Excitement and a bit of trepidation are the emotions I would attribute to the eve of my third opportunity to attend the 64th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting. I will attend virtually this year, as I did last year. There are quite a few of our Support Group Leader (SGL) Myeloma Warriors who are attending in person. I joined in the planning late, due to a family emergency. I could see how intricate the planning efforts of our fearless leaders is. In addition to travel plans, being cautious on all levels of COVID, Robin, Jon, Michael, and other team members review the agenda, request recommendations from Dr. Durie and Dr. Joe on important presentations we should consider, and conduct reconnaissance so they plan not only for distances from the hotel to the Conference Center but also distances between important sessions, to determine if it’s comfortably walkable for the group.
My interests this year do not vary much from last year. My top 4-5 interests include the expert panels where differing opinions on treatment therapies are presented; learning about the newly FDA-approved drugs, the ones in clinical trials, and how they function to control myeloma and the vocabulary of new therapies; the role of genetics and precision medicine in myeloma; and, very importantly health equity, diversity, and inclusion in myeloma.
I am looking forward to a 3-4 day immersion in myeloma research and treatment. I feel an incredible responsibility to members of our Support Groups, and to share new awareness, knowledge, and enthusiasm about the community of physicians, scientists, and other health professionals who are working hard to improve patient outcomes and patient satisfaction in therapy.
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