San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles)

Covid Update

The IMF applauds the efforts of the volunteer leaders that conduct local myeloma support group meetings and virtual meetings.

The IMF is cautiously optimistic for local support groups to return back to in-person meetings when it’s safe in your community. We suggest that each group follow local, state and federal guidelines to help the volunteer leaders to determine when it will be safe to start meeting in-person again. The IMF will continue to provide Zoom licenses to all myeloma support groups that still meet virtually or have hybrid meetings.  Please contact the group leader for meeting details.

For additional updates on COVID-19 coronavirus, please click this link: Myeloma Patient Safety and the Coronavirus.

You may also wish to refer to www.cdc.gov for information and guidance on specifics for travel, vaccinations, variants and when/how to gather safely.

san fernando valley overview

Welcome to San Fernando Valley MM Support Group!

For any additional info, please contact us:

Malcolm Katz: 818-515-606

E-mail[email protected]

Meeting timeThird Wednesdays of the month from 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Meeting Location Temple Judea
5429 Lindley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 91356
Get directions

34.1694484, -118.5277703

Upcoming events

IMF Events

Oct 30
IMF Patient & Family Webinar: Advances in Myeloma Treatments: What Patients Need to Know
October 30, 2021 7:00 am PST
Archive

If you want to view our past speakers, please view our achieves. For more detail, please click on the year.

2021
January Zoom Meeting: Dr. Joseph Mikhael, Chief Medical Officer of the International Myeloma Foundation.
February Double Zoom Meeting with Caregivers on one Zoom and those with Myeloma on another.
March Special Guest Nurse Mary Steinbach from the Nurse Leadership Board.
April Dr. Len Lipman who will speak on The California End of Life Options Act.
May Nurse Rebekah Tobin, a Takeda Patient Advocacy Liason
June A guest from Bet Tzedek Legal Services who will speak on “Fraud Against Seniors”
July Zoom meeting with Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Vescio
August Guest Speaker: Marc Sallus, who is a top estate and trust attorney in the LA area.
September No Meeting
October  
November  
December  


 

2020
January Dr. Joseph Mikhael, Chief Medical Officer of the International Myeloma Foundation.
February We will be dividing into two groups with those with Myeloma in one room and Caregivers/Care-Partners in another.
March cancelled
April Zoom meeting: Naturopathic Doctor Stephen Meeneghan from Cedars Sinai
May Zoom meeting: Tanya Price, Karyopharm Nurse Liaison
June Double Zoom Meeting with Caregivers on one Zoom and those with Myeloma on another
July Zoom meeting: Dr. Robert Vescio, Medical Director of the Multiple Myeloma and Amyloidosis Program at the Cedars Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
August Zoom meeting: Dr. Dan Silverman, author of "Your Brain After Chemo" who will be speaking on Chemo Brain.
September Zoom meeting: Christine Zoumas, Dietician
October Zoom meeting; Dr. Sarah Larson, hematologist, oncologist
November Zoom meeting: Dr Amrita Krishnan from City of Hope
December Annual Holiday Party - this year on Zoom


 

2019
January Dr. Joseph Mikhael, Chief Medical Officer of the International Myeloma Foundation.
February Megan Sewards, a Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert.
March We will be dividing into two groups with those with Myeloma in one room and Caregivers/Care-Partners in another.
April Our guest is Lori Michiel, Senior Fitness Specialist, who will talk about "Overcoming Physical Barriers to Exercise for Cancer Patients". Visit Lori at www.lorimichielfitness.com .
May Dr. Vescio will be discussing Myeloma 101
June Mason, the Manager of The Higher Path who will be discussing the medical use of cannabis
July We will be dividing into two groups with those with Myeloma in one room and Caregivers/Care-Partners in another.
August Dr. Myo Htut who is the head of the Car T-Cell trials at City of Hope.
September Sally Weber, LCSW and Chair of the Support Group Leaders' Caregiving Working Group.
October Our guest is a Nurse Educator from Janssen the makers of Daratumumab (Darzalex).
November Our guest is Debbie Birns, Medical Editor at the International Myeloma
December Holiday Party


 

2018
January Celgene brought in Nurse Practitioner Jill Avery who spoke on Revlimid and Pomalidomide and maintenance therapy.
February Jason Starr from the Berlin Wellness Group spoke on Acupuncture, Herbs and Supplements
March Caregivers meet with Sally and Sharon and those with MM meet with Izak and Malcolm
April Marie Ritz, licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist who will be talking about "living with cancer"
May Guests Dr. Brian and Susie Durie from the International Myeloma Foundation.
June Speaker: Rabbi Ed Feinstein and Reverend VeAnn Clark will discuss "Faith and Cancer"
July Speaker: Tanya Price RN, MSN, CNS, OCN, Clinical Nurse Educator, Takeda Oncology
August We will divide into two groups with those with Myeloma in one room and Caregivers in another.
September No meeting this month
October Mathew Snyder from C2C Sleep Solutions who discussed sleep issues and ways to help you sleep better.
November Speaker: Dr. Ashkan Lashkari of Wellness Oncology & Hematology
December Holiday Party


 

2017
January Dr. Michael Rosensweig, City of Hope, The Myeloma Team and Clinical Trials
February Topic: We will break into two groups – one for caregivers and one for those with multiple myeloma. Sally and Sharon will meet with the caregivers and Malcolm and Izak will meet with those with multiple myeloma.
March Nurse Educator Tanya Price - Takeda, Fatigue and Stress
April Ariana Bian, "The Higher Path", medical use of cannabis
May Jo An Pesin, mindfulness
June Caregivers meet with Sally and Sharon and those with MM meet with Izak and Malcolm
July Dr. Alan Fozailoff, Doctor of Nephrology, Hypertension and Internal Medicine
August Missy Klepetar, International Myeloma Foundation InfoLine
September No Meeting
October Dr. Thomas Strouse, UCLA, managing symptoms, pain management and cannabis
November Caregivers meet with Sally and Sharon and those with MM meet with Izak and Malcolm
December Holiday Party


 

2016
January General Meeting
Topic: We will break into two groups – one for caregivers and one for those with multiple myeloma. Sally and Sharon will meet with the caregivers and Malcolm and Izak will meet with those with multiple myeloma.
February Dr. Ashkan Laskari, General Oncologist
March Flora Woo. Senior Clinical Nurse Consultant Celgene, Myeloma Overview and Website resources.
April Nikki Saccareccia, "LightInside" Yoga
May General Meeting
Topic: We will break into two groups – one for caregivers and one for those with multiple myeloma. Sally and Sharon will meet with the caregivers and Malcolm and Izak will meet with those with multiple myeloma.
June Guest Speaker: General Meeting
Topic: Support and Service to those dealing with cancer
July Dr. Gary Dosik, General Oncologist​
August Guest Speaker: James R. Berenson
September Dr. Frank Niver, Dentist, Osteonecrosis of the Jaw
October No Meeting
November Guest Speaker: Tanya Price
December Holiday Party

 

2015
January

Guest Speaker: Sharon BenMeir, Caregiver and Psychologist, and Sally Weber, Caregiver and Social Worker
Topic: Caregivers

February

Guest Speaker: Zane Averbach
Topic: Estate Planning

March Guest Speaker: Rabbi Ed Feinstein, cancer survivor and brilliant teacher.
Topic:  Patient and Caregiver – Living with Cancer
April Guest Speaker: Dr. Thomas B. Strouse, Medical Director of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry.
Topics:  Psychiatric Aspects of Cancer and Pain Management.
May Rescheduled General Meeting
Topic: We will break into two groups – one for caregivers and one for those with multiple myeloma. Both groups will be lead by top facilitators.
June Guest Speaker: Stephanie Fajuri
Topics: Accommodations in the workplace, SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicare, and more.
July

Guest Speaker: Susie Novis, President, and Dr. Brian Durie, Chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation.
Topic: “Ask Dr. Durie”

August Guest Speaker: Daniel Gross, Dermatologist.
Topic: skin cancer, skin care, and everything you should know about your skin.
September No Meeting
October Nurse Tina Maluso
Topic: "Taking the Best Care of You:  Exercise and Nutrition with Multiple Myeloma".
November Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Vescio
Topic: "Stem Cell Transplants, Managing Bone Disease."
December Dr. Tina Kuus
Topic: "Freelite - A laboratory test that measures serum free light chains".

 

2014

 

January

Guest Speaker: Dr. Michael Hyman, Urologist.
Topic: Myeloma and Sexuality – a Conversation for Men and Women.

February

Guest Speaker: Dr. Franklin Niver, Encino
Topic: “Multiple Myeloma and the Dentist”

March Guest Speaker: Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Topic: “How cancer changes us and what cancer teaches us”
April Guest Speaker: Miko Santos
Topic: “Navigating the IMF Website”
May Guest Speaker: Leslie Laudeman
Topic: “Onyx and Kyprolis”
June No meeting
July

Guest Speaker: Dr. George Graf
Topic: “Pain Management”

August Guest Speaker: Debbie Birns
Topic: “Myeloma Updates”
September Guest Speaker: Jeff Tirengel
Topic: “Unique Approach to Living with Cancer”
October No Meeting
November Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Vescio
December No meeting

 

2013
January

Guest Speaker: Nurse Page Bertolotti, member of the Nurse Leadership Board (NLB) of the International Myeloma Foundation.

See: www.myeloma.org

February

Guest Speaker: Tony Edlin, Regional Account Manager for Millennium.
Topic: Understanding Your Insurance Coverage for trearment: How to Stay Informed

March Guest Speaker: Sally Weber, LCSW.
Topic: Caregiving: Not for caregivers only – the benefits and challenges of both care giving and care receiving.
April Guest Speaker: Debbie Birns International Myeloma Foundation, manager of IMF Hotline.
Topic: Understanding your lab and blood reports – what’s important and what to track.
May Guest Speaker: Dr. Michael Hyman, Urologist.
Topic: Myeloma and Sexuality – a Conversation for Men and Women. 
June Michael Eselun, Staff Chaplain, Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrated Oncology.
Topic: Riding the Cancer Wave – Spiritually Speaking
July

Guest Speaker: ​Dr. Robert Vescio, attending physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC) and Director of the CSMC Myeloma Progra

August Guest Speaker: Lacey Feldman for Dr.  Carl Lauryssen, top spine surgeon.
Topic: Managing Back Pain
September Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Vescio, Director of Multiple Myeloma and Amyloidosis Programs at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles
October Guest Speaker: Dr James Berenson
Specialist in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma, MGUS, amyloidosis, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia and metastatic bone disease and who has conducted research related to these disease both in the basic and clinical areas for more than 20 years.
November Guest Speaker: Dr. Jim Gagné

Topic: Why does a cancer patient need a primary care physician?

December Guest Speaker: David Visel
Topic: The Diagnosis Is Myeloma. Now What?

 

2012
June First Meeting: – Introductions – Myeloma organizations – Kelly Cox, IMF.  See: www.myeloma.org
July Guest Speaker: Debbie Birns, International Myeloma Foundation HOTLINE
August Guest Speaker: Alexis Speed, Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrated Oncology
September Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Vescio, Director of Multiple Myeloma and Amyloidosis Programs at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles
October Guest Speaker: Rabbi Ed Feinstein, Senior Rabbi Valley Beth Shalom, Encino and cancer survivor
November Guest Speaker: Suzanne Battaglia, IMF programs and Dr. Larry Neinstein and Debbie Neinstein and their MM story
December Guest Speaker: Dr. Mary Hardy, Medical Director of the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrated Oncology. See: www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/
Ask doctor durie title card
Ask Dr. Durie Videos
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Week in Review by Dr. Brian G.M. Durie
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imf multiple myeloma informational publications
IMF Publications
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Research
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Multiple myeloma support group members meet in a group circle to chat
Support
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Advocacy
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Members Comments

Meetings are for anyone with Multiple Myeloma and caregivers. We provide a way for both patients (especially those newly diagnosed) and caregivers to increase their knowledge of Multiple Myeloma and to support others having similar experiences.  

There is no charge to participate in this group.

Dr. Mikhael, IMF's Chief Medical Officer, spoke at our January 2020 meeting

Our Holiday Party 2019


May 2018 Support Group meeting with International Myeloma Foundation President Susie Durie and Chairman Dr. Brian Durie

November 16, 2017 from the International Myeloma Foundation e-Newsletter

Myeloma Minute:

IMF’s San Fernando Valley Support Group Raises More Than $30K

Members of the San Fernando Valley Myeloma Support Group crowdfunded almost $30,000 in support of the IMF’s 11th Annual Comedy Celebration this year, securing their spot as an Emerald Sponsor for the event.  For the past several years, the group – led by local myeloma patient Malcolm Katz – has conducted an email campaign asking friends and family to contribute toward the Annual Comedy Celebration. We thank the San Fernando Valley Group for giving back to the IMF in such a profound and impactful way!


San Fernando Valley Multiple Myeloma Support Group – Holiday Party 2017

 

Reading Lists

Reverend VeAnn Clark from the Church of the Valley and the Little Brown Church was our guest at our June 2018 meeting.

This is her recommended list of books:

Memoirs on living, dying, and death--

1. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
https://www.amazon.com/When-Breath-Becomes-Paul-Kalanithi/dp/081298840X

2. Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
https://www.amazon.com/Lets-Take-Long-Way-Home/dp/0812979117

3. Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott
https://www.amazon.com/Stitches-Handbook-Meaning-Hope-Repair/dp/1594632588

4. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and
Communications of the Dying by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley
https://www.amazon.com/Final-Gifts-Understanding-Awareness-Communications/dp/1451667256

Compassion Practice --
two books by Frank Rogers Jr.

1. (Christian perspective) Compassion in Practice: The Way of Jesus
https://www.amazon.com/Compassion-Practice-Frank-Rogers-Jr/dp/0835815668

2. (Interfaith perspective) Practicing Compassion
https://www.amazon.com/Practicing-Compassion-Frank-Rogers-Jr/dp/1935205250

Christian reflections that challenge some embedded theologies:

1. An Alter in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor
https://www.amazon.com/Altar-World-Geography-Faith/dp/0061370479

2. How Jesus Saves the World From Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic
Christianity by Morgan Guyton
https://www.amazon.com/How-Jesus-Saves-World-Christianity/dp/0664262236

3. "My Cancer Didn't Happen For a Reason" The Cancerous Author Blog by
Morgan J. Bolt
http://cancerousauthor.blogspot.com/   


Our Support Group members created their own list of recommended books.

This is their list with comments taken from various on-line descriptions and reviews:

1. A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED: A MEMOIR OF HOPE by Tom Brokaw:  Memoir of  dramatic year battling multiple myeloma and reflecting on a long, happy and lucky life

2. A YEAR BY THE SEA by Joan Anderson: how one woman’s journey of self-discovery gave her the courage to persevere in re-creating her life

3. BEING MORTAL: MEDICINE AND WHAT MATTERS IN THE END  by Dr. Atul Gawande: compassionate but piercing look at hospice care and the current state of care regarding age-related frailty, serious illness and impending death with a focus on the ultimate goal,         quality of life

4. DYING TO BE ME by Anita Moorjani:  Inspirational memoir of cancer survivor who, after a near death experience, realizes her inherent worth, then rapidly heals and is cured.

5. FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom: A novel following life and death of a maintenance man and his encounters with five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive

6. KITCHEN TABLE WISDOM: STORIES THAT HEAL  by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen:  true stories highlighting the human tradition of shared experience and their power to heal

7. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:  Multigenerational novel, magical realism, chronicling the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love.  Considered a masterpiece of Spanish literature.

8. PACHINKO (just because it’s a wonderful read) by Min Jin Lee:  Epic historical novel following characters from Korea who eventually migrate to Japan. Won the National Book Award for Fiction.

9. SAPIENS: A VERY BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND  by Yuval Harari:  ‘Showing it is possible to ask very big questions and answer them scientifically”.   NY Times best seller, translated into 45 languages.

10. TO BEGIN AGAINTHE JOURNEY TOWARD COMFORT, STRENGTH AND FAITH IN DIFFICULT TIMES by Naomi Levy:  drawing on her own personal story and experience as a rabbi, Levy uses individual’s stories to explore how adversity can be a positive force, leading people to open their hearts to God, while understanding that coping is an ongoing process of life

11. TALKING TO GOD: PERSONAL PRAYERS FOR TIMES OF JOY, SADNESS, STRUGGLE AND CELEBRATION FOR PEOPLE OF ALL FAITHS  BY Naomi Levy

12. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE: AN OLD MAN, A YOUNG MAN, AND LIFE’S GREATEST LESSON  by Mitch Albom: Exploring personal transcendence and the value of retaining dignity in the face of death, drawn from conversations with the author’s 78 year old sociology professor, Morrie, Schwartz, who was dying of ALS. 

13. BOOKS BY WAYNE DYER, philosopher and self-help author

 

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