Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cancer Survivorship - Living with and Beyond cancer'

Been chairing a Conference organised by 'Positif Politics' for Macmillan Cancer Support in Nantgarw today. You might ask why they asked me. Well, in part because the advertised 'chair' was stuck in the Far East, and I was called in at the last minute. And the clue to the other reason was written there on the agenda - "The event will be chaired by Glyn Davies (Cancer Survivor). I don't think I've ever seen that written down before. I normally try to pretend I'm no such thing, but today's conference was about Cancer Survivorship' so 'fair enough'.

Now if I'm 'chairing' any sort of meeting, I like to make sure everything is just as I want it. My nonchalance about these things is pretence. So I was not content that the 'speaker's table' was placed directly in front of the screen. It was about 10' by 3', covered in a pristine table cloth, and laden with jugs of water, flowers, Fox's glacier mints, maybe ten glasses, several literature packs and Cath Lindley's handwritten notes. I decided to move it about four feet to one side. Unfortunately, as I moved slowly backwards (to avoid disturbing anything), I didn't notice that only one half of the table was following me. Under the pristine tablecloth, there were actually two tables butted up to each other. And unfortunately there was a jug of water resting smack over the join. When the gap between the tables had reached about twelve inches, the weight of the jug caused the tablecloth to slip inwards from both sides. Everything then seemed to happen very quickly.

As the debris was removed, all bundled up in the now not so pristine tablecloth (including all the broken glass) there was a ten square foot water stain on the carpet. I was so impressed with Daran Hill, who's 'set' it was. He batted not an eyelid - just reminded me that the statue remembering Tommy Cooper is but a mile or two up the road - and got on with rebuilding it. And Cath, who was opening the Conference, retained her usual elegance as she carefully laid out her notes to dry.

I really enjoyed the day. Normally I'm not much of a conference man, but there are well over 100,000 cancer survivors in Wales, suffering a range of post treatment conditions, varying from debilitation to the virtually unaffected (which includes me). How we support all these people is an important issue - and of interest to me. It was quite testing, leading a discussion where most of the audience were more knowledgeable than me. But I learned a lot.

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