I'm here in Boston, preparing for this afternoon's media event. It's a hectic day, but I wanted to share a bit about what's going on. Today's panel discussion is sponsored by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and will focus on the role of progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) data in real-world clinical decision making for
I have been experiencing just about every type of treatment side-effect imaginable lately. No big deal--just constant reminders that I'm undergoing chemotherapy and still recovering from this summer's stem cell transplant. I'm leaving today for Boston to represent my fellow patients on a panel discussion at Millennium Pharmaceuticals--makers of Velcade. I'm sure that one of
Researchers released some groundbreaking news on Sunday. Turns out they have identified a genetic component to multiple myeloma. One of the most common questions I hear when I speak to patients and caregivers at support group meetings: "Does multiple myeloma run in families?" Up to this point, if you asked your oncologist that question the
More about how diet, exercise and carefully-chosen supplements can help improve our overall survival
Here is Part Two of Danny Parker's introduction to using supplements and complimentary medicine while battling multiple myeloma: So, back to the fundamental question. Could diet, supplements and exercise play a role in the slowing of progression of the disease? And to answer several questions before they arise. No, I am not an advocate of
What role can diet, exercise and carefully-chosen supplements play in improving our Overall Survival?
I am excited that regular reader and fellow multiple myeloma patient, Danny Parker, has agreed to officially share some of his informal research findings with us. In his spare time, Danny is a thoughtful supplement and complimentary medicine enthusiast. But no need to try and define who and what Danny is here and now. I
The IMF will be featuring a pre-ASH kick-off event the Friday evening before ASH in San Diego. I just checked with IMF officials who assured me there are still tickets available to this year's Satellite Symposium on Friday Evening. Here is a link to the online registration page: http://www.clinicaloptions.com/Oncology/Live%20Events/Satellite%20Symposium/Multiple%20Myeloma%202011.aspx I will be there covering the
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I couldn't resist including an image which includes a picture of Snoopy and Woodstock... Pattie loves Snoopy! It will be a wonderful thanksgiving this year for us here in warm, beautiful Weeki Wachee, Florida! Need proof? Here are a just a few of the many comments and emails I have received since
I have been taking glucosamine to help joint pain in my knees for almost a decade. I truly believe it helps. If I stop using it for several days, my knees hurt. That's enough evidence for me. But this morning, I read an obscure report about how glucosamine is contra-indicated for multiple myeloma patients. WHAT?
Did I happen to mention that I will be doing freelance writing for the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) at this year's ASH meetings in San Diego? I'M VERY EXCITED! I will be covering a variety of presentations and events, including poster presentations, panel discussions and interviews with internationally recognized clinicians and researchers who are focused
Good news for me Monday. I met with Dr. Alsina and all is going as hoped! My M-spike has been cut in half, from 0.6 to 0.3. WHEW! Honestly, I was starting to worry. Both about an unexpectedly shorter life--and spending much of my remaining searching from specialist to specialist for anything that could slow
I'm heading-off to Moffitt Cancer Center first thing this am to meet with my myeloma specialist, Dr. Melissa Alsina. My worsening M-protein test numbers--or M-spike--a few months following my autologous stem cell transplant were alarming. Today I learn just how well my consolidation, post-SCT therapy using Revlimid, Velcade and dexamethasone is working. After five weeks
One of our regular readers, named Mark, forwarded me this exciting new abstract of a transplant study which will be presented at this year's ASH meetings in San Diego: Achievement of Sustained Molecular Remission Induces Long-Term Freedom From Disease After Autologous-Allogeneic Tandem Transplantation in Patients with Multiple Myeloma To make a long story short, here
David Emerson produces an excellent monthly online newsletter at PeopleBeatingCancer.org. The latest edition focuses on using vitamin C to fight cancer. Lots of interesting info and theories here. Just remember not to take extra vitamin C the day before, day of or day after a Velcade infusion. Here is a LINK TO THIS MONTH'S EDITION.
I thought you should read the latest report on the state of multiple myeloma I found earlier this week in a publication called the Oncology Report. Here is how the article opens: Novel Therapies Put Multiple Myeloma 'On the Ropes' By: SUSAN LONDON, Oncology Report Digital Network SAN FRANCISCO – A sweep of new agents
As instructed, I removed the bandages from my ear late yesterday. My surgeon wasn't kidding... My left ear is noticeably smaller than my right! In fact, it's a lot smaller. The incision looks clean and the work looks good. There is a lot of swelling--and some bruising. There is also a "notch" in the center
Friday I wrote an article about the worsening shortage of the myeloma drug, Doxil. This past weekend, the L.A. Times ran a feature story about Doxil and other chemotherapy drugs in short supply: Cancer drug Doxil joins growing list of drugs in short supply About 200 medications are on the FDA's drug shortage page. Sometimes
Yesterday my plastic surgeon, Dr. Gerard Mosiello, removed the melanoma and surgically repaired my left ear. Who knew I would emerge from surgery looking like the lead character in one of the old-time mummy movies! It was a long day. It all started innocently enough. I arrived at Moffitt Cancer Center for a M-protein test
Yesterday I defined and attempted to explain the difference between "time to disease progression" and "median life expectancy." I illustrated how sometimes statistics don't make sense. The truth about statistics is it is all how you spin them. I can take a bunch of stats and make them look hopeful or discouraging. Writers, researchers--and especially
TIP: Understanding the difference between “time to disease progression” and “median life expectancy”
Time to disease progression and median life expectancy are the two primary measurements used to evaluate how well a new anti-myeloma therapy is working. Time to disease progression refers to how long it takes for a patient's multiple myeloma to return after they start using a therapy. Median life expectancy measures how long a patient
I would like to share excerpts with you from a blog titled Deludia. The myeloma patient who writes it is named Bob. I read his site from time to time. Bob's writing can be a bit dark at times. This is understandable. He has been battling a very aggressive form of multiple myeloma for a