Swollen Stomach

Hi everyone, I’m hoping for some help here. Feel really let down by the GP. My Mum was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last year in February and started chemotherapy, then had a stem cell transplant in the August and is now on more chemotherapy with the hope being that the cancer goes into remission.

Before my mum’s diagnosis she was extremely fit - swimming and running every day. Then one day in October 2022 she developed a pain in her back, which got worse and ended up being unable to walk- this was diagnosed as fractures in her back- this led to her being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Then more tests were done and she was diagnosed with stage 2 multiple myeloma.

At the start of February last year when my mum started the chemotherapy, her stomach started swelling up (My mum has the chemo where she has 1 injection one week and then 2 injections the next. Almost immediately my Mum’s stomach started to swell. She asked if this was normal and was always ignored. It looks like my mum is at least 7 months pregnant! My mum is very uncomfortable, this is impacting her quality of life. My Dad (her husband) passed away a few months ago and I am worried that unless I can find out if anything can be done about her stomach her mental health will reach rock bottom.

Has anyone else suffered with a very swollen stomach? Almost like a balloon is beneath the skin? And if so, is there a way of bringing the swelling down?

Thank you.


Hi @Keepingthefaith I am so glad that you have found us.
Firstly I am so sorry to hear that your dad, so hard to grieve when you have so much going on.
It must be so difficult as your mothers swollen stomach must be so uncomfortable and is so visual for you both.
Perhaps you and your mum might write down all the questions she needs to ask and get answers too
I always say be ‘pleasantly assertive’ and if your mum does not get answers then to ask for a referral to someone who can give her answers.
Would your mum let you go with her?
If she would like some emotional support she might ask her GP.
Be kind to yourselves, you have both gone through an great deal and please do keep posting


Hi there
I have been living with myeloma for 7 years

Who is ignoring the issue with your mums tummy?
I presume she is under a team at haematology as she is receiving maintenance chemo
Are you able to speak to consultant with your mum?

I’m on my second transplant and on dara maintenance


Hi there, thanks so much for responding and for the information, it is all so helpful. My mum has managed to get an appointment with the GP for this morning, so I am hoping something will be done. My mum’s consultant has been useless, never returning calls and so unfortunately we have felt very forgotten about.

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Hi @Keepingthefaith please do let us us know how the GP appointment goes.
Look after yourselves

Hi @Erica , unfortunately the GP appointment was useless too. They have said the swelling in my mum’s stomach must be caused by her fractured bones in her back as her muscles will have weakened. They advised my mum self refer for physio. Prior to my mum getting ill (both with fractures in her back and the myeloma) she ran and swam everyday. It feels very much like now they are looking at her when not knowing what she looked like before… but it really is like a pregnant stomach/ balloon. It isn’t the sort of weight that is put on by eating. It is really getting her down on top of everything else and I feel very helpless.

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Thank you. Yes I think both my mum and myself haven’t been able to start grieving really. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 6 months before my mum got diagnosed, and while he was having chemotherapy her was my mums carer when she had fractures in her back and couldn’t get out of bed for 5 weeks. It has all been heart breaking to be honest. My Dad insisted my mum have the chemo as he wanted her to continue to live even after he died. He was so worried about her and would be furious at how she has been treated. I’m really hoping her cancer goes into remission and there can be some treatment for her stomach so she can have a better quality of life. Thanks so much for your message.

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