Bran thought about it. “Can a man still be brave if he is afraid?”
“That is the only time a man can be brave,” his father told him. — George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Aside from all the ASH 18 data that I am sure that you have read about in this past week in blogs from support group leaders, I would like to comment on the patients’ courage who face the challenges of multiple myeloma. The patients that shared their experience with living with the myeloma at the Brian D. Novis Research Awards described their initial experience with diagnosis. Patients share their difficulty in overcoming fear and developing courage and hope when faced with a diagnosis of myeloma.
Ms.Valerie Trayham, a support group leader from Aurora, Illinois, credits an “inner strength that I did not know I had” as the motivating force to embrace her new life with myeloma.
Another support group leader, Ms.Yvonne Yaksic, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, describes going from a “vortex of confusion, pain and despair” to a “vortex of HOPE” and expresses gratitude for her myeloma silver lining … developing the ability “to face the challenges head on.”
It is this hope that keeps me going forward into the future. These patients and other stories have resonated with me and have greatly enriched my ASH 18 experience.