So sayeth the security guard, late yesterday morning, as he sauntered down the hall towards our conference rooms.
Yes, I replied, but we've got all them all safely contained in there now.
We all cracked up. ("We" being me and the other two or three women who were staffing the registration desk and generally rounding up stragglers.)
To say the workshop (the first Arizona Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Workshop, that is) was a success would be an understatement. Apparently, our first time out of the gate, we managed to hold the largest regional ThyCa workshop ever, with 118 registered attendees.
It was just an unbelievable day. So many people saying things like, "I never knew anything like this existed," and "No one has ever even heard of this disease," and "I am my doctor's only thyroid cancer patient, I get to be his teaching case," and on and on and on. So many "thank you"s, so many "This is fantastic!"
We were all quite overwhelmed -- and that includes the speakers. The sense of gratitude and relief among the survivors and their families and friends was palpable. Everyone was talking to their neighbors and sharing their stories, giving advice or just commiserating. It was awesome.
I remember the relief I felt when I found real live people to talk to about my thyroid cancer. Yesterday, I saw that look mirrored in dozens of people's eyes, the recognition: I am not alone.
We worked hard and we helped a lot of people.
Sure feels good.