As we prepare for ASH 2022, I’m honored to be a part of this dedicated team of patients and support group leaders and grateful to the International Myeloma Foundation for continuing to educationally support and promote empowerment. My goal here is to listen, experience, and share from a patient perspective.

This year, there are 263 oral sessions and abstracts and more than 750 posters related to multiple myeloma! When I was diagnosed in 2000, there were only a handful of oral abstracts and posters at ASH. We have much to be grateful for in the myeloma world as research has grown and treatments have increased. Trials now include Quality of Life (QOL), Fit or Frail, and Oral, Sub Q, IV options and so much more. It’s a lot for patients to take in and try to understand. At our support group meetings, we share that learning is life long and to focus on what you need to know now, and as you feel comfortable, to learn more for your future. It helps you to have better conversations with your healthcare team, but most importantly, it helps you to better understand YOUR myeloma and to think about YOUR goals in treatment. Yes, we all want to be cured . . . but thinking about your goals in life: What type of therapy may be best to fight your myeloma but also what fits your lifestyle? Are you working? Do you have a Care Partner? Is it hard to take time off work for treatment? Do you want to go on vacation? Do you want to be on maintenance and how long? How often would you need to go to the clinic or hospital for treatment? Expressing your goals to your healthcare team can help you work together to determine what may be the best options for you.

I am also very interested and focused on the IMF’s iStopMM (Iceland Screens, Treats, or Prevents Multiple Myeloma) Project. My wife, Robin (IMF Vice President, Support Groups) and I have gone to Iceland with Dr. Brian Durie and Susie Durie to hear the exciting updates from the iStopMM Team. This year, we are excited that there will be 4 oral presentations and 6 poster abstracts:

I’ll do my best to share with you these updates in future blogs.

I’ll do my best to share with you these updates in future blogs.

Since I’m a twenty-two-year multiple myeloma survivor, I’m also focused on relapse/refractory (RR) treatment options. Individualizing therapy and what to do after multiple relapses and strategies when changing treatment may be necessary.

So while we have come a long way, and we have many treatment options and better QOL, we are still in search of cure, and what that cure is for each patient. . . if we only had a crystal ball.

If you’ve been following my blogs from past ASH meetings, you may remember that music is my thing, and I like to tie my blogs to music, so for this PRE-ASH blog, it’s: Styx – “Crystal Ball”

Follow me on Twitter: @IMFmikeMYELOMA