The weekend of April 28, Judy and I attended the LBBC (Living Beyond Breast Cancer) conference on metastatic breast cancer in Philly. We met many of you when you stopped by our MBCN table in the conference room. Thank you to all who stopped by, it was a pleasure to meet you. Just being in the main room with over 200 women living with the disease (some for over 20 years!!) was humbling and yet, inspiring.
The day began with a panel of experts weighing in on a number of issues. In a rather candid discussion, several of the doctors discussed the challenges they experienced in advocating for their patients. It was affirming to hear that doctors are frustrated in dealing with the FDA and with insurance companies and are actively advocating on behalf of their patients, for current treatments, more research and more access to potentially beneficial medications. We need more advocacy and easier access to medications!
On Sunday, I attended a session on sexual intimacy and was pleasantly surprised by the forthrightness of the MALE speaker who, with humor and respect, spoke directly about the impact of cancer and treatment on sexual well-being. There was a group of younger women with mbc who unabashedly asked questions that I was too shy to ask — thanks to this group!!
Overall, the conference provided women like us a chance to connect. Please keep in mind that the MBCN annual conference is October 13 in Chicago and will provide another opportunity to learn and to connect.
LBBC now has podcasts of the sessions on their website. Take a look: http://www.lbbc.org/Events/Metastatic-Breast-Cancer-Conference/2012-04-28-Metastatic-Breast-Cancer-Conference