In this podcast Dr Norma Jean Murphy, Chartered Senior Clinical and Counselling Psychologist, chats to Maire Treasa about overcoming the overwhelming reactions patients may feel at diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma from shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, loss and for some relief they finally have a diagnosis particularly as many patients may have been unwell for some time.
She explains there is no right way or wrong way to deal with a diagnosis, each person’s experience is unique and each patients journey is personal and individual. Norma Jean explains the importance in processing emotions and coping with adjustment.
She describes how reactions change over time from diagnosis to recovery. She outlines the importance of creating a pause and tuning in to our emotions. She stresses the need for self-care and compassion. She emphasises the benefit of understanding ones emotions as they occur as well as the importance of giving permission to feel those emotions.
She describes how stress and distress levels are on a continuum but are often transient in nature. Throughout the podcast Norma Jean emphasises the importance of recognising and managing stress and distress levels whilst also focussing on ways to alleviate it. She provides excellent advice on self-awareness and self-care in adjusting to life with multiple myeloma.
She emphasises patients are not alone and describes the importance of having support network around you when dealing with the new language a cancer diagnosis brings. Talking with others is important, however Norma Jean acknowledges the difficulties patients may experience in what she describes as the ‘toothpaste moment’ and dealing with other people’s reactions. She stresses therefore the importance of going at your own pace and managing other peoples plans and expectations.
Finally Norma Jean outlines the importance of connecting with others, gaining their support and the availability of specialist supports services nationally.
Multiple Myeloma Ireland: