Nov 222004

Well, we are home from our ovarian cancer symposium in Victoria this weekend.

It was all a bit of a whirlwind, by my standards. If things were a bit more normal, and I had a bit more than 8 days since my last chemo, then it maybe wouldn’t have felt quite so overwhelming.
And it wasn’t *terribly* overwhelming, it was just a bit of a stretch for me.
But it was interesting, and I am glad we went, and I am still thinking through some of the details of it.

In itself, the symposium was a day of covering a lot of information we already knew.
The thing I did find interesting was hearing about the new advances in immunotherapy that they are working on at the Deeley Centre in Victoria.
That is some interesting research. Basically what they do is extract some blood, separate out some of the t-cells, plump up the t-cells and help them multiply, and then pump them back into you so they can take a whack at the cancer/tumour.
See, apparently tumours have this sneaky way of tricking your t-cells into believing there really aren’t any tumours there and so the t-cells leave them alone. This research is sounding interesting and hopeful.

It was interesting to chat with the women we shared a table with. One woman had just started her chemo treatments and it was a strange flashback to think about how that felt not so long ago, and to think about the fact that I actually made it through my 8 treatments. I am still working through that detail.
We chatted with 2 other women who had both been cancer-free for a good long chunk and one of them is now getting medals in the Grouse Grind, so that was really good to hear!
It was also new territory for me to be sitting with someone else who has/had ovarian cancer. I mean, I know it’s a weird thing to say, but I have never met anyone else in the flesh who had it, so it was bizarre on some level to be able to sit and chat and have that be accessible.
The women who were there were really kind to me and I appreciated that.

And I came away thinking I may want to devote some energy to being some sort of queer resource for people with cancer.
I dunno yet.
Who knows what happens next.
But I felt like there are some issues that have come up for me around the cancer process and those things are different than many of the things that would have come up for lots of the women at the conference.
I knew that ages ago.
And being there in Victoria kind of drove the point home for me.
So, maybe I will become some sort of GBLT cancer resource. I dunno.
I am certainly open to talking to anyone about that.
I mean, on one hand, having cancer kind of cuts through the differences between people.
And on the other hand, the way we organize our lives is different.
This is my new idea. I am just not quite sure what to do with this big idea.

And now I see that it is very very late, so I will take my flannel-covered ass to bed and see what happens around all this in the future.

 Posted by at 2:18 am

  3 Responses to “Home again”

  1. Spike, you rock. i know that’s all i ever post on your blog but you are a fabulous human being, you rock. not only do you rock coz you’ve made it through chemo (that is a spectacular feat in an of itself) but you rock in that you would think hey i would be a good resource for queer folk navigating this cancer thing. whether you create the Spike Centre for Queers doing Chemo or not you rock.

    and i don’t even know you so much so i’m sure you rock in many other ways too. i’m certain of it.

  2. Yeah yeah wot Tara sed!

  3. Glad you were able to have the opportunity to meet others with/had ovarian cancer, and that the weekend was not too overwhelming for you.
    I think that if you were to do some cancer work in the future in your community it would be very rewarding to you, what I know of you is you are very easy to be around and feel comfortable with, and that been said you would be perfect to help anyone dealing with cancer.
    I think you are a very special person.
    Take care
    love and hugs

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