Saturday, December 03, 2011

I'm home!!!

Hi everyone!!

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? :)


  1. Welcome home, Nath! Your conference sounds fascinating, and I'm so glad that you had the time to meet with with Cindy too! LOL, and you didn't post pictures of your room? It really must be messy.... LOLOL!

    You read good books while you were away, though and that's great! I can't wait to read your thoughts on River's End by NR. I read that book a long time ago and gave it away by mistake. I"ve been meaning to get it again). And, Tis the Season To Be Sinful also... an enjoyable Christmas read.

    Karen Rose! I have a book in my TBR... right on the "next to read" queue... I have to get back to her! FYI: My sister-in-law Alicia loved, loved the Karen Rose books I gave her! She wanted more... lol!

    Happy to have you back!

  2. That sounds like a fascinating conference. And since I work in the palliative department where most of our clients die from cancer and chances are it will be front and centre of whoever I'm matched with in the volunteering, and that's how I lost Ron, it really has and will have an impact on my life.

    And good on you trying to get Cindy back blogging again. Goodness knows I've taken my own unplanned breaks and know that the longer the break, the harder to get back to it, still I've really missed her!! She doesn't tweet either :-(

  3. Yay!! Glad you made it home safe!

    It was so great to see you and like I said, you can come stay with us anytime you want a cheap mini vacay from life ;)

    And, thank you again for my signed copy of Raziel by Kristina Douglas (Anne Stuart). AND for giving me a copy of your one of your fav authors Karen Rose's Count to Ten!

    Okay, now I'm going to see if I can get this comment to post - Google hates me lately but it's not giving me to anon option which I have been using to post.


  4. Hilcia - Thanks Hils!!

    A lot of it was interesting and I have to say, I was happy it wasn't too technical LOL.

    Meeting Cindy was definitively the cherry on top of the sundae.

    As for my room... no comments LOL.

    I don't think I'm going to review River's End. It was okay. I think the issue is that as soon as I start reading the book, I remembered the end - who did it... and it just made me so mad at some of the people and sad for the father. sigh. The romance wasn't that great into ^_^; Definitively not my favorite...

    Oh yeah, the Basso definitively put me in the holiday mood :)

    You gotta continue reading Karen Rose!! She just gets better and better :)

    Kristie - Nod nod. I hope we make progress to help the patients.

    LOL, well Cindy was pretty easy to convince :)

    Cindy - I'm glad too :) However, I have to say, the bus ride? Bleh. We hit some traffic to get out of Toronto and let just say it was looooong.

    LOL, I'll definitively try to go out your and Kristie's way soon :)

    No problem! I hope you enjoy Count to Ten!!

    And hopefully, I'll be commenting on your blog very soon :)

  5. Welcome home! It's good to have a break from the fast pace of the internet. Sometimes on the weekends I won't go online all day. It does help to get me up and moving more.

    Wow - a thousand sounds big. I think it's great that they're getting everyone together to share info and hopefully make more progress on this awful disease.

    That's great you were able to get together with Cindy and Bob. I'll be it made for a nice break in the conference. :)

  6. Leslie - Thanks Les! :)

    True, it's good from time to time, but I really have difficulty LOL. I mean, I like emailing to people.. Luckily, I still had my phone and could text Ames and my sister! Otherwise, I'd have been bored out of my mind.

    Yeah, a thousand persons is a lot... but apparently, the American version, there's upward to 20, 000 people attending! crazy! LOL, I wouldn't want to be there :)

    Oh yeah, Cindy and Bob were definitively the highlight of my trip LOL.