Monday, October 6, 2008

Sabine's Presentation

For the first time, this weekend Sabine and I went on separate adventures.

And so today we had lunch together at the wonderful "General Store" in nearby Spring Green.

Sabine was a panelist for an area conference in Waukesha on multiple myeloma sponsored the International Myeloma Foundation.

(She was on a patient panel and I heard that she had an opening joke: "What is the difference between a pit bull and a person fighting multiple myeloma? Answer: There is no difference!)

I also heard that one of her remarks had to do with the term, "caregiver," which she doesn't particularly like; instead, Sabine and I use the term, "battle buddy!" because on the battlefield, even if you are wounded, you still fight back and watch the back of your buddy.

Instead of attending the conference with Sabine, it was the weekend that my son, Peter, and I (along with Peter's father-in-law) were going to have a weekend "rite of passage" for Peter's son, and our grandson, Benjamin, for his 13th birthday.

So, my part of the weekend is that we assembled at nearby Governor Dodge State Park and spent three days working on our rock climbing skills and rappelling some great cliffs in that park. This, of course, was not the place for either mothers or grandmothers!

We don't have a "rite of passage" anymore in this society and heeding the remarks of the late Joseph Campbell that any society that permits boys to teach other boys how to be a man is in deep trouble, we set out for the cliffs!

I have enclosed a few of the pictures in a separate post from that weekend.

But first, this email that Sabine received after her presentation in Waukesha: from one of the myeloma conference organizers:

Dear Panelists,

I want to offer each of you my personal thanks for the awesome job you all did at the MM conference by sharing your personal journeys through Myeloma land. I heard MANY wonderful comments about your speeches, and I know you absolutely touched many, and gave them hope and inspiration.

For some of you, speaking may come easily, while for others it may have been a bit out of your comfort zone, and you all did an amazing job. My only regret is that each of you only had 5 minutes to share, I know you all had lots more to say and I would have loved to have each of you share for lots longer, but you did great in the time you did have. I know you have all had many ups and downs, but the things you shared put a positive spin out there for others struggling with the same issues and challenges you have each faced.

Several people commented to me throughout the afternoon that it was the best Patient Panel ever – and for that the credit goes to all of YOU!! It would not have been the success that it was without your participation. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!! I wish each of you good health and success in your battle against myeloma!!