Sunday, 2 October 2011
My first impression as I walked into the conference hall was OH NO!!!! There were no windows and I knew the doors would be closed during the sessions - for one who is seriously claustrophobic this was not a good start!. Having claimed my seat next to an exit and near an air con vent I took a few squirts of my trusty Rescue Remedy and I was OK.
The two most informative sessions from my point of view were those given by (1) Jeremy Steele (Consultant in Oncology, St Barts Hospital, London & Chair of Mesothelioma UK). His talk was on 'Targeted /individualised treatment'. (2) Peter Szlosarek (Consultant in Oncology at St Barts Hospital) spoke about 'Current Trials for Mesothelioma in the UK and International'. Their talks were informative with just enough science to understand the very complex nature of treatments. As usual both spoke with commitment and I felt encouraged and hopeful for the future of treatment of this ugly disease.
The main reason for my attending this day was to listen to Michael Lees, a founder member of Asbestos in Schools Group. I found myself crying as he spoke - what he said and showed on slides was so familiar to me - the old pre-fab Horsa huts that I used to teach in back in the 80's. His talk was was quite honestly devastating - and that so much of the harmful effects of asbestos was known about years ago and still the problem persists. It is a shameful indictment of the UK. I retired from 32 years of teaching but sadly my retirement has been cut short and many of the hopes and dreams shattered. I am damn angry.
Please check out the web links on the right of this blog.
Thank you also to Tony Whitson (Rep. of Asbestos Support Groups Forum) for highlighting the appalling situation of asbestos mining and exportation in Canada.
Also wanted to mention Debbie Brewer and Suzanne Philbin-Jeng - two fellow mesowarriors who had the guts to get up and share their stories with the conference. Well done girls - you did us proud!