The results being presented from clinical trials at ASH give myeloma patients hope. Hope for the future, hope that we will see our children grow up, get married. Hope that we will become grandparents one day. Hope that we will live long enough to enjoy retirement with our spouse or significant other. Hope for a cure. But for some, that hope is gone.
Reported deaths in clinical trials has made me sad at this year’s ASH meeting. And it has really been weighing heavy on my heart. For some of these patients, the clinical trial may have been their last hope. They may have been out of options. But that doesn’t make it any less sad.
I understand that this is how progress is made in bringing new treatments to patients. These are reported statistics that most of us do not ever hear about. But at ASH, when clinical trial abstracts are presented, they report the percentages of complete remissions, partial remissions, how long the remissions lasted, etc. And they report any deaths. Maybe it is because of COVID-19 and the unfathomable number of deaths in our country, and in the world. But this year at ASH, I have really been more sensitive to this statistic. These patients were someone’s mother or father, brother or sister, husband or wife. They have a family that is grieving for them. I owe them.
Each doctor that presents their findings always thanks the patients who participated in their trial. I also want to say thank you. We owe all these patients and their families for this sacrifice. Without them, we would not have the hope for our future. I wish you all hope!