Every year living with myeloma marks new milestones. This year, I celebrated my 5-year re-birth, 6th year since being diagnosed, my 30th wedding anniversary, my 52nd birthday, and another year of amazing memories with my children. I have so much to be thankful for. I don’t take for granted each and every milestone. This year will be my 4th year as an ASH IMF Representative. I’ve learned and grown as an advocate over the years.
When I think of Orlando, I think of the magic of Disney. From the moment I walk through the gates, my imagination and dreams are magical. It’s a world of possibilities. While I won’t experience the magic of Disney, I will experience a world of possibilities–possibilities in the care and treatment of myeloma at the 61st annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). It’s a place where the possibility of a cure for myeloma is imaginable. For 5 days, we will be surrounded by researchers and clinicians dedicated to making our dreams of advancing treatment in myeloma a reality.
As in previous years, my mission going into ASH19 is to inspire and offer hope through blogging and tweeting my experience. It is my goal to know that all myeloma patients experience hope for their progression-free and overall myeloma survival journey.
Six years ago, prior to diagnosis, I was an advocate for children and adolescents with health care disparities. Today, my dedication to the elimination of health disparities remain, only now it’s centered around multiple myeloma. My primary interest remains disparities in myeloma, understanding the issues of disparities in myeloma. I strongly believe that we are only as strong as the weakest link, and until everyone benefits from advances in treatment, there’s still work to be done. There are several abstracts highlighting disparities in myeloma at ASH19 (#423, #424, #3067, #411, #383, #4379). In addition, I will be sharing updates on the latest in treatment and clinical guidelines.
ASH19 will be full of scientific data and findings. Unpacking the content is no easy feat. However, I will be surrounded by a group of expert SGLs who will support one another through the process. Think of attending ASH like drinking from a fire hydrant. Data shows that we retain approximately 10% of what we see and 30% to 40% of what we see and hear. We’ll take notes, capture photos of slides, and discuss thoughts as we hurry from one session to another. Our interests may vary but of goals are the same, to share what we gain to patients, caregivers, and others in the myeloma community.
Attending ASH19 as part of the IMF Social Media Team is a privilege and I am grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to sharing and highlighting information with you. Follow us live on Twitter (#ASH19 and #IMFASH19).
Wishing you Hope,
Tiffany H. Williams