Multiple Myeloma: Preparing For Your First Appointment
If you’ve been diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM), or if your current care provider thinks you should be tested for it, you’ll likely be referred to either a hematologist or an oncologist. But, before you make that phone call to schedule your follow up, it never hurts to come prepared. Here are a few pointers to help you get ready for that first appointment.
Keep a detailed diary of your symptoms.
It’s important to keep track of any signs and symptoms you may be experiencing as it gives your doctor greater insight into what’s been going on. You’ll also want to write down how long you’ve been experiencing these symptoms and whether they’ve changed over time. Some specific symptoms you should look out for? Bone pain, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue, just to name a few.
Inform your doctor if you have any other medical conditions.
More than likely, your doctor will ask if you’ve been diagnosed with any other medical conditions, more specifically plasma disorders, such as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). But, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with MGUS, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions that you have.
Make a list of the medications you’re currently taking.
Be sure to include everything. This means prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies.
Bring a family member or close friend along.
Having someone tag along with you is a great idea because he or she can help you remember the information that was provided during the appointment. Also? It’s just great to have support from someone you love so the appointment is less intimidating.
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Prepare a list of questions to ask your doctor.
It’s always a smart idea to bring along a list of questions to ask your doctor so that nothing slips your mind during the appointment. Questions you might want to ask? “What causes multiple myeloma?” “What tests do I need?” “Is there anything specific I should be doing now?” “What are my treatment options?”
Reviewed by: Dr. Melvin Gaskins