you’d like to talk to a social worker, ask your doctor or nurse to arrange this.
  • Psychologists may be able to help if you have anxiety or depression. They can look at ways to help you cope with your situation. They can also help with any relationship problems, or if there’s been a breakdown in communication in your family.
  • District nurses work closely with GPs. They make regular visits to patients and their families at home if needed.

In many areas of the country, there are also specialist nurses called palliative care nurses. They are experienced in assessing and treating symptoms of cancers such as myeloma.

Palliative care nurses are sometimes known as Macmillan nurses. However, many Macmillan professionals are nurses who have specialist knowledge in a particular type of cancer. You may meet them when you’re at a clinic or in hospital. Marie Curie nurses also help with symptom control, and care for people approaching the end of their lives in their own homes. Your GP or hospital specialist nurse can usually arrange a visit by a palliative care nurse.

Our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00 can tell you more about the specialist help that is available and can let you know about services in your area.


Practical support

If myeloma means that you can’t move around easily, you may need specialist equipment or people to help you in your daily life.

  • The British Red Cross has an office in every county. It has volunteers who can help you in many ways. This may be help with shopping, posting letters or changing library books. Volunteers may be able to take you to an appointment at the hospital. The British Red Cross can also lend equipment like wheelchairs and commodes (portable toilets).
  • The Disabled Living Foundation runs an information service. It also has specialist advisers and occupational therapists. They can give advice on aids and specialist equipment, including walking aids and wheelchairs.
  • Scope also gives information and advice to disabled people.
  • If you have mobility (movement) problems, you may find the Blue Badge scheme useful. It provides parking concessions (allowances) for people with mobility problems. It means that you, or someone with you, can park close to where you want to go. For example, you can park next to the entrance of a shop. This will make it easier for you to go out. To apply for a badge, contact your local council. A healthcare professional, welfare rights adviser or social worker can help you apply.
  • Some areas have good neighbour schemes. The schemes organise help for people in the local area. This could be help with shopping, befriending or offering transport. The schemes are usually run by social services or local community organisations. Some are only available to people living alone. Look for ‘council for voluntary service’ or ‘good neighbour schemes‘ in the phone book or online.

Back to Care after treatment

Your care

After your treatment ends you will receive follow-up care from your healthcare team and you may have tests and scans to check your health.

Follow-up for myeloma

You will usually have follow-up appointments at the hospital or with your GP during treatment for myeloma and during remission.