Blood Cancer and Options

Let me start by saying that it’s a wonderful thing when you have some options when battling blood cancer. Specifically multiple myeloma, which at one time had limited treatment alternatives.

As any medical situation like this show is either it works or it doesn’t, but when you have narrow components, it can lead to a gloomy outlook. However, we have a bunch of options to help make you and your doctor feel there’s a chance, well that speaks volumes.

So many more options

Wow, sadly to say, I’ve been in this multiple myeloma bubble for about 12-13 years. It’s hard to believe and even so that I’m still here to reflect on this. I’m so fortunate to be able to see with my own eyes what latest options have been made in battling this specific form of blood cancer. As many patients can attest it’s great when we have some choices in surviving this.

There were not as many positive scenarios on a slew of treatment options, and that’s not to say what was suggested didn’t work for a few, but what I’ve said before, we’re all different. Allowing us other ways about going about one medication versus another means a lot to this community. Today, we have multiple drugs to choose from that make a world of difference in what and how to go about fighting blood cancer.

We now have a variety of corticosteroids (dexamethasone, prednisone), immunomodulation agents (lenalidomide: Revlimid, pomalidomide: Pomalyst), proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib: Velcade, carfilzomib: Kyprolis, ixazomib: Ninlaro). Then there are the clinical trials and the recent CAR T-cell therapy. There’s even the latest Darzalex-Faspro. I mean the variety is a hopeful batch than what we dealt with some years back, and this is a wonderful bunch of news.

Now what?

So what do options mean, really? Well, it gives us a better handle on what route to go about with our doctor’s guidance. What we all know is that one medication alone is not a true fit for us all. The varieties we now see give us more freedom in seeing what works for our individual situations, and if one fails, we have some other back-ups to play with - this wasn’t the case some years back.

The complexity of multiple myeloma is not a glove that fits perfectly but envisioning the newest developments makes me comfortable with the hope that one day we can eradicate this particular blood cancer. I don’t believe I felt this kind of hope when I was diagnosed. I recall seeing the grim 5-year life span upon being diagnosed with blood cancer, statistically suggested and still suggested. I’ve learned that is not the case for many patients, and once I had a well-informed conversation with the many doctors in understanding my situation, it provided a bit of light.

The future seems brighter and that is what we strive for: hope, fight, and options.

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile... when you feel like it.

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