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.