It’s Thursday and I’m off on my travels again!! It’s amazing how many people tell me I have a great life going here and going there until I remind them the only reason I am is because I have Cancer!! and I would much rather have my old pre diagnosis life back thank you very much. Having said that I know how extremely lucky I am having been faced with this illness to still be able to travel and represent Irish patients as a voice for Melanoma Support Ireland, I am always aware that there are many who are perhaps not doing as good as me and I know that for me it could change quickly too, it’s something you have to learn to live with but never get used too. So I’m making the most of things and doing what I can to help, and hopefully when I can’t do it someone else will be there to carry on lobbying for us.

So where are you going Kay I can hear you saying, well I’m off to Copenhagen, I’ve never been before but I’m really looking forward to it because I’m going to meet my melanoma family again they are all members of Melanoma Patient Network Europe of which our Irish support group is delighted to be associated with. We are all attending ESMO which is the European Society Of Medical Oncology conference. It’s going to be BIG, lots of walking and lots of talks, but working as a team we should be able to cover most of it. This conference will see thousands of oncologists from around Europe but also USA and Australia in attendance. They will make presentations on all cancer types, about new trial data, new upcoming trials issues affecting treatment anything cancer related you will find at ESMO. It’s also a showcase for the pharmaceutical industry to present their new drug developments and as always we remain hopeful that they have found the next big thing and that we will be able to access it in Ireland.

I have noticed quiet a few Irish names in the program and on Sunday in particular I hope to get along to see a poster presentation on social supports for patients with cancer in Ireland presented by Y. Ged from St. James hospital. There is so much happening it’s going to be difficult to get to everything and I do have to make sure I don’t over do it not doctors orders but Husbands so I better do as I’m told. It all kicks off tomorrow Friday but I’ve come early to get settled in and to attend a BMS Advocacy forum reception. There is a growing understanding of working with patients advocacy groups within in the Pharma industry and the advantages it can bring but it also brings challenges for the advocates it’s a balancing act, between what’s good for your organisation and what’s good for them knowing the difference is the key to a wise advocate!! not claiming to be in that category yet.

Hopefully there will be time for some fun over the weekend but no mad partying unfortunately we are cancer patients and 10pm is my limit most nights. My friend Luc had promised to bring me skydiving as he is always jumping out of planes somewhere in the world, his version of cancer treatment not for everyone I’d imagine,  but we have had to postpone it not sure if that’s fortunate or unfortunate seems to work for him he’s doing really well so I won’t knock it till I try it. Means I’ll have to do another trip to Belgium hopefully so he can keep his promise to push me out of a plane.

P.s don’t tell my oncologist or my husband if you see them 😉