Saturday, December 03, 2011
How are you doing? I'm back home!! Yay! Actually, I've been home since Wednesday night ^_^; Sorry I haven't blogged earlier! I wanted it to, but recovering from the trip - most specifically the bus right - took precedence LOL.
So can you believe that I made it for 4 days without internet?!? Yep I did :) LOL, great detox. There was wifi actually, but I had no gadget to connect to ^_^; No laptop, no iPhone or iPad... I do have a cell phone that could... but I don't know how ^_^; Plus, checking emails on the phone is not the greatest. I was hoping to borrow my labmate's laptop, but after days of hanging out together, we just went our separate ways in the evening... Booo.
Overall though, it was a great experience. It was the first time I went to a scientific conference and I think it was good. Not as fun as RT or RWA, but good LOL. Basically, this was the first Canadian Cancer Research conference on such a scale. There are many agencies in Canada funding cancer research and they usually each have their own conference... but this year, they forgo theirs and unite their efforts to make 1 big conference. There was about a thousand persons registered... This is much smaller compared to the American equivalent, but a good effort still considering this is the first conference. The conference was all about building bridges - making connections, seeing what is done here and elsewhere and what is the trend. And the caliber of the speakers was quite impressive as there was two Nobel Prize winners!!! I mean, seriously, it's hard not to be impressed LOL. But those two aside, I mean, there were some impressive names... Of course, my favorite talks were the ones with humor. Some of them are really well articulated and fast on their feet.
While some of it was really interesting, some of it was also really boring. I mean, sitting in hotel chairs from 9am to 5pm and listened to a myriad of talks... it's really long!! Also, some of it was a bit scary. Let just say that once I came back, I did google the symptoms of breast cancer, colorectal cancer and so on ^_^; Also, this conference was all about precision/personalized medicine. It's kind of funny when you think about it, but there is trends in research as well and that was it. The idea is with genome sequencing now more affordable, researchers are sequencing different tumors of a same cancer - the ones that respond to treatment and the ones that don't and compare them. They're trying to look for the mutations that will allow to predict whether a patient will respond to a treatment and which one in order to avoid over-treatment and toxicity of chemotherapy. Of course, in theory, this is awesome... but whether it'll really be feasible - not just from the science POV, but ethically and so on... That'll be interesting to see.
So that was pretty much it for the conference. Oh, the poster session went well. However, it was just too crowded... and I'm really glad I didn't have to present any poster. Basically, there were 477 posters for 2 sessions of two hours!!! Everyone registered to the conference was given a booklet the size of half a phone book with the abstracts (summary of what the poster was about). So people could know beforehand what was there and go see the posters that they were actually interested in. Posters were put up on panels in the morning and people had the whole day to peruse... and from 4 to 6pm, people presenting would stand next to their poster and people could ask them questions. I saw a lot of people just standing there and looking bored. I'm just glad I wasn't one of them ^_^; My labmate had about 8 persons coming up to him and my boss, about the same numbers. Although in the case of my boss, it was all the big names in our field, so that's encouraging.
The best moment of my trip? When Cindy and Bob drove up to Toronto to have dinner with me!! It was awesome to catch up with Cindy and Bob and it was really nice of them to do so! :) For those who worries, she's doing fine!! And she should be back to blogging soon :) There, I've said it Cindy. You can't back out anymore! :)
Since I had Thursday and Friday off, I decided to just relax... and tackle my room. My room has been in such a messy state, I really couldn't stand it anymore. You think I'm exaggerating? Just ask Ames! I have some pictures of my room, but really it's just too embarrassing to share... But just to give you an idea of how messy my room was... I received a really big package from Chapters/Indigo while I was away... and I didn't even notice the box in my room... cos it blended in so well with the boxes of books that I've gotten from RWA! Yeah ^_^; Hopefully, I'll be done by Monday LOL. However, in my defense, I have to say I'm making progress :)
I'll also be taking a lot of breaks to blog and blog-hop! It's good to be back home :)
Oh and for those who are wondering... Yes, I had time to read while I was away! LOL, it's kind of funny cos everyone's been asking me that question LOL. But with no internet, let just say books were the only way to keep me from going insane with boredom LOL. I read To Wed a Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries, Tis the Season to be Sinful by Adrienne Basso and re-read Count to Ten by Karen Rose and River's End by Nora Roberts :) 4 books in 4 days. Not bad, right? :)