When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January 2017, my daughter was a sophomore in college. The last thing I wanted for her was to be worried about me. When I asked my oncologist if I should tell her in person, he told me, “Your daughter is stronger than you think.” He was right. Her response to me was “Cancer is not a death sentence.” I have been in “stringent” remission for five years.

When I communicated to my primary care physician that recent blood work reflected protein in my blood, his response was that it was nothing to worry about. What I now understand is that we missed an opportunity for early detection. This is a major issue, especially for people of color because of the disparity in health care.

The iStopMM #iStopMM (Iceland Screens, Treats, or Prevents Multiple Myeloma) screening study presentation at the 64th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting is of great interest to me. The ability to screen for precursors to multiple myeloma will be a major-breakthrough in early detection. I will be following updates on the study findings to date. What an awesome opportunity to be able to share such amazing and hopeful information to patients that would benefit from encouragement!

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