Tuesday, 28 June 2011

From a distance

I seem to be thinking in song titles currently…now that could be the stuff of a whole blog itself! But this time the title is From a Distance…the Nancy Griffith version please. And not only does the world look blue and green but it also does put things into a perspective. Some of that’s good of course…the petty annoyances that can overtake me at times, the work demands that recede with backdrop of the mountains, the need to paint the hall way unimportant without the daily reminder….

What is less good is that without the other clutters of life the reality of my recent experience couldn’t be ignored. It is the realisation that I didn’t just dream it but it really did happen. When you are in the middle of it, it just finds its own momentum and adrenaline takes you through. My experience this time and before is that its afterwards that the impact of it all can hit. So some part of my lost mojo is about reacting to it all both physically and emotionally. There is a rhythm to this and the low notes have to be in the mix too.

The other sharp focus is of course that summer clothes take no prisoners and I have been forced to review the wardrobe for post surgery impact. My very long-suffering partner has had to endure endless questions of does this look OK. It’s a strange version of does my bum look big in this-you can fill in the blanks yourself on that one! And lets be honest, feeling depressed when I see the lovely olive skinned beauties by the pool isn’t just about the impact of surgery its got a bit to do with the aging process, the one crisp too many syndrome and freckles. Its an ill divided world when it comes to freckles. My daughter has protected her celtic beauty with factor 30 but that train left my station long before sun protection factor was developed I’m afraid. Hey ho. But I guess the experience has given me more clarity for my decisions I parked last month. Not sure there’s a cure for freckles though.

These decisions are so complex and need time to be worked through. I do wonder how we reconcile delivering person centred care with setting targets. Whether those targets are for reconstructive surgery for example or targets for those receiving benefits. The complexity of the impact of a cancer diagnosis means that this affects all aspects of our lives physical, emotional, social and work life too. I know that the impact on me is different now to previously-and that’s within one person. So it has to be about the person-not targets for the system. Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s own service pledge process allows us to review the person’s experience of care to continuously imporve the quality of the care provided. It’s a really important way to drive quality and I am very proud of the impact it has made already for people affected by breast cancer. The unit I had my treatment in has embraced the Breakthrough service pledge and it shows.

Reasons to be cheerful are the sleep therapy of 10 days in the mountain air. Time to just be peaceful, read some books, laugh and have time with people I love. I recommend it. Oh and some music too.Good times.

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