You're getting ready to begin your first big race. You've prepared very well--you've studied your route inside and out, your bike visited the shop for last minute tune-ups, you have plenty of water and a few snacks for needed energy, and you've trained with the best of the best.
You begin your race with great confidence. The first few miles are a breeze, and you're thanking yourself for investing in an experienced and proper coach throughout training. You press on, keeping yourself hydrated and energized.
Then, you start to hit a lull. You knew this was coming from mapping out the route. It's a significant incline for a mile... two miles... three miles... it has to level out soon, right?
As far as you can see in the distance, the route just looks harder. Did you forget to map this part of the race? You've had it, you need a break. You slowly start to decline your speed and pull off to the side. Just as you're about to come to a full stop, you hear someone pull up beside you.
"What do you think you're doing? Come on, let's go. We can take it slow," the fellow cyclist yells, equally as tired and out-of-breath as you.
Little did you know, that was all you needed to keep going.
So it is with your myeloma journey. You'll be very prepared. You've done all your research, you have a detailed treatment plan, you've been eating all your fruits and veggies, and you have a myeloma specialist running your treatment team.
However, you will get tired, sad, and just lonely. Which is completely normal--this is a very big race you've encountered.
But you need people in your corner rooting for you. That is where your counselor/support group/Myeloma Coach comes in. It is likely that they have also had some sort of myeloma journey, and can offer empathy and encouragement to you.
A counselor can help you deal with your individual emotions and the heavy burdens you bear. A support group can offer friendships and comfort in similarities and differences. A Myeloma Coach can aid in finding and using the best myeloma resources so you can better navigate your myeloma care.
Everyone needs their own network of support, big or small. You have a race to win!
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about the author
Myeloma Crowd Editorial Contributor, Nursing student, and cancer advocate.