So long ASCO and thanks for all the fish!
This year was indeed very different, not just because of the #NotTheCEO obviousness, but due largely in part to the perspective this massive event now has for me.
True, there were no 6:30am partnership strategy workshops, no exhaustive taxi-pinball to dozens of different venues within the same hour, not one anxious moment I’d be late for something, and no. badge that misspelled my name but gave me access to the exhibit hall which I did not need to remotely step foot into this time around.
(Note: I will miss tripping over the many different carpets, where intentional texture, height and plushiness are clearly directly proportional to the value framework of booth experience.)
This time, I observed ASCO. My stay wasn’t long but I actually read the agenda, looked at the sessions, leaned more about the presenters, and took in so many of the scientific announcements.
But the best part, outside of my partnership with The Atlantic for their mind-blowingly inspiring #CancerStories event, (rewatch the livestream and my keynote at http://cancerstories.theatlantic.com/) was the homecoming aspect of seeing all my friends and colleagues.
These are the people who helped make me. The team who built the young adult cancer movement with me. The team who supported me when I knew it was my time to bow out gracefully.
Holy Christ, we’ve gotten old.
BUT WE LOOK GOOD!
But in the best tongue-in-cheek sense of aging gracefully, we’re all still as frieken awesome as awesome gets. And,man, have we paid our dues, put in the hours, and committed ourselves 24/7 to the cause.
There is so much water under the bridge (almost 15 years for some of us) and you guys are my family away from home. We have done some serious Earth moving; a story that may never be told with the justice it deserves.
And I love you all. (Most of you, anyway. 🙀)
ASCO is fun to poke a stick at because it’s just so huge and has become a laughably dreadable pilgrimage that we just have to do; but it’s a beacon of hope that we’re not all just wasting our time for nothing.
See you on the other side.
Or on Facebook.