SC2012 day 2: I can tell that we are gonna be friendsNovember 3, 2012
Just yesterday, many of the 100+ participants of Survivor Conference 2012 were strangers to one another. Today, they were talking about their memory issues and learning about one another’s issues in the bedroom. From what we can tell, everyone even ended the long day on a great note.
The morning came gently with a pre-breakfast yoga session for anyone who was interested. Nikki Bergen’s comfortable movements and the 20 yoga mats Sport Chek generously donated were welcomed by frequent practitioners and yoga newbies alike.
We spent the morning in workshops on brain fog with Dr. Heather Palmer and Jennifer Chown, anxiety with Dr. Norma D’Agostino and Karine Chalifour, insurance with Glen Oliver, and learning about the 360 Awareness Tool for supporters with Frédéric Messier.
The brain fog workshop was so popular we had to add another large session and we’re sure people would have still been interested in more time with the topic. We were posting messages on Facebook and Twitter during the event, and some of the key messages were:
- The brain is like a super highway. Brain fog is like a pothole in your highway. Sometimes, it’s like Hurricane Sandy wiped it out.
- Every time you have a foggy memory or do something strange, think about why it happened. Write it down.
- If we can’t concentrate, we can’t process. If we can’t process, we can’t remember.
- Four simple steps to manage: Stop. Clarify (what you’re doing and why). Simplify (prioritize, simple steps). Monitor.
Friday’s schedule also offered a little bit of time to do whatever you wanted. We organized trips to the Hockey Hall of Fame and the CN Tower, some people went shopping, and others just explored downtown Toronto. Yuri came toward the end to lead a session of Qi Gong for anyone who was back at the hotel. It was just a great time to relax and unwind after the morning.
The main event this evening was Dr. Anne Katz’s keynote address on sexual health. It was a topic that could have been uncomfortable, but she didn’t give anyone the chance to worry about it. She dove right in, made us feel at ease, and inspired the group to seek action and open lines of communication with their partners for a healthy sexual relationship.
Some of her highlights were:
- The worst has actually happened. You have faced cancer, you’ve come out the other side, and some of you have done it more than once. If that doesn’t give you confidence, I don’t know what will.
- Face your fears. You’ve gotten through cancer, you’ve gotten through watching your parents’ faces when you were diagnosed, you’ve gotten through treatment.
- Dating is hard, and people are going to reject you, but do you really want a jerk in your life? You don’t deserve someone who is conditional or pities you.
- Don’t let your health care providers get away with being embarrassed or lazy. Talk, ask, speak, challenge.
I could go on and on and on, but she’s also offering two workshops on Sunday so I’m sure there will be plenty of other words of wisdom to pass along. Once again, check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed for all the notes.
The evening wrapped up with a game night. Groups formed to play Apples To Apples, Jenga, Popcorn (Charades meets Taboo with a twist–the red sheet below is the twist), and some game that combined Pictionary and Broken Telephone and created tears of laughter.
Thank you to all of the workshop organizers for all the amazing information; Nikki and Yuri for helping us move; and the SC2012 participants for being so awesome, open, and ready for what we have planned.
We hope you’re all ready for more on Saturday!
P.S. Song of the day