That’s Why I’m Here

Regular followers may have noticed that National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) nearly sucked the life out of me. I was doing GREAT right up until Thanksgiving, when I realized that the point of my being interested and/or relevant was far behind me. So I’ve had a much-needed break, and now I’m back.

But I digress…

James Taylor has always been one of my favorite singer-songwriters, but this isn’t about that either.

(At least they’ve finally confirmed that chemobrain is real!)

The ACTUAL point is that I am at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (#SABCS), an annual 5-day conference of 8000 people who care deeply about breast cancer. The crowd ranges from preeminent researchers from across the globe to “regular” physicians who do the world of attempting to heal us, and from “big” pharma to “little” advocates, like me.

To be sure, the advocates are generally lost in the shuffle. We are outnumbered 80:1. The conference is not presented in everyday language. And there is no way for anyone to take it all in, let alone a lay person.

And yet, we are assured that we are why everyone is here.

I am very proud to be one of 30 scholarship advocates, guests of the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation. The “job” of scholarship advocates is to take in all that we can, and eventually to report back to you. Early next year the ABCF will release a “Hot Topics” DVD that will incorporate the highlights of the conference presented by both researchers and a “report” in lay terms by one of us.

The good news is that my “hot topic” assignment won’t be presented until Friday afternoon, so I can take in the sessions until then. The bad news is that my “hot topic” assignment won’t be presented until Friday afternoon, and I’m going to have to have some brain power left to figure it out!

In the meantime, I am awed by the opportunity I have before me…a feeble effort to share the findings I am hearing (good, bad and ugly) with the breast cancer twitterverse. If you’re not following me, consider adding me (@regrounding) or follow the #SABCS twitterfeed. If none of this makes any sense, and if you believe as I did that life shouldn’t be lived in 140 characters or fewer, hop on over to, sign up, give a follow and tell me what you think. Personally, I’ve been converted. While a blog is a great place to use lots of words, the need to be succinct can be a gift!

So I’m doing some “reporting” and trying to translate the sessions into “soundbites” that you can understand, while still acknowledging the complexity of cancer and cancer research. It is not uncommon for new studies to raise more questions than they answer, and so you’ll see those too. And knowing me, you can count on a snark or two.

P.S. I love getting your tweets, will try to respond to your questions or comments between sessions, but even if I can’t PLEASE add your voice!! It is so important…this is ALL about us! And in that vein I am here representing ALL of us and, as my friend Kathi at says, I’m “sherpin'” along.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vicki Tashman
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 17:30:49

    You’ll love the conference Lori! Can’t wait to read what you’ve written!


  2. DrAttai
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 19:19:20

    Lori – you, AnneMarie and Jody are doing such a phenomenal job! I’ve been following the tweets – this is a meeting I never get to attend as my “day job” gets very busy in December – and this is the first time I’ve gotten my news from the meeting as it happens rather than relying on press releases. This is also one of the toughest meetings from a scientific standpoint – the presentations are certainly NOT in lay language, and many of the studies presented are early phase trials which may or may not make it to mainstream relevance. I’m sure you are all exhausted at the end of each day (and those days are LONG!) but know that you are helping so many with your information and perspective. Keep it up!


  3. Rob Witham
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 20:47:59

    Have LOVED following the Tweets all week long!!! Keep up the incredible work of spreading knowledge, and thus, spreading power!! XOXO


  4. hopeforheather
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 21:37:15

    I wondered what that hashtag was (I’m @zheatherchamp)….thanks for clarifying and as Rob said above, I second – thank you for your work, spreading the knowledge, and power!


  5. Susan
    Dec 06, 2012 @ 09:18:25

    You’re going to love every minute of the conference. I am enjoying your tweets and look forward to your reporting. Thanks Lori!


  6. Sandy Marx (@smsavta)
    Dec 06, 2012 @ 10:31:01

    You’re doing a wonderful job.


  7. Catherine ~ Facing Cancer Together
    Dec 06, 2012 @ 11:43:04

    I’ve been catching some of the #SABCS tweets on twitter – the topics are so bang-on, so relevant to women with breast cancer. Keep sharing the news and good luck with your Friday presentation. Geez, if the goals I’ve seen tweeted can really be met – it’d be such an incredible miracle. ~Catherine


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