Friday, 2 March 2012

The important questions?

A week is a long time in a charity and I embraced Monday tentatively. Less well than I wanted to be but determined to reclaim my life...but now its Friday I am feeling more human. More of those antibiotics have helped and the relief of a negative chest x-ray allowed me to let go of a growing burden of worry. I really hope it's all behind me now. It's been great to get back into the cut and thrust and also to be able to make plans for when I'm  off for my planned surgery. I realise I am going to have to tell people why I am off. With my history the suggestion of sick leave leaves people speculating on my demise. So no don't worry, not that but my attempt to restore symmetry and put all of this behind me. And one friend asked me in typically direct style..so are you getting big ones? Answer that... No is the honest answer but if pert is an option that's my hand up!  I had to pull out of some meetings around the constitutional debate this week due to workload demands. My role is to understand what the range of options might mean for people affected by breast cancer. And at this point in time it's honestly hard to know. Devo max ( is that not an antacid?), devo plus, indy max, you name it we have heard of it. But we have yet to understand or explore it all. At this stage my biggest concern is , will all the focus on the constitutional debate take eyes off the real issues important to the 4.500 women diagnosed every year in Scotland?How do we prevent the relentless increase of women being diagnosed? How can we ensure earlier diagnosis? Can we make personalised treatment and care a reality for everyone in times of economic hardship? Maybe my most important role is to ensure these questions are not forgotten. I recently read that Scotland rates 15 in the world on  soft power - meaning, in Joseph Nye’s classic definition, “the ability to influence others through culture, values and ideology rather than threat, violence or other forms of coercion."  It struck me that in my role it's soft power I utilise to influence change. It's good  news that Scotland measures so highly. I do believe we  have a collective responsibility to retain and build on this. So maybe those of us in the third sector have an important part to play? Reasons to be cheerful. It's light now when I am going to and from work and the signs of spring are plentiful. I have a short break to look forward to now I am getting better. And my girls weekend awaits . How lucky am I?

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