Let’s take a short pause from the overwhelming torrent of info pouring out of this week’s American Society of Hematology meetings in Orlando, to acknowledge two media related cancer happenings.

First, I’m sure all of you will join me in extending our condolences to Elizabeth Edward’s family and friends. She passed away yesterday morning at her home.  Elizabeth Edwards was an exceptional woman and became a tireless advocate for cancer patients and caregivers after her breast cancer diagnosis.

Second, I noticed yesterday that one of the characters on the CBS daytime drama, the Young and the Restless, features a character with amyloidosis, an uncommon malignant blood disorder.  This startled me. 

I’m familiar with “amy” as I call it, because a few of the fellow multiple myeloma patients I know are also diagnosed with amyloidosis.

According to the Mayo Clinic Website, Amyloidosis is a disease that occurs when substances called amyloid proteins build up in your organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein usually produced by cells in your bone marrow that can be deposited in any tissue or organ.

Amyloidosis can affect different organs in different people, and there are many types of amyloid. Amyloidosis frequently affects the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract.

Sometimes it can be controlled with medication.  Sometimes it can’t.  Some cases progress slowly and some are terminal.  The trick is controlling and limiting the production of amyloid protein.

Contact the Amyloidosis Foundation to learn more at amyloidosis.org.

Feel good and keep smiling!

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