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New Orleans, LA December 7, 2013--I am sitting here at 6:00 a.m. trying to think of what to send. Ohio State lost last night and normally that would depress me, but other than being a bit disappointed I find my mind still racing from all of the information about multiple myeloma (MM).

On Friday I started my day meeting with 12 other Support Group Leaders (SGL) as we planned our entire conference activities. That took most of the morning. We had a nice lunch and then we went to the International Myeloma Foundation's symposium Critical Issues Need Answers: Providing Best Options for Myeloma Treatment in 2013.  In one room sat more than a thousand people, mostly doctors and nurses, all dedicated to fighting MM. In rapid-fire succession we listened to esteemed physicians proffer their position on a study. 

The subject matter ranged from the use of maintenance therapy after a stem cell transplant (STL), treating smoldering myeloma and MGUS patients, and treating the elderly myeloma patient. I am happy to say that at 65 years of age I am not considered among the "elderly," but many days make me feel that I am.

On Saturday I attended the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) breakfast. There were 80 of the most prominent myeloma doctors from around the world. This is the IMF's brain trust. Their research and work is tireless. For more than two hours we listened to studies on advances made in the treatment of myeloma. Reports from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and African were presented and debated. The doctors in this group are brilliant and proud of their work, and although they each think their position on all of the subjects discuss are the most correct, their cooperation and eagerness to share and advance their cause as a whole was evident. As a patient, I was very impressed.

This is getting long so I will pick it up with my next report. I need a cup of coffee and a shower. I hope all of you are doing well. Take care and know there are a lot of people working in your interest with the support of the IMF.

-- Nick Menedis

The IMF at ASH 2013

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