Poster design by Josy Alldredge
Today was a busy day. I arrived at the Taylor Health Science Building at 7 am sharp for the 3rd annual Breast Cancer Survivor and Co-Survivor's Symposium. The rest of our committee arrived shortly thereafter and we put the finishing touches on the decorations and room set-up. Our first guests began arriving at about 7:40 am. More and more trickled in and we started the event right on time at 8:30 am. The day went smoothly. The laughter bubbling from the auditorium was like a sugary dab of honey for my sweet tooth. The attendees enjoyed themselves.
Nick Mezecapa, our keynote speaker from Rochester Minnesota, was funny, genuine, wise and warm. His presentation wasn't simply a speech, but a stage act full of facial expression and body movements. He was a great storyteller. Mr. Mezecapa referred to a book which I would like to read called: The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman in reference to the adaptations we must make to live in today's society. He talked about accepting the "GIVENS" in our life and creating a list of of the must-do's. He closed his presentation by having us all dance to music and reiterated that life is not about the dance. It's about the dance floor. Use the dance floor. Don't stand on the sidelines hoping to dance. There are no guarantees of a tomorrow.
Additional topics of the day included: Health Care Directives, Wills and Trusts: The Myths, the Snake Oil, and the Reality by Sean Sullivan, When Words Can't Express: Music Therapy by Janessa Campbell, Exercise: Motivation and Inspiration to Help You Beat Fatigue by John Yohman, DocTalk: Question and Answers from Expert Panel by Dr. Lemon, Dr. Hyde and Lorraine Moe, Behind the Scenes of Breast Cancer: Memoirs of a Loving Husband by Dennis Mitchell. We served breakfast to the melodious background music provided by the violin trio of Jayden Cox, Janessa Fisher and Celeste Tholen. The day then concluded with a visit from 12 members of the Dixie Lion's Club all dressed in pink shirts, John and Lisa Ames, major sponsors of the pink rodeo, and Terri Kane, CEO of our hospital. The Lion's club president, Cris Kapp, presented a check to DRMC's Breast Cancer program for $12,000. Read about it here.
After the event was over, I made a complete fool of myself in an interview with KCSG. And by complete fool I mean this is how it went. Seriously.
Reporter: So, why was this event started?
Then there was this LONG pause (and by long, I mean about as much time as it takes to make lasagna).
Me: Uh......uh....well.......uh......hmmm.......uh......well.....because.......um.......cuz....uh, women needed information in the survivorship phase. (Now keep in mind here, that the symposium was my idea. If anyone should be able to articulate its purpose, it should be me.)
All I can say, is that at least I didn't [accidentally] flip the audience off like the first interview I did. (Are you sensing sort of a theme here.....)
Can I just redeem myself and explain why the symposium was started and why it is significant:
Me: Breast cancer patients receive a good deal of support when undergoing treatment. But often, once treatment has ended and patients no longer have frequent interaction with health care providers, they often feel like: "now what?" This was event was started to fill a hole in breast cancer care and provide continued education and support in the survivorship phase as women are left to deal with the ramifications of their disease.
After helping my boss recover from fainting (yes, he watched the interview), and cleaning up from the symposium, I hurried on to the next event which was helping with the dress rehearsal for our ward roadshow. If you were just sitting around today thinking to yourself, "Gee whiz, I sure would like to see a fun adaptation of Disney's song Kiss the Girl from the Little Mermaid," then Tues. Nov. 18th at 7 pm is your lucky day. This is the day of reckoning...the day our roadshow will be played out in front of the masses to loud laughter and thunderous applause. (That is, if my mom is in the audience!)
After all of that, I came home and just sat. And sat. And craved lasagna.