Sunday, 10 July 2011

Poetry and truth!

I started this week reflecting on truth and leadership. The importance of that resonated as the news stories emerged over the week about News of the World. Although the mission of that organisation for 168 years apparently had the pursuit of truth at its heart, it had, by its own admission, lost its way. That has to lie at the feet of those who lead it. People follow people, not words in mission statements or strategies-they follow the behaviours and messages (spoken and unspoken) delivered by those at the helm. Strange to think they felt that the pursuit of truth could be through deceitful means. If the demise of this newspaper can lead to greater wisdom then maybe there is hope for better things to come?

What was obvious was the power of social media again to create a momentum for change. Through media like Twitter, Facebook and Mumsnet the means and drive for a message to be sent to the newspaper owners was delivered. There is undoubtedly massive opportunity through social media and I am recent convert. Although Facebook for me is really only close friends and family, through twitter I am in contact with many others and that is really quite exciting. Breakthrough Breast cancer’s ibreast check app recently won a new media award of which we are rightly proud. Because using this approach we have reached so many people with a breast awareness message and our research indicates this is still a message most women need to learn. You can also find all our TLC (Touch Look Check) breast awareness advice on our website as well. Both examples of how this new media can deliver for the good. 

Such is my belief in new media I have been asked to talk about this at an event for the NHS later in the year. The invite did make me giggle a little. I am living proof that old dogs(!) can indeed be taught new tricks. This is the same woman who had to ask her then 6-year-old son how to do something on our new PC. He said, “ I will show you Mum and write it down for you”. I was proud and mortified all at the same time! Fortunately he shows the same level of tolerance now…

The other thing I did this week was visit the clinic as you know. It was really helpful to talk things through. I also saw the surgeon, as my healing isn’t quite going to plan-nothing serious- just a result of having had radiotherapy in the past. What it does mean however that my master plan may have to be flexible. It did make me feel a bit sad about the impact of two lots of surgery on my breast. For some reason some lines from the Burns poem Tae a Mouse kept coming to mind! More of that later..
The other thing I was persuaded to do was go home from the clinic rather than return to work. Atypically I took the advice because my exhaustion of a heavy week was compounded by the emotion that a visit to the clinic can evoke. Pacing myself remains my challenge but Monday awaits and I am more rested as a result of heading good advice.

Reasons to be cheerful are being able to cook up a storm for the family today in my new kitchen-it was great. A lovely social space to share and the food was good too!
And I have adapted the poem by Robert Burns and created a little Ode (in old Scots as was his tradition) in honour of my left boob and the bard himself. Somehow given his reputation I think he would have approved of (and forgiven me for) an ode to a breast!

Tae a breast!

Wee sad and broken tim'rous breast,
O, what a panic was in my head!
I need na worried awa sae hasty,
Wi' fear and fright!
I wad be laith to lose thee
Withoot a fight!

But breast, I tried before wi’ sma’ gain
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e me back to face more pain,
And chance o’ more!

Still I am blest, we must agree;
Only the surgeons knife will toucheth me:
And och! I must cast my e'e,
On hopes for prospects cheer!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' try no tae fear!

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