Thursday, January 08, 2009

ThyCa East Valley

Tomorrow (technically, later today), I'll be facilitating the first meeting of the ThyCa East Valley Thyroid Cancer Support Group at the Cancer Center at Chandler Regional Hospital. We'll be meeting the second Thursday of each month (except July) from 6:30 to 8:30PM in the Education Room.

I'm oddly calm about this. Normally I would be bouncing off the wall with anxiety, sort of like, "What if I gave a party and no one came?" But I know people will come, and in reality, it would be easier if people didn't come. It's nice when fewer people come -- I rationalize -- because that means fewer people have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. (There are, of course, many other explanations, but that's the one I'm sticking with.)

I had trepidations initially about working with the Hospital, as they have rules about what you can and can't say -- but the reality is, I've been working with those rules for years now. I'm not a doctor and I can't give medical advice. I can say, "The protocol says this." I can say, "I have experienced this, other patients have experienced this other thing." I can say, "That's a good question for your doctor." In other words, I have to be careful how I say things, but that has been true all along.

Tomorrow also will be my first orientation session to become a volunteer at the Hospital. I don't need to do that, it's just to make things a little easier on my end, and give me the ability to run a meeting without my hospital-employed co-facilitator present, if necessary. It would be a shame to have to cancel a meeting if she couldn't make it.

The last time I managed a group of adults was years ago, at Oracle. It was a small group but I dealt with many people, as we were responsible for communicating requirements from three different application groups to the tools guys, and then we had to wrap an interface around those tools to meet the UI requirements of the app guys. It was fun. This is entirely different, of course, but I like the idea of having my own group again. I also like that the goals are well-defined and I already know what to do -- that's a big help.

It's odd knowing exactly when a new baby will be born. I have no idea how quickly this one will grow, or what it's going to require of me in the long run. So far I've been able to manage the phone calls and emails, and admin tasks have been minimal. There are things I'd love to do, like a mailing to the area doctors announcing the group and our meeting schedule, and I still may be able to pull that off, but we'll have to see. My class starts Monday and my professional knowledge exam is the 24th -- things are going to get very, very busy.

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