One of the international myeloma blogs I follow regularly is Margaret’s Corner. Margaret lives in Italy and is a very well read and technically informed patient who was diagnosed with MGUS, or the earliest, pre-treatment stage of multiple myeloma in 1999. An advocate of using curcumin and other natural compounds with anti-myeloma properties, I feel it is safe to say Margaret is not a big fan of using more conventional therapy options (novel therapy agents such as Velcade, Thalomid or Revlimid, or stem cell transplants) unless absolutely necessary. Margaret’s MGUS eventually progresssed to multiple myeloma in 2005. She has tirelessly pushed for more world-wide studies of alternative medical options to be used in treating multiple myeloma.
Click on the Margaret’s Corner link above and it will take you directly to her post from yesterday. Here she gives a well written and thought-out analysis of a recent study about treating younger patients with myeloma.
I agree with most of what Margaret writes. I am only critical of one thing. Like a number of other cancer bloggers (myself incuded!) Margaret writes from her own unique perspective. Alternative supplements and medications have worked well for her over the years. So it is only natural she supports these alternatives. To this I say “Way to go, Margaret!” It’s just that sometimes some patients require more.
We have never met or spoken directly. She has been critical of my seemingly blind support of novel therapy agents on this blog in the past. Like Margaret, I write about what I know best and what has worked for me or friends of mine - in this case, Revlimid or Velcade. That doesn’t mean I don’t support her efforts to promote natural alternatives to myeloma drugs. It also doesn’t mean I own stock in Celgene or Millennium (which I don’t!) or any other pharmaceutical company. And just because I post a study or write about a new emerging novel therapy break-through, it doesn’t mean I necessariy support the researcher’s position. I believe in using the least invasive treatment option available to you at the time. So, in many ways, Margaret and I are indeed on the same page.
The important point here is for all informed patients and/or patient advocates to remember myeloma isn’t a “one size fits all” type of cancer. We should all strive to educate ourselves about the growing number of treatment options which are available to multiple myeloma patients, if you only know where to look.
So to Margaret I say (in English, since I don’t know any Italian) “You go, girl! Keep up the great work!” I’m adding a link to Margaret’s blog today to make it easier for my readers to check-in on the myeloma world in Italy from time to time.
Feel good and keep smiling, wherever you are! Pat