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New Orleans, LA December 9, 2013--Wow - what an experience!  The American Society of Hematology meeting came to a close in New Orleans today and it exceeded my expectations.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to attend; many thanks to the International Myeloma Foundation and the sponsors of their educational programs that made this possible.

Although I didn't always understand the highly technical details of every presentation, I was amazed by each session.  Amazed by the researchers' passion, the healthy debates and challenges, and how much interest there was from thousands of their colleagues. Every myeloma session was overflowing and secondary rooms had to be set up to handle the crowds!  You had to arrive very early just to get a seat.  Who would think that a cancer that affects 1% of cancer patients would draw so much attention? I can't wait to get home to share the knowledge I gathered, convey the experiences from this massive conference, and spread the excitement I feel.

I came here with a keen interest in the latest opinions on maintenance therapy for patients like me who've been through a transplant.  There was spirited and healthy debate on this topic at several sessions - some doctors totally in favor of continued therapy even after a remission is achieved and some say it's not necessary for everyone.  Check out just one of the conversations on this during the IMWG webcast replay at myeloma.org. 

I'm also continually impressed by the entire IMF team.  The leadership of Dr. Brian Durie and Susie Novis is very evident and the myeloma community is so lucky to have them and the entire IMF staff.  Their passion is never-ending and their encouragement is contagious!  I know they won't stop until they find a cure.   

Continually encouraged, 

Linda Huguelet
Chattanooga Multiple Myeloma Networking Group
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New Orleans, LA December 6, 2013--Excitement and encouragement are what I'm feeling as I wrap up my first day at ASH! I feel so privileged to be experiencing firsthand the buzz in the myeloma world among its scientific leaders. More than a thousand doctors packed the International Myeloma Foundation's  symposium Critical Issues Need Answers: Providing Best Options for Myeloma Treatment in 2013 to hear six world-renowned myeloma experts debate many of the top topics that will help myeloma patients' local oncologists offer the best care.   
 
There's never a good time to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma, but the treatment options and prognosis for many patients have never been better. In 2014 I will mark my fourth year as a myeloma patient and I know there are many great years ahead for me and so many myeloma patients.

Tomorrow is the official opening of the conference and I will be attending several educational sessions and exploring the exhibition hall filled with companies that support the treatment advancement of all blood cancers.

Be sure to keep a close eye on myeloma.org for the late breaking news on their efforts to lead the world's top scientists toward a cure!

-- Linda Huguelet