How Can Myeloma Patients Cope With Fatigue?
How Can Myeloma Patients Cope With Fatigue? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.
Fatigue can have a big impact on daily life for people with myeloma, so how can this common symptom be managed? Expert Dr. Benjamin Derman shares insights about why fatigue occurs, advice about treatment timing, and recommended adjustments to optimize energy levels.
Dr. Benjamin Derman is a hematologist and oncologist specializing in multiple myeloma at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. Learn more about Dr. Derman.
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Craig sent in this question prior to the program. “My primary side effect is fatigue.” And you just mentioned that. “What advice do you have for planning activities through the day?”
So, this is a very common side effect that we see. In part, it can be from the disease itself. And if that’s the case, it’s going to get better as treatment works. In other cases, it’s due to the treatment itself. And sometimes there are controllable aspects. If it’s a pill, let’s say, where you can control the timing of when you take it. I often tell patients, “Take the drug at night. Because if it makes you tired, at least you’re going to be going to sleep at that point.”
I do think making sure that you have a good night’s sleep is important. I think making sure that you keep your day-night cycles. So, even if you feel fatigued and you’re at home, it’s not good to be having the windows closed and not being exposed to the outdoors at all. You need light during the day. That’s a normal human need. We do the same thing when patients are in the hospital, and it’s very easy to get your day and night cycles messed up.
And the other thing too is planning periods of the day when you know that your activity level is going to be, or your energy level is going to be higher, and planning your activities around those times. I think those are at least some important things that we can do.