It took us around 5 hours to get there, we stopped of for lunch in Dorset, We had a lovely meal.
We got to the Queen's hotel in Portsmouth at around 2pm. We took our time with a leisurely drive.
When we got there, the sun was shining beautifully. It was like it should be, a summers day in July.
We dropped our bags off and had a walk along the sea front, it is such a pretty place, so clean and so quiet. It was a shame everything was closed up, not much activity.
We met up with Pat and her friend Ray, so lovely to see her again. She gives me so much strength. Pat's husband, Tony was the reason I went to Germany. They had found all the information, Tony died before he could find out if chemoembolisation would have worked for him.
I felt he was there with us, watching and embracing us with his wonderful spirit.
Pat and I chatted and caught up with what has been going on since we last met in 2009.
Chrissy and I spent most of the day with them before going to get ready for a meal, we went into an Indian restaurant and had a meal. We had a lovely day.
Chrissy and I went down for breakfast at around 8:30, left the hotel afterwards and headed for the hight street, well....what else do girlies do when they are away!!
We looked in some charity shops and in the stores, it was so quiet, like a ghost town.
I found a little bargain in Debenhams, a little top for £14:99. I took it to the cash desk and didn't realise that it was in the blue cross sale, it was £8:40.... what a bargain. We took a look in WH Smiths as Chrissy was looking for the fifty shades of grey books. There are 3 n the series and they are very popular at the moment, can't think why : )
What a surprise she got when she was told they had all 3..... whoopee!!! Won't see her for a while : )
We got back to the hotel about 11 ish and met with Diane, she runs the Hampshire Asbestos Support group with her sister Lynn. It was so lovely to see her again, last time we met was in 2008 I think.
We went into the meeting room, the weather had changed, it was raining quite hard, there were no doves as the people that had them had a bereavement, such a shame but it didn't spoil the day.
Another warrior friend, Suzi, arrived, I saw her at the Plymouth event last year. We caught up on our news. Diane and her husband Mike made themselves known, this is the beauty of these events, the support and inspiration is overwhelming.
The meeting was opened by Lynn who introduced the first speaker Dr Adrian Dobbs, Senior lecturer in organic chemistry at Queen Mary university of London.
His talk was really interesting, he talked about Aspirin from the bark of a willow tree and the breast cancer drug Taxol coming from a yew tree. It was a very interesting talk. Dr Dobbs got into research for mesothelioma after losing his father. Such a shame that this has to happen to get someone to take notice and research. He explained that mesothelioma had only had 44 medical papers written in 2010 compared to lung cancer which had over 3,000. I hope there is a breakthrough soon, there are things happening but it costs money for these research programs and that is where the June Hancock fund has been invaluable. The money raised by loved ones and friends is used for research grants. It is so good to see the money working towards a future without mesothelioma, it may be a long way off but it is getting closer. Pat and i discussed the fact that in 2007, when she was finding all the information about Germany, the message coming back was the immune system and organic matter is the key to a cure.
Germany was already studying these things, why does it take the world so long.
After Dr Dobbs had spoken, it was my turn. 10 minutes of listening to my meso story and how the facebook community started and the success it is today, all down to every warrior who uses it.
There was a raffle which took place after my talk. I had put my award from ADAO on the table where the prizes were and was a little concerned that it may be confused with a raffle prize, it was, a dear lady won a prize and went up to claim it, she looked around the table many times before setting her hands on my award....oooerrrr...... quick run up to apologise and whip it out of her hands. She saw the funny side of it though and so did everyone else : )
With the meeting over, Suzi and her family said goodbye and made there way out, such a shame we didn't get much time together. I chatted with Diane and Lynn, two wonderful girls who have made a difference to so many lives.
Diane left not long after, off to get back home in time for her daughter coming home from school. Chrissy had gone up to the hotel room.
There were so many lovely people there, so many great comments from them.
The meeting was a great success, the girls raised over £1,000, the room was filled which just shows how much respect people have for Diane, Lynn and Lisa, it was such a shame we didn't get the photo opportunity with the doves but it didn't spoil anything, well done girls, you did good : )