Sunday, January 23, 2011

In the Valley of the Sun

At first I was hesitant to accept an invitation to attend a medical conference in Phoenix, Arizona to learn more about a new treatment for ovarian cancer. It meant being away from the kids from Thursday afternoon until Saturday night. And more than that, being across the country from them. I reasoned that I would only not see them for one full day. They can handle that (but could I?).

So here I am, on the plane ride back to Atlanta recalling a few things I've learned or  have been reminded of in the last couple days...

I am not fashion forward in the least. The evening of the first day we arrived there was a welcome dinner on the terrace of the Ritz Carlton, the hotel where we stayed. It was an exquisite dinner with a breathtaking view of  the sun setting behind the desert mountain ranges. There was excitement in the air as we all chatted about the first few patients that  had been treated with this new cellular therapy. I am not sure what I had expected but I can honestly say it did not occur to me that it would be a fashion show of sorts. The women were dressed in all kinds of crazy cool dresses and wraps.  As we made introductions I realized that all the savvy looking men and women were from different parts of Europe and Australia. You could definitely spot the people from the States! Note to self: consult Abbie prior to attending another one of these thingamajigs.

We mommies love to talk about our babies! It's always cool to me how quickly women can bond while gushing about their children. I instantly clicked with a few other mommies from New York, New Jersey and Australia. They are all smart, hilarious women and wonderful mothers. I am in awe of moms that work full time. I don't know how they do it! After the conference our little group went to dinner and then hung out at the pool  laughing and swapping stories about our children and husbands. Most of them had teenagers or older so I got to hear lots of words of wisdom for the years to come.

I love my job. Meeting and working with people who are passionate about cancer patients, finding the next, best treatment and improving quality of life in those who are living with it is an honor.

I can still run. Kind of. Before meeting the ladies for dinner I set out to run 3 miles. My dad told me a long time ago when I was starting to run for distance to find a pace slow enough that I felt like I could run forever. I won't tell you how slow I went. Just know that it was SLOW. I hit my groove and ended up doing 6 miles. Then I nearly died. I miss running. I miss playing mind games to push myself to go further, challenging my body to go another 10 minutes and another and another. I miss pushing through that concrete wall until all at once I feel light and rhythmic, like I could run, well, forever. I missed it so much that after hanging out at the pool with the girls, I went back and ran two more miles.

Room Service Rocks.  The ultimate in laziness (and awesomeness), room service takes a close second on my list of my favorite ways to be spoiled (first on the list is a  full body massage). The best part is someone else has to do the dishes. I heart room service.

My husband is pretty incredible. He encouraged me to take this trip from the moment I first  mentioned it.  And even though it meant doing baths, bedtime, making lunches, and taking the kids to the grocery store, breakfast, a birthday party all by his lonesome (and somehow squeezing in time to play drums at a friend's wedding and then bolt as soon as it was over to get me from the airport) it didn't seem to phase him. But that's why I married him, simply put: he's the best!

Nothing, no matter how good it is, compares to time with my kids. I can't wait to get back home to feel Patrick's face press against mine as I scoop him out of bed in the morning and say, "What craps (crafts) are we going to do today, Mommy?" And to see Madelyn's sweet smile as she carries a book over and clumsily climbs into my lap.


KBBean said...

I heart your posts! So glad the conference went well--and glad you're back home as well.

Anonymous said...

Angie - you are amazing - great to hear about the wonderful work(at home and away) you do and what it teaches you! -Rhiannon

Meme said...

Angie-always knowing and then counting your blessings-so proud of you and love you! Mom

Aunt Mollie said...

Angie, you have so much strength and wisdom that you contune to show everyone. You love and passion for everything you do in life is such a gift to me. You inspire me to be a better person each day.

I am glad that you had a fun time! Love you so much and your wonderful family. You all are a gift to me!