I Heart Hematologists

Yvonne Yaksic |
I Heart Hematology figure at 2018 American Society of Hematology annual meeting

Yvonne’s mantra epitomized by this figure at #ASH18

After four days at #ASH18 as a first-time observer, I ❤️ Hematology. More importantly, I ❤️ Hematologists.

If you have been following my tweets, you have seen the amazing company, I have been keeping. These brilliant and dedicated doctors are extending the lives of multiple myeloma patients along with improving the quality of our lives. It has been an honor and a privilege to listen to, and also watch them interact with each other. I have gained amazing insight as to how Hematologist agree and disagree with each other in determining the best plan of treatment for patients. One example of this: Should the latest, best, and most expensive drugs be used for induction therapy or at relapse?

The International Myeloma Foundation held its “Myeloma Warriors: Living Well With Myeloma and 2019 Brian D. Novis Grant Awards Reception” on December 1st. Each story was very inspirational and emotional. The surprise for me came when the researchers accepted their Grants and spoke to us. They were also very emotional. One recipient himself had tears as he told us how inspiring it was for him to meet multiple myeloma patients and hear their stories. It brought faces to the work these dedicated people perform behind the scene in a lab each day.

On a personal note, I was able to meet up with my Hematologist, Mounzer Agha, M.D., Director of the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. How appropriate I had the chance to see him here at ASH. This man saved my life when I was diagnosed in 2005. He is hard at work here to bring back the most recent data on multiple myeloma and all blood cancers to his patients. His dedication, knowledge and compassion is an inspiration to me.

Mounzer Agha, MD, with Yvonne Yaksic at 2018 American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting

From Left: Mounzer Agha, MD, with Yvonne Yaksic at #ASH2018

I am full of HOPE as I go through my final day here. I am also very grateful for this opportunity and I thank the International Myeloma Foundation and their sponsors. This is one myeloma patient who is ready to return home as an even stronger #MyelomaWarrior.❤️

P.S.  I bumped into Robert A. Kyle, M.D., the Grandfather of Multiple Myeloma, on the way to the convention center today!!

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