Priya Menon Priya Menon Scientific Media Editor at Curetalk

CureTalk Interview With Pat Killingsworth, Author And Multiple Myeloma Survivor

Pat Killingsworth requires no introduction. His blogs on his blogsite, Living With Multiple Myeloma and The Myeloma Beacon are very popular and provide the latest in the field of multiple myeloma research as well as keeps readers updated on Pat’s health. Even though I have not met Pat personally, his approach towards life inspires me and I am sure that he is an inspiration to many others. Pat has authored books on multiple myeloma and these are available at My Cancer Store.

In CureTalk’s interview with Pat, he talks about how he manages to see the glass always half full. Read on to know Pat’s inputs on myeloma research and what needs to be done to improve quality of life for myeloma survivors.

Enjoy the interview!

Me: I liked your tip on how not to have a bad day. Do you think it is this that keeps you going in spite of all the hurdles?

Pat: It is one thing to wake up in the morning and say “I’m not going to have a bad day, today!” It’s another thing to pull-it-off. Impossible, actually. So I like to break a day down into different parts. That way, if things aren’t going so well, say, in the a.m., I can rally in the afternoon or evening and not feel like I lost or wasted a precious day. And yes, this helps keep me going. Otherwise, when my fingers aren’t functioning well, due to my advancing peripheral neuropathy and I drop a pill bottle and spill the little yellow pills in the open dishwasher, I can compartmentalize that and not let it ruin my day.

Me: I have been reading all the blogs on your ASCO visit. How do you think, research in multiple myeloma fared at this year’s cancer conference?

Pat: Honestly, ASCO was a bit disappointing from a multiple myeloma standpoint. No surprises or unexpected twists. ASH in December is where the myeloma action is! By the time that info is released–then info from several European conferences, there is not a lot of new news to release at ASCO. Also, myeloma, and other hematological disorders, are very small players and get lost at ASCO. Always relegated to the last day or two of the meetings, many attendees are already on a plane headed home by the time the myeloma presentations are being made. That said several Carfilzomib studies which were presented at ASCO were a fundamental part of the FDA Advisory Panel’s unanimous approval of this new drug (soon to be called Kyprolis) for now likely fast-track approval in July.

Me: What according to you, is the one thing wanting in multiple myeloma research?

Pat: More focus on a patient’s quality of life. Individualized medicine and drug dosing could add months and years to our lives without even needing a new wonder drug to do it. In addition, we would feel better and enjoy the time we have left more, too!

Me: Congratulations! on your book, Stem Cell Transplants from a Patient’s Perspective. I read that it features patient interviews and tips on stem cell transplants. Can you share one tip with our readers?

Well, the procedure isn’t fun, but there are some ways to get through it with as little discomfort as possible. Way too much to get into here–that’s why my book ended-up being 304 pages!

Me: Pat, you inspire many, and personally, when I read your blogs, I am amazed at your energy levels and your positivity.

Thanks, Priya! I always feel better when I write. If I’m up in the middle of the night with leg cramps, I write and the cramps always seem to fade away. If I’m too tired to do something around the house, I sit down at my computer and gain strength and energy by answering emails from patients and caregivers who aren’t feeling well, too. It’s a wonderful life–in an odd sort of way. Or as one might say, in a “new normal” sort of way.

Thank you, Pat.

Related posts:

  1. Interview with Pat Killingsworth, Author of “Living with Multiple Myeloma”
  2. Interesting Toronto Sun Story/Interview With Multiple Myeloma Survivor Lisa Ray
  3. University Of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) Multiple Myeloma Patient Survivor Stories
  4. Former Vice-Presidential Candidate Is Also 13 Year Multiple Myeloma Survivor
  5. CureTalk Interview With Linnea Duff: Healthcare Advocate and Lung Cancer Survivor