OK so the best Christmas present would be for someone to tell me, with absolute authority, that I’m all clear and there will never be a Phyllodes recurrence for me… if only I could tell you/me that that is what my early Christmas present was…
However the second best present would be exactly what I got news of today. I received confirmation that my grant application to attend the 10th Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer in Atlanta USA in February 2010 has been approved. The Young Survivors Conference Scholarship Fund has provided me with approximately half the cost of my flight, accommodation and registration fees.
I can’t stop smiling. I’m soo looking forward to meeting a few of my Phyllodes Sisters who I’ve met via the internet and whom are also Phyllodes survivors or relatives of someone diagnosed with Phyllodes. During my journey these ladies have kept me sane, made me smile, listened, researched, answered my questions, shared information and personal stories, held my hand and provided, virtually via the new-fangled-interweb, gentle but ever-so-important hugs.
In addition to meeting in person some of these wonderful people, I’m hopeful that the conference will also allow me to learn and understand more about breast cancer and what it means to so many people; how to manage cancer diagnosis/surgery/therapy and the effect on your body and mind; to heighten awareness of Phyllodes (perhaps more awareness of Phyllodes will ensure that more than 20% of cases are diagnosed correctly first time meaning that many patients will only undergo one surgery for its removal with clear margins); to bring away from the conference information and guidance that perhaps can be used to help other Phyllodes survivors with their journeys and, selfishly, me with the closing of my own; and finally, perhaps some information that I’m able to impart with the medical teams in the UK from research and professionals in the USA.
Now all I need is the phone call from the team performing the further examination of the pathology with the all clear and I’m done! Hmmm perhaps I shall write a quick note to Santa and send it up the chimney… That list is pretty long already, would it be greedy to have a list with eleventeen requests on it?