So here’s the scoop. There’s a conference (check link out above) that I want to go to. It’s attended by health professionals (cancer specialists, physiotherapists, counsellors) and survivors from ALL over the world.
It’s held every three years and the next one, 2008, is in Winnipeg.
I have such a strong feeling about going – 1) to raise more awareness of my type of cancer, 2) to provide a survivor’s perspective to discussions, and 3) perhaps to try and change the professionals’ minds about certain things (reliance on mammograms, having survivors involved more, statistics, etc.).
The thing is, I can’t afford to go. The long term disability exhausted any savings Vince and I had. And now I may be faced with a bill for a drug that the cancer clinic won’t cover.
In my frustration at my lack of funds and my excitement over what this conference can mean to me and others, I mentioned it to a friend. I tell you, she’s a pretty amazing woman because now she’s determined to get me there. I wasn’t thinking very well when I mentioned it to her, you see, what makes this even more spectacular is the fact that her husband is a reporter on the local news channel. Between them, they’ve thought perhaps I could be a local interest story to bring awareness (first and foremost) and maybe even drum up some support.
Here’s my problem: I’m most definitely an in-you-face kind of person – I’m HAPPY to talk about my cancer, my journey and my wishes for the future. But, and here’s that contradiction in me, I don’t necessarily like the spotlight and, more importantly, I’m not a fan of making myself a charity case.
So, what to do? That is the question.
What do you think?