Friday, April 24, 2015

Denver day 2

Hey everyone! It's been a long day and CancerCon hasn't even officially started!!
For starters, the time change had me up early. Combined with adrenaline and a huge late dinner, didn't have a great sleep last night. But it was a productive morning!
First Amelia and I registered. I got a cool Cancer Con t-shirt, a lanyard with my name and city, along with an orange tag that says first-time. Our schedules are printed on the back of our tags. I also got a registration bag filled with loot! They had thoughtfully included snacks, water bottles, notebooks, and some toys. After registering,  Amelia and I grabbed Starbucks for breakfast. All the Cancer Con people wear stupid cancer clothing, and combined with the lanyards, it's really easy to know who is here for Cancer Con and strike up conversation.
After breakfast Amelia went on a Rocky Mountain tour for the day. My first order of business was to complete home work for a Seattle Genetics pharmaceutical focus group I'll be attending tomorrow morning. They had asked us to review 4 drug websites, and provide our thoughts, comments and suggestions on improvements to these websites.
Afterwards, I went out to buy toothpaste (which I forgot) and look around a bit. Our hotel is at the start of 16th Street, which is apparently the place to be in Denver. They have a shuttle that just runs up and down the street, but it was a really pleasant morning so I walked. There are all sorts of restaurants, shopping, kiosks, benches, flower pots, and panhandlers along the way. Generally it was quite nice, and a very enjoyable walk. I caught my first glimpse of a mountain!
Back at the hotel I did some studying, painted my nails  and then rested. Today I'm feeling the altitude much more, and have been a bit breathless.
Around 3pm Steve G and Danielle arrived. Steve is a 3-time survivor, and his family foundation was one of the sponsors of the scholarship that let me come to Denver. Danielle and I had the same diagnosis  of HL 4b, and she is just 6-months out of treatment. We've spoken via social media,  but it was super awesome to finally meet her in person.  We were hungry so walked down 16th Street and found a farm fresh restaurant Modmarket. I got a chipotle steak sandwich which had an incredible aioli and free greens in it. We made a quick stop at Rite Aid because we all needed stuff. I got Epsom salts, which I forgot to buy in the morning. My nurse has been strongly recommending it for my pain, so hopefully I'll try it tomorrow.
Once we got back to the hotel, we all split up and rested. Later, Danielle came and did make up for me. She is really into it and I loved the smokey eye that she did! It was a fun girl-time thing to do!
In the evening, there was a meet and greet across the street. It was fun to talk to meet other people who'd had cancer when they were like 20s, and see them married, with careers, and doing well in life.
But my favorite part was the networking. I met Mark from Australia, who is working for AYA there , and Toby from UK. I also got to meet Matt Zachary, co-founder of stupid cancer!  It was incredible to see so many people, from across the globe, coming together to fight AYA cancer. So many people who are using their cancer experiences to fight for future cancer patients. It was just really incredible to meet them and see how they have gotten busy living!!
I'll post pics on fb now, since it is much easier for me   Good night!

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