Reviewed by Laura Martin on March 23, 2017
Quincy Washington<br>Multiple Myeloma Patient<br>Latrenda Washington<br>Quincy’s Wife<br>Wendy Baer, MD<br>Medical Director, Psychiatric Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute<br>Sagar Lonial, MD<br>Oncologist and Chief Medical Officer, Winship Cancer Institute
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Sagar Lonial (Oncologist): When a patient is initially diagnosed with Myeloma,
one of the, there’s a whole gamut of emotions that probably are running through that patient and their family."
Quincy Washington (MM Patient): I never thought about being sick. Why would you think about being sick when you’re healthy?
And so suddenly, you’re not healthy, you’re sick. Well, that’s a whole different thought process.
Really, I’m sick? Okay. Yeah, you’re sick, and you’re going to continue to be sick, even though,
you may not feel sick."
Dr. Wendy Baer (Psychiatric Oncologist): There are plenty of expected emotions to have to a cancer diagnosis.
You could be worried about your health… worried about what’s going to happen at work, or with your family."
Quincy Washington (MM Patient): A lot of different thoughts going on… that go through your mind kind of…
well, at least for me… that I go through, each day."
Dr. Wendy Baer (Psychiatric Oncologist): There’s sadness… sadness that your body wasn’t able to stay well.
That you have now a whole bunch of medications and doctors’ appointments maybe radiation
or surgical treatments that you’re going to have to go through."
Quincy Washington (MM Patient): I couldn't believe my body would turn against me.
Dr. Wendy Baer (Psychiatric Oncologist): And it makes you sad… it bums you out. You don’t want to have to do this.
These are normal emotions to have to a cancer diagnosis."
Quincy Washington (MM Patient): OK well, I have Multiple Myeloma. I gotta go on with the rest of my life. I have to take care of my family.
You know those issues, yeah I do think about. If you are going to put it on a scale and
you have positive emotions versus, what you want to call it, negative emotions, I tend to stay toward the positive end.
I did find myself at the other end, and I didn’t quite understand, ya know, what’s going on with that."
Sagar Lonial (Oncologist): So there are a number of treatment reasons one could develop depression.
I think it’s important to be honest and open about what you’re feeling or
how you’re feeling so that the medical team can try and get you the appropriate care,
and a lot of times that’s not me. But I’ve got people that I can work with that can work with the patient
and their family to try and provide the support to keep them balanced during the process."
Quincy Washington (MM Patient): Talked to my medical team, oh, well the medicines… they can cause mood swings… Oh.
Dr. Wendy Baer (Psychiatric Oncologist): We get concerned about clinical depression if the emotions get in the way.
So you’re so sad you don’t feel like you can get up out of bed.
You’re so sad you feel like you don’t even want to go the doctor’s appointment or maybe you skip the appointments.
The important thing is to get it diagnosed. We can treat clinical depression."
Latrenda Washington(Wife): We were talking about it and he was kinda leaning on the counter in the bathroom
and I had my arm around him and I said, "It’s gonna be OK." And he kinda fell -- into my arms."
Sagar Lonial (Oncologist): A lot of times, simply talking to somebody is sufficient.
To me, it’s about always trying to remain hopeful, and if you’ve lost that hope then
is this something that simply talking to a health care professional is sufficient
or do you need medications to help support you through that period of time?"
Quincy Washington (MM Patient): Understand that you have cancer -- Multiple Myeloma. Understand that it is treatable.
Understand that nobody can tell you how much time you have.
Understand that you can affect your health and how your treatment goes. Don’t panic and stay positive."
Sagar Lonial (Oncologist): Having that focus on the future I think is really important, that purpose.
Quincy Washington (MM Patient): ya know, hate to put the thought even out there…
but I’m… I don’t have… I can’t go anywhere. I still have stuff to do."