The 10Th Annual Conference For Young Woman Affected By Breast Cancer by Sarah

March 3, 2010

Well I made it home. No plane crash or traumatic incident! After not flying for 13 years I was a bit worked up about traveling. Thank goodness for anxiety meds. All aspects of my traveling experience went smoothly (with the exception of an overlooked bottle of cranberry juice in my purse, oops)

The 10Th Annual Conference For Young Women Affected By Breast Cancer was so much fun, I even met two survivors on my plane ride down to Atlanta. We were all in the same row! It was so cool.  I went down a day early and was able to spend time with two of my Hubby’s Sisters. We had a nice girl time. I don’t often get to visit with them without 12 kids running around. 

They kept us very busy at the conference. We had lots of time to network and I met so many wonderful inspiring young women who face the same things I do everyday. Some of us were post treatment and some still in treatment proudly wearing their wigs, hats and scarves. All with bright eyes and beautiful smiles. One of the things I was really looking forward to was meeting some folks I had never met in person. One of the ladies from Mothers With Cancer was there all the way from Canada.  I love Laurie’s writing and I have also read her book Not Done Yet. It is about her journey through cancer diagnosis and treatment. It is a great read and I highly recommend it even if you are not a woman facing breast cancer. I wish I had more time to talk and hang out with her. She is such a great person and I am inspired by her. The first time I saw her she happened to be raising her hand in a lymphedema workshop a few rows back from me. I knew it was her the moment I turned around. When we had a short break I went right over to her and introduced myself to her. She is as wonderful as I thought she was. We found a little time to chat here and there, and I am so happy that I got to meet her face to face.

There were some really good speakers at the conference. Dr Julie Gralow, professor of Medical oncology at the university of Washington school of medicine, Julia H. Rowland PhD from The National Cancer institute, and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. They were very informative speakers and I enjoyed listening to all of these woman speak about cancer and survivorship.

I was able to go to several workshops. I chose workshops on lymphedema, triple negative breast cancer, both of which I found very informative. I was very encouraged to hear about some new drugs that are about to come out that will target triple negative breast cancer. Us triple negative cancer patients do not have any target treatments like most woman do that have hormone receptive cancer or that are HER2+. This is wonderful news for triple negative breast cancer patients. I learned so much new information that I did not know before. One quote I heard during the conference was “Cancer happens to a person not a body part” Sometimes some of us feel like our bodies are treated but our whole person is not treated.

We also had some fun at the conference. I was lucky enough to be traveling with 4 other woman from my support group. We had so much fun hanging out and just having fun. We had lots of opportunities to let loose a bit and have a great time, laughing a just goofing off.

There are so many good things I carried away from the conference. But, best of all was the friendships and camaraderie between breast cancer survivors. There is always a conversation to be had between two breast cancer survivors. We all have our own cancer stories and our own treatment issues that we go through. It was a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by woman that knew about where I have been on my journey through cancer. It’s something that is very hard to put into words, but we all get it. There is always a nod and a Yes! Sometimes we feel alone with our disease, but we all have a very strong common bond. It’s a sisterhood of sorts. I felt bonded with complete strangers I had never met before. I am so glad that I was able to attend this years conference and I am looking forward to going again next year.

10th annual conference for young women affected by breast cancer! (by laurie)

January 11, 2010

Last winter, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the 9th Annual Conference For Young Women Affected By Breast Cancer in Dallas, Texas.

It was an amazing experience.

I expected to learn a lot and I really, really did.

I hoped to be inspired and I was, beyond my wildest expectations.

I didn’t think about it being fun but it really, really was.

The sessions I attended were informative, entertaining and gave me great hope. I met some terrific women. And more than once, I laughed until I cried (I will not soon forget the pajama party hosted by Pure Romance. The experience defies explanation but they’re doing it again this year, so come and join in the fun). I came home with a pink cowboy hat and a renewed determination to live well.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the conference and it will take place from February 26-28 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45, this conference is for you. Last year, there were more than 1,000 women in attendance from all over the world who have been affected by breast cancer in a multitude of ways. It meant so much to me to see all these beautiful women, at different stages of treatment and to see other women with metastasis living their lives to the fullest.

It was a great conference, co-sponsored by Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Young Survival Coalition, two groups that do excellent work.

I have a scholarship to go again this year. If you have been on the fence about attending – hop off and come join me.

If you are planning to go, leave a message in the comments or send me an email (laurie dot kingston at gmail dot com) or a direct message on Twitter (lauriek). Or if you’re at the conference and you spot a blonde woman with red glasses alternating between knitting and taking notes, come on over and say ‘hi.’

friend as client or client as friend

September 18, 2008

The bell rang and I just thought it was my nanny forgetting her keys again, but no. There before my eyes was a dear friend that I had not seen in months. Later that same week my girlfriend I call Roomie called and had a watershed moment. Not a moment could be found after that, about wanting to get on the first plane to the states, because I missed my room-mate so dearly.

Just when I was feeling lonely because my silly little car had a flat tire and I did not have the strength to turn a lug nut. I waited out side my door for the road service person. While the gentleman fixed my flat tire, along strolls my Irish friend with a big hug and a how are you.  I retort: Fine, what are you doing in my neck of the woods today? She said:Didn’t you remember you have physical therapy. I said yes I just don’t know who is going to show up. She and I had a good laugh, because it was her. She is officially my new physical therapist. She said there was something great about having a friend as a client or was it client as a friend. Either way it was a win win situation for both of us.

I thanked the AAA road service gentleman, and we were on our way to have a good catch up chat  during the treatment and knowing that she gets paid to visit and I have a constant time to see her weekly. It’s a perfect situation. I am so happy I could burst!

Stick to your goals!

September 10, 2008

Do not alter your ambitions to match the ambitions of others. Stick to your goals! Well that was my Horror-scope today, and as I screen through what other mom bloggers are writing about, I ponder if my blog is interesting enough or down right stale.

I hear the school children play baseball in the park below my house and I stop for more than a few moments and enjoy the sounds of cheering children, cheering for their classmates and fellow team members. Then I am really drawn in as if it is the world series, I found myself cheering.

Then it struck me…

This is my goal. Not only do I want to blog about breast cancer, but I also want to cheer for the other players- IE. researcher, docs and specialists and I want to be drawn in enough to find myself cheering for each and every individual on the field of cancer… people like  the children below in the park.

So I am taking the plunge and agreed to read the contract for Trusera. I hope to start cheering /blogging as soon as possible. For those who have be following this process, thanks for your input. I will look out for all the pitfalls that are suggested.

flying high on the good news

September 8, 2008

More good news, tumor marker only 52 point off of what is considered normal.  25 is normal, I have 77. I just wanted to share and spread the love and joy I am feeling. I can’t wait to let my family know that their diligent prayers are working!