This year’s American Society of Hematology (ASH) Review Conference put on by LLS was a smashing success! With over 750 RSVPs, the place was full of patients and caregivers eagerly waiting to hear the latest groundbreaking information about treatments being researched and developed to stop blood cancers. And they were not disappointed! Don’t believe me? Hear what they have to say for themselves!
First up is our very own Teresa Olson, our Annual Fund Manager, who atteneded this review conference for the first time this year. Take it away, Teresa!
This was my first experience attending ASH and I have to say I went into it with very high expectations. I expected to be overwhelmed, I expected to learn a lot, and I expected to be inspired by speakers, patients and LLS staff. On all of these fronts my pre-existing image of ASH was far exceeded.
The part of the seminar that most surprised me was the breakout session. I joined in the CML breakout room with Dr. Neil Shah. The talk was dry, scientific … and completely fascinating. Dr. Shah was both helpful and hopeful. He addressed where CML treatment has been and what treatments have just come out in the last year. Even as an LLS staff member, I was surprised at how many incredible breakthroughs we are making. It was truly exciting to see first-hand the emerging advances in medicine. Even more exciting was how personal the discussion got.
Beyond the ethereal idea that treatments are advancing, patients in the room (who ranged from newly diagnosed to years into treatment) addressed how these advancements affected them with a range of questions – and our presenter fielded them all. From fertility to alternative therapies he went through and answered each individual’s concerns about their personal therapy to date and where they might go. He was patient, kind and thorough. I left feeling re-affirmed in the work that we do.
Thanks, Teresa! I also asked for feedback from some of our patients who attended this event. Read on for their input!
I really appreciated Dr. Shumay’s talk. She seemed to really understand the challenges cancer patients, survivors AND caregivers have with fatigue and insomnia. It was validating and affirming to recognize that these are real problems – and that there are strategies we can use to mitigate these debilitating side effects. And Dr. Shumay managed to convey all of this with clarity, humor and empathy – she was great! - John Andrews
I went to the indolent lymphoma session with high hopes, and I found that the doctor addressed the issues I needed to learn surrounding follicular lymphoma. I was greatly encouraged by the new studies concerning the use of Rituxan. I brought home a lot to speak with my oncologist about when I met her this week. She, too, expressed a lot of hope and felt these sessions were important. - Art Boudreault
The keynote was thoughtful, inspiring, entertaining and informative…what else can we ask for?Candy and I went to Dr. Shaw’s CML breakout, where he, once again, merged the lines of tech-speak, patient-speak and layman’s terms artfully. – Scott Hauan
I’m a 16-yr survivor of Multiple Myeloma and am considered a very educated patient about this complex disease. I’ve even attended the actual ASH conference for the last 5 years. However, I’ve never missed attending LLS’s ASH Review conference and am very grateful for this event. It helps me pull together all of the research results presented at ASH and I always learn something new. - Jack Aiello
So, that’s it until next January. But remember, if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you don’t have to wait a whole year for the next conference; The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is here for you now! Call our Information Resource Center (IRC) at (800) 955-4572 and get the information and support you need.