A good majority of individuals, when diagnosed with multiple myeloma, have never heard of the disease; however, it is the second most common blood cancer. In order to raise awareness about the cancer, in 2009 the International Myeloma Foundation established March as Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month.
By increasing awareness of this myeloma, an incurable blood disease, there is the opportunity to increase funding for research which ultimately saves lives. Raising awareness also helps patients to inquire of their doctors whether they've considered myeloma as a diagnosis. Worldwide, multiple myeloma affects 750,000 people who are experiencing symptoms of bone pain, anemia and extreme fatigue.
The IMF advocates for the needs of the multiple myeloma community, fosters collaborative research, empowers people through education and provides support for patients and their families. Take a look at their site (myeloma.org) to discover more information about their Black Swan Research Initiative, Brian D. Novis Research Grant as well as other support and research information.
As many of you know, I'm passionate about the subject of multiple myeloma because I have the disease. When my myeloma flared up again in December 2013, after being smoldering since May 1995, I had 90 percent myeloma cells. After my stem cell transplant this past December I had less than 1 percent plasma cells, and I am hoping that my recent bone marrow biopsy shows an undetectable amount of cells.
There are quite a few organizations and groups helping to spread the word about this disease. It, like other potentially fatal disorders and diseases, needs as much exposure as possible in order to effectively fight it. Whether you're a patient, caregiver, loved one or provider let's learn as much as we can and help in any way possible to put an end to this disease.
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation - themmrf.org
Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium - themmrc.org
Multiple Myeloma Guide - medifocus.com/multiplemyeloma
To read about my journey with multiple myeloma, take a look at my cancer journal. The journal will take you from the time I began my cancer fight again to November 2014. Check back often because I'll begin doing regular updates again.
Have you heard of multiple myeloma or know anyone who has suffered with it?