Hello! My name
is Pat Killingsworth, and I am a myeloma survivor and medical writer.
I am excited about sharing my experiences as a patient and patient advocate.
I have learned a lot since I was first diagnosed in the spring of 2007. Looking back, I can see how difficult it is for a patient, caregiver--and even a patient's doctor--to anticipate what might be best in the future.
Initially, everyone involved tends to be focused on the here and now. The priority is almost always to get a newly diagnosed patient's multiple myeloma under control.
But while that reaction may be understandable, it doesn't make it right!
Doctors tend to be reluctant to design long-term treatment plans. After all, if there is one thing that's predictable about multiple myeloma, it's that it is unpredictable.
So when a patient
asks, "Doctor, what comes next after this works--or doesn't work?" The
doctor's response is almost always, "Let's take it one step at a
Again, even early-on this is a mistake. Maybe not during the initial meeting or two. But after induction has started, and everyone has a better idea about how the new patient's myeloma is responding, I strongly believe that is time to start developing a long-term myeloma treatment plan.
In a perfect world, this plan will be developed by not only your local medical oncologist, but a myeloma specialist, too.
Working together, a patient's myeloma team can create a treatment plan that takes into account a patient's quality of life and treatment goals.
More and more myeloma patients are living seven, eight, ten years--or even longer. Decisions made during the first year of treatment can affect how a patient is treated if and when myeloma relapses years down the line.
Until next week, remember to feel good and keep smiling!