What a joy it was to be able to experience CancerCon. I won a Hotel Scholarship to experience it and I probably wouldn’t have been able to if not, at least for this year. Stupid Cancer really created a safe space here. Of course, I was nervous as this was my first live cancer event, but I was more over the moon excited.
Everyone was just so welcoming. I wasn’t that nervous to talk or be around so many people because everyone there knew what it was to go through cancer. They made it so easy to be myself. Everyone was having so much fun meeting new people and bonding/connecting over life with & after cancer. It’d created a safe space for everyone–family, caregivers, and even researchers–to be free. I highly recommend experiencing this.
Fortunately, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a scholarship and I couldn’t be more happier. It was just so awesome. It was definitely something I would want to continue doing every year I can. Breaks were encouraged, and no one judged you for having to excuse yourself. They all understood the need to put your health first.
I learned so many new things about my own journey with cancer and my survivorship–and the knowledge could be put to good use in every aspect of my life. I got to share my story and know I’m not alone in some of my thoughts on survivorship. I got to explore more of my own mind and my own reality. They talked about maintenance treatment and wanted everyone to feel empowered in their journey, whether you didn’t have treatment, you’re on lifelong oral chemo, or even if your journey is technically “over” at the time of diagnosis. No matter what, you never had to feel out of place.
By : Ashlynne Mannes