Myeloma Warrior Spirit Takes Many Forms

I was recently saddened to learn about a myeloma patient I had seen in consultation many years ago, who, unfortunately, passed away from secondary complications at the age of 76, after 24 years of myeloma. An ASCT (autologous stem cell transplant) had really knocked out his myeloma, which was not a problem thereafter.

Cure Is the Primary Goal, But Let’s Not Forget Prevention

The myeloma “cure” trials CESAR and ASCENT, which are part of the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI) project, are active and ongoing, and I will be providing an update very soon. However, another aspect of the Black Swan project is to understand what causes myeloma and to develop prevention strategies. This is a key element of the iStopMM study, in which full details of patients’ medical history, exposures, and DNA sequence information can be reviewed and assessed. But what questions do we ask? And what clues do we have to guide the discovery process?

Living Beyond the Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma with Resilience

The diagnosis of multiple myeloma is a life-changing event. A complex, life-threatening problem has the power to overwhelm. The recent heatwave in California offered poignant examples of the impact of acute stress on ourselves and the environment.  Although the massive wildfires were not close to homes here in Los Angeles, temperatures above 100 degrees burned the leaves off trees and other plants. What was striking to me was the major sprouting and regrowth which has occurred in the three weeks since then. There are natural mechanisms to rebound and recover. These are the kinds of mechanisms and tools myeloma patients need.

The Internaional Myeloma Working Group forges the path to precision myeloma care

Each patient with multiple myeloma is different. Within a myeloma support group, one can learn a lot about testing and treatments, but outcomes for individual patients are often very different. These differences must be studied in rigorously designed clinical trials to double-check test results and treatment details. So, while it might be tempting to compare what happened with Joe or Mary to yourself, the best guidance for your individual treatment is based on the best myeloma research, clinical trials, consensus statements, and guidelines. 

Fresh and health food choices for the summer

I have written a lot about healthy food choices, so recent articles stressing the benefits of the Mediterranean-style diet caught my eye. Apparently, it is not easy for Americans to switch to this healthier approach, with its emphasis on fish and fresh fruits and vegetables, writes journalist and author Paul Greenberg this week in the New York Times. And the dietary habits we cling to in the U.S. not only affect our own health, he notes, they impact the nation’s approach to farming and education about diet.