Fulfilling Experience

Valarie Traynham |

While attending my first ASH conference, I am intrigued by the sheer the vastness of it all. When visiting the poster sessions today, I was quite overwhelmed at first. There were so many poster abstracts on the many hematological diseases, many that I had never heard of. Once I was able to get the Poster Cast app downloaded and was able to listen to the abstract being read by the author, I had a greater understanding of the presented abstract.

While visiting the exhibitors’ booths, I found a sense of renewed hope. It is amazing the amount of time and effort that is devoted to the research of developing drug therapies. Fighting multiple myeloma and other blood malignancies is an ongoing battle. When I stopped by the Celgene booth today, I was able to take part in their interactive 3-D cell simulation booth. I must admit it was a learning experience, and I had fun doing it too.

I had a support group member reach out to me today about some of the increased challenges she was having with her current Velcade treatment therapy. As a result of the information gained from the Takeda representatives, I was able to suggest that she discuss the option of switching to a different oral proteasome inhibitor, Ninlaro. The group member was so excited to hear that the information I’m gaining here at ASH is empowering her to have a greater role in shared decision making.

In visiting vendor booths I talked with and gathered information from vendors across the world who join with the IMF in multiple myeloma awareness. There was such a varying group represented. Just as hematology is diverse I saw the diverseness in the vendors present. I must admit that I picked up a few goodies along the way.

Valarie Traynham

Aurora (IL) Multiple Myeloma Networking Group

Follow me on Twitter @MyelomaValarie

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