What does your
plan look like?
Track your multiple myeloma journey
Being open and transparent with your care team makes it easier to find solutions that are best suited for you. Your healthcare team has the medical knowledge, but you are the expert on how your body is feeling—so be sure to let them know. The more details you provide your doctor, the better you'll be able to develop a plan and progress with treatment.
It takes preparation to succeed. Here are some suggestions for making sure you have a multiple myeloma (MM) plan you can stick to:
Schedule routine healthcare visits
When you don’t feel sick, going to the doctor may not be a top priority; especially if you don’t have a regular doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, your insurance provider, a local hospital, or a clinic can help you find one. You can also ask friends and family for recommendations.
Prepare for your visit
If you don’t see a doctor regularly, keeping track of your past medical history and the medicines you take can help provide your doctor with a clearer picture of your health. Your doctor may use this information to order certain tests to check your health.
If we have risk factors or symptoms, going to our doctor for our annual blood work and looking for increased calcium levels, increased protein levels, or anemia is the first step to staying healthy and catching MM early.
Make a plan with your doctor
Regardless of the type of doctor you see, you should let them know about your healthcare goals and create a plan that can help you accomplish them. It’s helpful if your plan maps out:
- The goal of your care
- What medicines you’ll take and how they might affect your body
- When and how to take your medicine
- How often you’ll need to see your doctor
- Expectations about how your life and those around you might be impacted
- Who you should reach out to with questions or for help
Keep track as you put your plan into action
Keeping a record of what happens in between your doctors' appointments can be a lot easier than trying to remember everything the next time you visit. Pay attention and make note of:
- Any symptoms or changes you notice—even the smallest thing can be important
- Your medicine schedule, if you miss a dose, and when you need to refill your prescription
- How you feel, including your good days and bad days, and any reasons why you felt that way
- Any goals you achieve, and make sure to celebrate every win
Follow up to make sure you get the care you need and deserve
When you leave the doctor’s office, it’s always a good idea to schedule your next appointment in advance. And if you are expecting a call from your care team to discuss lab results, confirm the time, date, and call-back number.
Another part of advocating for yourself is having a conversation with your provider and being a part of that discussion about what treatment options will work best for you and your lifestyle.
— Ellen Dillard
In consideration of the time spent participating in this activity, Ellen Dillard was paid an honorarium by Janssen.