NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
6.1 Becoming a “cancer patient”
6.2 Getting enough sleep
6.3 Anxiety and depression
Hearing “you have cancer” is likely to be life-changing.
Some challenges may include managing doctor visits,
figuring out how to care for your kids, missing work, and
feeling a loss of control. Some people try to keep their
life as normal as they can. Others change their life a lot.
However, many cancer survivors will tell you that during
the active treatment period, being a patient is your job.
It’s a job that requires much time and energy. This can be
hard. Accept the support offered to you and reach out for
more help if you need it. Many people are willing to help
You may have already lost some nights of sleep. This
is common. The stress of learning that you have cancer
and deciding a treatment plan takes its toll. You may
lose more sleep while waiting to have treatment and
during recovery. Getting less sleep can affect your mood,
conversations, and ability to do things. If possible, allow
yourself to rest, let people do things for you, and talk with
your doctor about sleep medication. Behavioral sleep
medicine—a type of talk therapy—may also help.
Feelings of anxiety and depression are common among
patients with cancer. You may feel anxious before testing
and while waiting for the results. Likewise, you may have
a passing depression during a hard part of treatment.
Feeling distressed may be a minor problem or it may be
more serious. Serious or not, tell your treatment team so
that you can get help if needed. Help can include support
groups, “talk” therapy, or medication. Some people also
feel better by exercising, talking with loved ones, or
relaxing. Your treatment team has information to