The alarm is set for 4:30 a.m., a smoothie is chilling in the refrigerator, my suitcase is packed, and my computer is all spiffed up with new memory and an oddly clean desktop. I am ready to head to Texas tomorrow for the 35th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The first educational sessions start at 2 p.m. tomorrow, with one entire session focusing on The Biology of Triple-Negative.
TNBC is a major emphasis of this year’s symposium and I am looking forward to sitting in the room with major researchers, being able to ask questions, to discuss, to soak it all in. Plus, I am delighted with this interest in a disease that has been under-reported and under-researched for too long. We’re finally on the main stage, ladies.
To keep me snappy in the morning I made a healthy breakfast smoothie of blueberries,a banana, low-fat yogurt, and black cherry juice. And my computer will be equally well fed—it is full of information on the symposium, preparatory notes and twice as much memory as it had a few hours ago.
This computer is getting a little old and that maddening little spinning rainbow had become a common element of my work. Write, spin, write, spin, spin, write, spin. So I ordered additional memory and it came late this afternoon, just in time. My husband installed it for me and, magically, that colorful little wheel is gone. I can write, write, write. Whooheee. That means I can take notes at the symposium and actually keep up without having to wait for my computer to think about whether or not it is up to the task. And to celebrate this new computer experience, I cleaned up my desktop so it looks less like an explosion in a file folder factory.
Covering this convention is a whole new experience for me. I have been a journalist all my life, but I have primarily written for magazines, which means I have a lot of time to think, research, write, rewrite, review, and polish. I am not accustomed to sitting in a meeting, taking notes, and then writing a story immediately. That’s a whole new thought process, and I am eager to see how it goes.
There’s also an important human element to this experience: I am finally going to get to meet some of the women I have corresponded with through my book, this blog or other TNBC-related activities. I have dinner plans with Lori tomorrow and lunch with Carol on Thursday and I hope to meet Anne at the advocacy gathering tomorrow night. And Julie suggested I seek out her doctor, who will be there. I have never met these women in person, but I treasure my electronic friendship with them. Soon, we will meet, human to human. Friend to friend. Nice, huh?
A friend from my pre-cancer life will pick me up at the airport—she and I have co-authored a magazine book, The Magazine from Cover to Cover. We’ll have a quick lunch together—assuming my flight makes it on time—and then I head to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center where things should be buzzing with the work of some amazing brains.
I’ll let you know what I find.