Questions to ask your medical team about multiple myeloma.
> What stage of myeloma do I have?
> Is the disease affecting my kidneys?
> How do I get a copy of the report from the pathologist?
> What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?
> Will I have more than one kind of treatment? How will my treatment change over time?
> What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
> What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? What can I do to control the side effects?
> What can I do to prepare for treatment?
> Will I need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?
> What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover the cost?
> How will treatment affect my normal activities?
> Would a clinical trial be right for me? Can you help me find one?
> How often should I have checkups?
People with Stage 1 or Smoldering Myeloma
> If I choose watchful waiting, can I change my mind later on?
> Will the cancer be harder to treat later?
> How often will I have checkups?
> Between checkups, what problems should I tell you about?
Before Starting Initial Therapy
> Which drugs will I get? What will the treatment do?
> When will treatment start? When will it end? How often will I have treatments?
> Where will I go for treatment? Will I have to stay in the hospital?
> Will I have side effects during treatment?
> What side effects should I tell you about?
> Can I prevent or treat these side effects?
> Will there be lasting side effects? How long will they last? What can I do about them?
> How often will I need checkups?
Before Receiving Stem Cell Transplantation
> What kind of stem cell transplantation will I have? If I need a donor, how will I find one?
> How long will I be in the hospital? Will I need special care? How will I be protected from germs?
> What care will I need when I leave the hospital?
> How will I know if the treatment is working?
> What are the risks and the side effects?
> What can I do about them?
> What changes in normal activities will be necessary?
> What is my chance of a full recovery? How long will that take?
From "A Patient's Guide to Multiple Myeloma," published in the Winter 2011 issue of CURE. Download the full guide here.