Last week was Myeloma Awareness Week (17-23 June), and we wanted to reach those people who have never heard of myeloma. To do this, we used people’s real-life descriptive experiences to give a voice to their symptoms and help our message be heard. As the campaign name said, it’s myeloma in their words.

Some people find it difficult to explain their often-vague symptoms using the medical terminology that they know healthcare professionals might use. This can make communicating early signs and symptoms more difficult when they visit their GP – or even put them off going at all.

So, we reached out to our community to tell us how they would describe their symptoms, and our campaign, In Mye Own Words, was born.

You may have seen peoples’ own descriptions of their symptoms across our social media channels as a series of animated posts. We know that their words might not be the same thing each patient experiences, but it is their words and it’s important that we share them.

The words were animated or drawn to convey the feeling described. One of the descriptions of fatigue talked about feeling like a “toy that had run out of battery”; in the animation, the words “run out”, draining of colour.

We paired this with a symptom translator, to help facilitate conversation between people and their GPs. This means if someone saw the campaign and they are experiencing something similar, they can print off the translator and take it to the GP to help explain their symptoms.

We made sure to include all the information that GPs need if they want to learn more about myeloma, or if they need to order tests.

The campaign has been a huge success with the symptom translator being downloaded by more than 2500 people. It was also featured in national press including on the BBC website.

What can I do to support #InMyeOwnWords?

Although Myeloma Awareness Week is over, the need to Think Myeloma! Is as strong as ever. That’s why the symptom translator will remain available, and our other resources for healthcare professionals are always on hand.

As a healthcare professional, you can support the campaign by continuing to share our Think Myeloma! resources with your colleagues.

By raising awareness of possible early signs and symptoms of myeloma, we can empower people start a conversation with their GP. By supporting healthcare professionals to Think Myeloma!, we can work together to diagnose myeloma earlier.

Too many people with myeloma face significant delays in diagnosis. Together we can change that. Together, we are the cure.