Today was the culmination of one of the toughest and most stressful experiences of my life.
That's a lot to say, really.
For the last year, I've been working with a team of 26 researchers and medical doctors from across the nation on a project that could critically impact thousands of lives over the next decade. These folks are the best of the best in treating patients who don't have a lot of options, and the technologies they're developing could fundamentally change medicine.
The stakes are high -- both because we're committed emotionally to these patients, and because the funding levels over the next five years are staggering. For the winning team, the award could approach $100 Million.
I have dedicated the better part of 1000 hours of my life to this since January. Several (too many) nights without sleep. Endless (dear God; endless) conference calls. Herding cats. Reconciling budgets. Again. (No, really. One more time. Did you include patient care costs in the indirect rate?) Writing. Re-writing. Scrapping. Re-writing. Time lines. Milestones. More re-writes.
And then, a few weeks ago, we got the call to tell us that we were one of two teams of finalists. We learned we had 16 days to prepare a two hour presentation for a team of judges and reviewers. Slides. Text. Revised slides. Rehersals. God, that sucked! Revised slides. Revised text. WTF does that mean???
And then, last Thursday, the rest of the leadership team told me. They told me they wanted ME to present this.
Me? Why me? I'm not a doctor. I'm just the gal who sells stuff.
We want you to do it.
You wanted to run with the big dogs, Sister.
Today, I was honored -- and terrified -- to represent this unbelievably distinguished and dedicated group of professionals. And for the first time in my life, I had a chance to represent something that could really change the world of medicine.
And I think I did OK. In fact, they told me I was "brilliant".
It's the proudest -- and most humbled -- I've ever felt in my life.
I am feeling beyond grateful for this opportunity. But I think I'd like to go home and bake some cookies now.