I think I want a new job — I want to be a professional guest speaker. I had so much fun today sharing my breast cancer story with a bunch of University of Florida medical students (if you guys are reading this, I thank you sincerely for being such an attentive and responsive audience!) that I want to do it again and again. Think there’s good money in such an endeavor? Probably not. Still, I’m willing to suck it up and talk anyway.
Here’s what was so great about today: Before I stepped behind the podium in the large classroom with the tiered desks and seats, I got to listen to Dr. Merry-Jennifer Markham lecture about cancer survivorship, and she was gooood, and her points segued perfectly into what I had to say. She didn’t know it would happen that way, and I didn’t know it would happen that way, but our two presentations meshed beautifully. For example, she talked about how it’s not uncommon for cancer survivors to get skin cancer, and when it was my turn to talk, I pointed to the ugly scar on my arm where my basal cell cancer was removed. She discussed the value of psychotherapy and antidepressants during cancer treatment, and I revealed that both were part of my line-up. She discussed chemo brain. I think I had that. I can’t remember. It’s like we had discussed our plan for talking to these students, but we never did—it just happened that our messages were similar, and it was lovely.
I also love that I learned some new bits of information from Dr. Markham (holy cow, women have a 1 in 3 chance of getting cancer [any cancer] in their lifetimes, and men have a 1 in 2 chance), I love the little microphone I got to clip to my shirt, I love the questions a few students asked me after the class ended, I love that the traffic on this blog has totally ramped up in the last few hours (there are lots and lots of Gainesville visitors, and I suspect many of them are the students to whom I spoke), and the free valet parking wasn’t bad, either.
I love what happened today.