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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cystic Fibrosis: Improving Outlook?

This month I had the pleasure of traveling to Las Vegas, NV to speak at the national respiratory conference, the AARC Congress. I was invited to speak about Cystic Fibrosis. My presentation was the title of this post. Cystic Fibrosis: An Improving Outlook? 

I gave a brief recap of the history of CF, medications, and the CFF (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). I talked about the advancements being made in lung transplantation and how survival continues to climb post-op. Most importantly I talked about the advancements that have been made the past several years regarding Kalydeco, and other correctors and potentiators of the CFTR protein. The presentation was very well received and even Monica said she learned quite a bit! It was extremely rewarding on a personal level as it always is anytime I'm given the opportunity to speak to others about CF. I had some good questions and met several new people as well. I love speaking at these conferences! I wish I could make a living from it, lol! Minus the constant traveling that would be required of course. :)

Monica and I made it a couples trip as we always do anytime I'm invited to speak somewhere for a few days. It was our first time to Las Vegas. It was also our first trip without the boys. It's hard to believe that in almost 2 years we've never been apart from them for more than 24 hours. We handled it pretty good. They handled it great! They could have cared less, lol! When we were leaving they just kept waving and saying bye as if to say, "Get out of here already!" We did a lot of FaceTime calls with my parents and in-laws. Thank goodness for FaceTime!

We stayed at the Mandalay Bay. We were pretty impressed with it. It is huge! I expected a little more out of the room, but I guess it is just a hotel. :) I was expecting a little more of of Las Vegas in general because of all the hype regarding it. It was very neat though. Everything is very big and extravagant! We went to the Shark Reef aquarium at the Mandalay Bay, went into a bunch of shops, including the M&M store, the Hershey's Chocolate store, and the Coke store. As I said, everything is huge. Most of the stores had several stories. We saw the Blue Man Group, who I've wanted to see for years! They were GREAT!!! Highly recommend seeing them. We walked the strip a lot (about 8 miles a day). We walked through the Bellagio and saw the conservatory there. It was very neat and smelled so good with all the fresh flowers. We watched the fountain show at the Bellagio (only portions at a time) and it was pretty awesome. We got some desserts from Carlos' bakery in the Venitian. He has a bakery there and a restaurant, Buddy V's. We also ate at Caesars Palace's buffet. It was amazing!!! We ate A LOT! All you could eat snow crab legs! We probably ate about 5-6 plates between the two of us, of just crab legs! 

Overall it was a great trip, but we were ready to head home and see our boys! Here's a few photos from our trip:

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